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Cablegate: Government Newspaper Published Anti-Biotech

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

UNCLAS HARARE 002305

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED ANTI-BIOTECH
TRACT

1. Under headline "Beware of Americans bearing
`gifts'" the government-controlled daily "The Herald"
published a silly anti-biotech article attributed to
Raj Patel of "Third World Network Features":

2. "Food aid from U.S. is increasingly met with
suspicion and skepticism by many who describe
the export of unlabelled genetically modified
food to needy nations as `a dangerous game
played with the lives of starving people for
political gain. . .' The U.S. Government has
been playing this game for well over a decade;
the famine in Southern Africa provided merely
the latest installment. . . The covert U.S.
introduction of GM food into Africa is harmful,
for four reasons. First, there is mounting
evidence that GM crops maybe unsafe. . .
Second, the covert introduction of GM food in
the Third World also jeopardizes the possibility
of an independent non-GM food policy within the
EU. . . The third reason to be worried is that
the GM food aid compromises the sovereignty of
Southern African countries. . . The reason poor
countries now find themselves holding a begging
bowl is because of the last `gift' they accepted
from the U.S. and EU: structural adjustment
policies. . . The notion of `saving lives
through food aid' rings a little hollow if we
remember this; there were, prior to structural
adjustment, ample ways to feed the people,
without relying on frankenfood. Southern
African countries didn't have much of a choice
about becoming beggars, but they can choose what
to do next. . ."

3. Comment: Publication of this article shows
continuing official Zimbabwean hostility toward
biotech food in spite of the government's
decision to accept it (with conditions) in food
assistance.

SULLIVAN

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