GENET archive


US dumps GMOs as food aid

Text of report by Burundi news agency Net Press on 5th September
Bujumbura, 5th September: The director of the Africa regional office of the international organization for consumers has addressed a letter to the US president informing the latter of his concern about the dispatching by two American companies, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill For Humanitarian Aid For Africa, of genetically-modified maize which will have negative effects on environment. Also the maize is not labelled, he added.
He also said the products constituted a danger for the heath of the consumers. He therefore asked the US president to carry out an investigation on the export to Africa of that genetically-modified maize.
In the same vein, the Association of Burundi Consumers [Abuco] has just addressed a letter to the US ambassador to Burundi informing him of similar fears.
Abuco asked the envoy to convey these concerns to President Clinton, all the more so because the maize had probably been sent to Burundi following the "socio-political" crisis and because "that aid" was therefore destined to Burundians.
Abuco said "consumers should not be deprived of the right for information and choice, particularly on a product whose harmlessness to consumers' health has not yet been proved and whose negative effects on environment are obvious".
Abuco chairman Mr Nestor Bikorimana told Net Press that it was suspicious that some products were not labelled. Indeed how come products are labelled when they are sent elsewhere, which is not the case for "these aid packages" for Africa?
The Abuco is asking Mr Bill Clinton to launch an investigation to enlighten "the countries to where the aid is sent, and to ensure that all food aid to Africa are clearly labelled to allow the consumer to enjoy his right for information and choice".
Source: Net Press news agency, Bujumbura, in French 1834 gmt 05 Sep 00.
BBC Worldwide Monitoring/ (c) BBC 2000.
Gill Lacroix
Biotechnology Coordinator
Friends of the Earth Europe
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men".  (Martin Luther King, Jr.)