WANDILE SIHLOBO: To achieve food security, Africa must not shy away from new technology
The EU’s proposed new policy on genetically engineered crops will have implications for global agriculture
One serious bone of contention in global agriculture in the recent past has been genetically engineered (GE) crops. Much of Africa — with the notable exception of SA — and the EU, have generally opposed the cultivation of GE crops. Meanwhile, the US, Argentina, Brazil and Australia, among others, have embraced GE crops. The arguments of those opposing GE crops have ranged from food sovereignty to biodiversity concerns and doubts over the health aspects of such foods.
But now the EU is re-evaluating its policy on GE crops. On April 29 the European Commission released a study focused on “new genomic techniques”, another way of saying GE. A striking passage, which hints at a potential change of heart, says “the study has confirmed that new genomic technique products have the potential to contribute to sustainable agri-food systems in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy. Any further policy action should aim at enabling new genomic techni...