US promotes GMO acceptance in Africa to boost food security, public health

| | September 11, 2018
Africa farmer
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A Trump administration official [recently visited] Africa to promote government acceptance of genetically engineered crops.

Peter Haas, a State Department trade-policy specialist, told a three-day biotechnology conference in South Africa that use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture can help meet the continent’s food needs while also fostering improvements in human health.

Mr Haas [also travelled] to Ethiopia to discuss adoption of GMO products with African Union officials at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

His visit follows a warning in June by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that Washington intends to file cases in international forums against governmental restrictions on GMO imports that are not “science-based.”

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Scientists are also engineering drought-resistant crop varieties that could enable Kenya and other countries to avoid food shortages.

Smallholders account for a majority of the 18 million farmers worldwide who use genetically modified plants and animals, Mr Haas observed. They “truly see their bottom line and their income increase by the use of these products,” he said.

“Countries that choose to use these end up with higher yields, more nutritious food,” while also expending fewer resources, Mr Haas remarked.

Read full, original article: US seeks to push African countries to adopt GM crops

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