While working on a research project in South Africa I met a distinguished-looking farmer, well dressed in a suit and tie. We had an appointment to discuss biotechnology.
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When the discussion turned to the current crop year, this proud, dignified man had tears in his eyes. He said drought caused his corn crop to be a complete loss.
Then he pointed his finger at me and said people in the U.S. interfered in Africa and prevented approval of a biotech corn variety that was resistant to drought.
He was sad and angry that people in rich countries influence food policy in poor countries.
I call it the “arrogance of affluence.”
Well-fed activists in affluent countries try to dictate what seed a farmer in poor countries can plant.
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I have seen the results of that arrogance many times in the six African countries where I have been a researcher and educator since the 1990s.
Much of the arrogance comes from Greenpeace, a non-government organization that fights biotech acceptance in poor countries.
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…[Only] South Africa had commercial plantings of biotech food crops in 2015.
Getting new ones approved, including the drought-tolerant corn my friend wanted to plant, is a continual struggle against anti-biotech activists.
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