Hunger in Africa blamed on western rejection of GM food
Environmentalists taking an anti-scientific stance to modern agriculture and in particular to GM crop use are causing hunger in Africa according to Sir David King - the UK government's former chief scientist. This the same week that it's revealed that many organic farmers are turning back to non-organic farming for economic reasons leading some to believe that profit was the main reason for many turning to organic methods rather than any great environmental reason. It's a complicated argument the GM whould we shouldn't we question and balancing environmental concerns against oncerns over starvation is an uneasy one for some environmentalists though many would argue that political comitment to supporting traditional agriculture and technology with less land given over to building and fewer cash crops grown is the real way forward without GM plants.
The rise of organic farming and rejection of GM crops in Britain and other developed countries is largely to blame for the impoverishment of Africa, according to the government's former chief scientist.
Sir David King, who left the job at the end of last year, says anti-scientific attitudes towards modern agriculture are being exported to Africa and holding back a green revolution that could dramatically improve the continent's food supply.
King, who is due to give the presidential address at the British Association's Festival of Science in Liverpool this evening, will criticise non-governmental organisations and the UN in his speech for backing traditional farming techniques, which he says cannot provide enough food for the continent's growing population. "The problem is that the western world's move toward organic farming - a lifestyle choice for a community with surplus food - and against agricultural technology in general and GM in particular, has been adopted across the whole of Africa, with the exception of South Africa, with devastating consequences."