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07.08.2004 General News

Thousands Lambast Kufuor

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Out of 13,000 references in Burkina Faso and Genetically Modified (GM) food on the internet, close to 10,000 condemn Mr J.A. Kufuor of Ghana and other West African leaders for favouring the use of GM food.

Thousands of organisations individuals around the world have taken issue with the Ghanaian President for saying that he is in favour of using genetically modified crops.

During a three-day conference on genetically modified food in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadugou, Mr Kufour said there is urgency to embrace bio-technology because with traditional methods and overexploitation, fertile African lands are being depleted.

Mr Kufour was supported by other West African leaders like Niger's President Mamadou Tandja, who said that he is excited about the prospect of the new crops, but added that he wants to make sure Africans get the financial ability and the technical training to use genetically modified production techniques.

The host of the conference, President Blaise Campaore, said using genetically modified products is like testing new medicines. President Campaore said research needs to be done locally, and that the safety of the new products will always be a concern event as he insists that African cannot lag behind the rest of the world and ignore scientific progress. The main conference organiser, Under-Secretary of Agriculture, J.B. Penn, said the United States will help Africa fight hunger by sharing scientific knowledge and giving scholarships to African researchers.

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