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Former UN head Kofi Annan: Science must play role in advancing agriculture, particularly in Africa

| | March 31, 2017

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

“Science and technology should play a role in raising agriculture productivity, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said [former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi] Annan.

European countries are divided over whether GMOs are safe, even when the EU’s own European Food and Safety Authority deems them to be so.

Although Annan appeared to be careful not to support or reject GMOs outright, he noted that the ambivalent attitude in Europe towards GMOs carried weight across the world.

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Kofi Annan

He said that when he was UN secretary general, there was a serious drought in Africa. However, governments in the affected countries refused food aid because it included genetically modified ingredients.

“The governments refused the offer because it was GMO and they said that if they accept GMO products it would affect their environment and they would not be able to export agricultural products to Europe,” said Annan.

“The position of Europe on GMOs has [an] impact on other regions, because of their superior knowledge of science. The attitude would be: if Europe has this position, there must be something to it. They must have done their research and we are not going to jump ahead of Europe.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Former UN chief implies EU farm subsidies unfair

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