Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Vatican and GM foods

Seems like the Vatican is ready to endorse the use of GM foods, particularly in the third world. Some bishops in S. Africa and elsewhere seem to be unhappy about this development.

I have a little (and I mean a little) sympathy for the African bishops' claims about the property rights of the seeds, but these are practical problems to overcome. Why not embrace the technology and imagine a future where Africa is the world's hotbed of GM food development? Why can't GM seeds be developed in African labs and universities? Why can't African companies dominate the global market for GM foods. Why does no one ever imagine a future where Africa is the leader in something other than pestilence, death and dependence?

I can see no advantage to keeping Africa as some form of pre-industrial backwater.