GM regulations move slowly forward in Africa

posted in: Syndicated | 4

Transgenic harvest
Editorial. Published online 06 October 2010
African nations are laying foundations to extend the use of GM technology on the continent.

The use of genetically modified (GM) crops for food divides opinion, especially when it comes to Africa. Sharp views on the technology in the developed world, honed by more than a decade of arguments in Europe and elsewhere, are too easily projected onto Africa, with the continent portrayed as a passive participant in the global melodrama over GM food. So it is heartening to see a group of 19 African nations working to develop policies that should make it clear to all sides in the debate that Africa can make up its own mind.

After more than nine years, talks between member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have produced a draft policy on GM technology, which was sent for national consultation last month. COMESA is a trade bloc, and its proposals aim to develop research and trade in GM crops. But they also state that decisions should be based on sound science and evidence…more at link

Nature 467 , 633–634 (07 October 2010) doi:10.1038/467633b

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David Tribe is an applied geneticist, teaching graduate/undergrad courses in food science, food safety, biotechnology and microbiology at the University of Melbourne.