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Manipulate and Mislead: How GMOs Are Infiltrating Africa


Manipulate and Mislead: How GMOs Are Infiltrating Africa

Haidee Swanby, Mariann Bassey Orovwuje

The most persistent myth about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that they are necessary to feed a growing global population. Highly effective marketing campaigns have drilled it into our heads that GMOs will produce more food on less land in an environmentally friendly manner. The mantra has been repeated so often that it is considered to be truth. Now this mantra has come to Africa, sung by the United States government and multinational corporations like Monsanto, seeking to open new markets for a product that has been rejected by so many others around the globe.


“Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”
-Henry Kissofdeath


The Gates Foundation’s involvement in agriculture is troubling because their wealth gives them undue influence in an area–plant life–that is much more complex and subtle than their technological world. From their perspective it must be difficult or impossible to see technology as the problem and not the solution.

In the natural world, technology has proven to be a quick fix and not a long-term solution. Atrazine kills weeds, but also makes frogs sterile; glyphosate kills weeds but also destroys butterfly habitat; we ingest these chemicals and others with our grains and vegetables and there’s no way of knowing the long term effects. We are told these chemicals are necessary for our food security, though there are organizations like the Rodale Institute and the Soil Association that tell us there are agroecological solutions that do no harm to the environment or our bodies and are equally productive.

The Green Revolution of the 1960’s was a disaster from the pespective of the loss of plant biodiversity, soil health, chemical runoff, and water table depletion. Yet the Gates Foundation is a part of something called the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa which promotes these same destructive short-term fixes. It’s no coincidence that there’s agribusiness money to be made, again. This go-round is even more dangerous because we’ve now added GMOs to the soup.


The biotechs have done nothing to increase yield. They have made crops resistant to round up spray so more poison can be put on plants and they have engineered crops to have a bug killer in every cell and the bug killers then makes it into your body and the tough corn bores are now resistant to the Bt or becoming so. And the biotechs know how to stack one pesticide on top of another, a process called stacking…
And their work is all done using bacteria and e-coli. Makes on feel safe doesn’t it.
That is their claim to fame. People who hybridize crops figure out how to make them yield more, not biotechs.


Sowing the seeds of greed


“We burn rainforests to grow soy and palm oil to burn as bio-fuels in Europe…”

Why would anyone who identified with Left/Progressive ideals use the WE frame to equate what corporate predators DO with what The People (do not) do.

You make a lot of wild generalizations in your comment. I’d like to see evidence that crop and pasture lands caused 80% of species extinction. More likely, industrial development AS A WHOLE is the causative factor since pollution, ocean acidification, and lands cleared for cities and suburbs obviously play enormous roles in this mass extinction phenomenon, as do wars.