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Cablegate: Daily News Editorial On Us Food Assistance To

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001371

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S, AF/PD, AF/RA

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO ZI
SUBJECT: DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL ON US FOOD ASSISTANCE TO
ZIMBABWE


1. Under headline "Looking a gift horse in the mouth"
the independent daily "The Daily News" dedicated its
June 5 editorial to calling on the government of
Zimbabwe to "avoid politicizing food aid." Excerpts:

2. "For the estimated six million of the 13 million
Zimbabweans on the verge of starvation, the issue
of whether the food before them is genetically
modified or not is luxury they cannot afford.
Their preoccupation is with surviving the current
food crisis. The USA last week gave Zimbabwe
18,500 tons of maize, in order to ease the current
food shortage. However, 10,000 tons of the
consignment was rejected because it did not have a
certificate declaring it was not produced through
genetic engineering. . . If the origin of the
grain was unclear, a simple request to the
Americans indicating concern about the possibility
of the consignment being genetically modified,
would certainly have been responded to and the
fears by Zimbabwe either confirmed or allayed. It
is possible the government is allowing the standoff
between Washington and Harare over the Zimbabwe
Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which slaps
'smart' sanctions on President Mugabe, his two Vice
Presidents, senior government ministers, officials
and the ZANU PF leadership, to get in the way of
international efforts to respond to the country's
humanitarian crisis. This is a desperate situation
and it is doubtful whether the people affected
would elect to starve instead of consuming alleged
genetically modified food. Which is the lesser of
the two evils - to die of hunger or as a
consequence of the suspected effects of genetically
modified food? There is need to be less hysterical
and avoid politicizing food
aid. . . ."

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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