GMOs are a time bomb to agriculture

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A maize plantation in the Country side. (File)

Editor,

Reference is made to the letter, “What happened to our organic crops and livestock?” (The New Times, March 11).

I fully agree with Mr. Nziyonsenga; we must not sacrifice our traditional seed and livestock at the altar of false gods of miracle seeds—those who believe in the miracle powers of Genetically Modified crops are no different from those who think money grows on trees.

Those pushing for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) allegedly to prevent Africans from mass starvation (on the most pristine land still with the most fertile and unexhausted soil on planet earth) are the same kind of snake-oil salesmen who crashed the world economy while pushing sub-prime mortgage filled securities as AAA investment-grade securities. And we know how that ended and its consequences on such countries as Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

The well-known precautionary principle or precautionary approach puts the onus on GMO-pushers to prove the harmlessness of their products to our health and the well-being of our living environment and the resources we and the future generation will require for the human race to survive.

It is not enough for the purveyors of GMOs to assert the safety of their products.

We all remember the long years of pseudo scientific “evidence” pushed by the tobacco based on bought “research” conclusions of highly qualified scientists in the pay of the tobacco industry and claiming lack of evidence linking smoking to cancer.

Given the past experience with bought scientists ready to help industries pushing dangerous “products”, we would be foolish to trust in the claims of self-interested GMO pushers.

Mwene Kalinda

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The reality is Africa’s agriculture is under siege; call it attack, colonisation of another level while Africans are still deep in sleep, as usual welcoming free things which actually come with hidden costs.

As I write, there are many programmes in most African countries to distribute free seeds (Genetically Modified Seeds) to farmers, in most cases as Government programmes, by convincing/forcing farmers to abandon the indigenous seeds and resort to GMOs.

Here the issue is when you harvest you can’t reserve part of your harvest (such as maize) for re-plant in the next season because, if you replant them, you can’t harvest the same yields as from real GMOs, meaning seeds to sow every season have to be purchased.

This makes one wonder for how long these governments will distribute free seeds season after season. Could it be a plot to eliminate our local varieties and then have easy way to exploit us by selling seeds, fertilizers, pesticides…every season to make us total dependants?

In actual sense the hybrid seeds distributed, do a great job in killing native soils, because they call for intensive use of pesticides and fertilizers (inorganic) that kill the natural organisms in the soil.

We see every day how most countries are trying hard to get rid of foreign aid, but how realistic is it attainable when the original sector is getting crippled?

Ivan Nkomati