Biotechnology in Africa Plants Seeds of Doubt
Re “Protesters Don’t Grasp Africa’s Need,” Opinion, Nov. 11: In Florence Wambugu’s rant against the growing tide of opposition to biotechnology, I find her omissions of biotechnology’s dangers to speak much louder than her broad-stroke statements about this industry ending world hunger. Studies have found that in growing genetically engineered crops there is an increased use of toxic pesticides, damage to soil fertility, genetic pollution of adjoining farmlands and the creation of superweeds and pests that become impossible to control, except through using more toxic pesticides.
Wambugu is an industry shill who speaks not for the rural African farmers but for transnational corporations that care little about the health of the land and instead want to dominate and monopolize the global market for economic interests. This is why there will continue to be protests.
Wambugu advocates the immediate use of genetically altered crops in order to feed the people of Kenya. Isn’t this a little like trying to ease the traffic in Los Angeles by building freeways? The numbers of cars rise to meet the roads available. Population grows to meet the food available. Kenya, until not long ago, had the highest birthrate in the world. Population controls must be in place along with food production. Without them, the transformation of Africa into a continent that can feed itself does not bode well.
James R. Stone MD