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July 20, 2000


Dr Tewolde's letter


Dr Tewolde is concerned that rural poverty in Africa has become a driving
force in the European GMO debate. This is a fact of life in development
policy. Attempts to eradicate poverty are the main activity of many
development agencies in Europe, and a major selling point to the taxpayers
funding these efforts.

And whatever the cause of poverty in Africa, more food, and lower food
prices, will help the poor (and the record harvests of high-tech North
American farmers helped by multinationals will further reduce world food
prices this year).

It should be of far greater concern to Dr Tewolde that strenuous efforts of
a wide range of busybody NGOs in developed countries are trying to undermine
any use whatever of GM crops in Africa and elsewhere (as they previously
tried with Green Revolution technology). They still see Africa as a `Garden
of Eden' - all National Parks and organic gardening. This is massive
neo-colonialist meddling in the future of food supply in Africa, and of the
most unacceptable, unaccountable, kind. The future food supply of Africa is
being jeopardized by the fund-raising antics (or worse) of fat cat NGOs in
developed countries: why not a letter of complaint against these parasitic
NGOs for us all to sign and send to our governments? I'd rather trust the
multinationals - at least they are exporting usable technology, rather than
doctrine, and need farmers as future customers, rather than outdoor

Dave Wood