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July 17, 2011

Kenya: Genetically modified crops will not impoverish farmers

Scientists have dismissed arguments that adoption of genetically modified crops will impoverish small scale farmers in Kenya and other developing countries.

Clet Wandui Masiga of the Association for Strengthening Research in East and Central Africa said there is no justification in the argument that adoption of GMOs in Africa will increase small scale farmers' dependence on multinational companies from the developed countries, as claimed by anti-GMO activists.

Speaking at the 47th Session of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa held in Nairobi, Masiga noted that no private seed company was at the core of GMO discovery. Naturally occurring GMO was discovered nearly 40 years ago by a team of public researchers at Rockefeller University, State University of Laiden, University of Pennsylvania, Waite Institute, University of Ghent, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin and Washington University.

The naturally occurring GM plants had crown gall tumours. The technology that is currently used to produce GMOs was based on the vector that was isolated from a similar tumour, explained Masiga. "The private companies later jumped on the bandwagon after seeing an opportunity to make money, 10 years after GMO technology had been in existence," he said.

After discovering naturally occurring GMOs in plants and how it occurs, the first GMO was then artificially developed in 1973. In 1977, the first human protein, insulin, was produced using GMO technology in a bacterium. Around 1981-1982, first transgenic mice and fruit flies were developed.

This is the time when seed companies jumped on the GMO wagon. The first genetically engineered crop (Flavr-Savr tomato) was developed to slow fruit ripening and increase shop life by a California Seed Company Calgene. This company was later bought by Monsanto. "Critics should therefore know that GMO was not developed to increase our dependence to the multinational companies, neither was it developed for Monsanto to make money. Monsanto only saw an opportunity and made good use of it," argues Masiga.

He takes issue with activists against the technology who are praising conventional approach to breeding. Some of the critics of GMO believe that we have superior crop varieties and thus no need for GMO. And that the introduction threatens the quality of these crops through cross breeding leading to genetic loss.

He also dismisses arguments that GMO may cause loss of biodiversity and degrade the environment. Over 90 per cent of natural wetlands in New Zealand have been lost since European settlement. Between 1980 and 1990 the annual rate of forest loss increased from 113,000km2 to 169,000km2 per year. Over 625 plant species are extinct in the wild. Between 15-35 per cent of plant and animal genetic diversity was lost by 2000. "All this loss of habitats and biodiversity had nothing to do with GMOs," argues Masiga.

Nairobi Star

fromPam Jacob
dateMon, Jul 18, 2011
subjectRE: Kenya: Genetically modified crops will not impoverish farmers

African Agriculture: Kenya: Genetically modified crops will not impoverish farmers

I am writing to you about two major concerns I have concerning the rise of Africa. GMO and Land Grabs.  Africa's long-term future is on the line and the decisions you make today will affect generations to come.  Repeating the West's model of capitalism and corporate dominance should not be an option.

I am sure you know you will and are being inundated by the multi-nationals and some global gmo's with vested interests in their efforts to make large, short-term profits from your people.  The western global industrial agricultural model is falling apart and there is a mass movement to return to small, subsistence farming on a regional basis; restoring local indigenous cultural knowledge of lands, seeds and farming knowledge.

In this recent article, originating from Nairobi Star, I was shocked to see that there was no investigation at all to determine who was behind this article.   Many proponents are using trojan horses to get gmos into Africa.  They hide behind titles when in fact they are on the payroll of Monsanto et al. and no-one seems to be alert enough to the slick, clever corporate pr game that could be Africa's agricultural downfall.

I humbly request that you do a thorough investigation into the importing of gmo seeds and their accompanying pesticides, herbicides, etc. into Africa to give the African farmers both sides of this argument before making this life-altering decision for all your people  Otherwise one day in the not too distant future Africa will find it self with poisoned land, food, water and their biodiversity ravaged, much of which will be irreversible.   A return to indigenous knowledge of lands is important...the huge multi-nationals only have one interest...that is profits, profits, profits under the guise of helping feed the world and have no true vested social interest in their exploitations.

I thank you for taking the time to review this.

With Great Respect

Please Take the Time To WATCH:

  1. Is It Time to Take Back Our Food? The GMO Film Project: In Defense of Our Seeds
  2. *** "The World According To Monsanto"
    Article: Monsanto and Gates Foundation Push GE Crops on Africa
  3. Monsanto will own all seed‬‏ - YouTube
  4. Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food-Part 1‬‏ - YouTube
    ‪Vandana Shiva on global food crisis‬‏ - YouTube
  5. "Food Inc." (monsanto gm patent seeds pesticides factory soy corn wheat)‬‏ - YouTube
  6. The Genetic Conspiracy  - about Monsanto‬‏ - YouTube (1/3)
  8. MY POTATO PROJECT: A child's experiment @MotherEarthNews @tomphilpott

Some Resources: GMWatch
  1. END FOOD SPECULATION:  Global food bubble on the way? Food prices set to surge due to Wall Street
  2. Resistant weeds leave farmers desperate - St. Louis Today #Monsanto #gmo RT @gmfreeireland: RT @GMOjournal: RT @gmwatch:
  3. good one Kenya RT @GMWatch: Kenya: MPs threaten to block #GMO importation
  4. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
  5.  Pull #GMO food until cause of escalating allergy is identified - #MADGEAustralia RT @gmwatch: RT @EarthOpenSource:
  6. Imported seed blamed as genetically modified corn destroyed #Monsanto #gmo #agchat #environment
  7. Nourishing a Budding Sustainable Agriculture Movement NOT based on silver-bullet technology - @ipsnews
  8. Japanese indigenous agricultural heritage systems recognized as alternative to Industrial Farms @OurWorld20 #food
  9. Ending Africa’s Hunger Means Listening to Farmers - they don't want #GMOs - refuting the Gates Foundation push
  10. New Herbicide Linked to Thousand of Tree Deaths TAKE ACTION @Care2Causes
  11. Hella Delicious is out!
  12. GM Fish Study Raises Red Flags @Care2 Causes
  13. AFRICA: Foreign Interests under fire with corrupt officials for exploiting local populaces, destroying the environment
  14. #AFRICA is not a place for #GMOs says African Biodiversity Network: Post Zambia RT @EI_Forest:
Welcome to the Age of #GMO Industry Self-Regulation
Companies forging ahead with genetic engineering have far more resources than the scientists trying to track the long-term safety of their products. We are already seeing some of the unintended consequences. (See Scientists Reveal Glyphosate Poisons Crops and Soil and Roundup and Birth Defects.) The GM genie is out of the bottle. In spite of red flags, there is little political or corporate will to lure it back in long enough to determine whether benefits will ultimately outweigh risks. Read more:
@FAONews: CGRFA: 13th Regular Sesson of Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 18-22 July 2022 FAQ Headquarters, Rome
  2. The Dirty Secret GMO Companies Dont Want You to Know
  3. GMO debate Rages on Despite Proof of the Negative Effects of GMO | Genetically Engineered Food News
  4. Are Honest Reports Regarding Genetic Engineering Articles Being Withheld From The Public?
  5. Corn / GE Crops and Foods (On the Market) / Topics / Resources / Take Action - Canadian Biotechnology Action Network - CBAN
  6. In Midwest, Monarch Butterflies’ Flutters Are Be Far Fewer - due to pesticides and Monsanto "roundup" Spraying @nytimes

AFRICAN LAND GRAB - That Directly Affects your future in Agriculture
THE GREAT ETHIOPIAN LAND GRAB dispossessing tens of thousands (millions?) of Ethiopian citizens RT @oak_institute
WATCH The Land Owns Us @River_Restore "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us." Aldo Leopold

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