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Retarded Europe

Dick Ziggers
An article in one of the main opinion magazines in the Netherlands caught my eye recently with the header "Retarded Europe". It dealt with the aversion Europe has for GM-crops and how environmental groups hamper the fight against hunger in Africa. What has that to do with animal feed?

An article in one of the main opinion magazines in the Netherlands caught my eye with the header "Retarded Europe". It dealt with the aversion Europe has for GM-crops and how environmental groups hamper the fight against hunger in Africa. What has that to do with animal feed?

Well, if there is enough food for people than there is less competition for raw materials for animal feed. Furthermore the organisation of European biotech companies, EuropaBio, at the Biovision congress in Lyon, France recently concluded that Europe has created an unbridgeable gap regarding GM-crops.

On a world-wide scale the production of GM-crops is doubling annually (especially in China), with the exception of Europe. Here the clock has stopped, mainly due to environmental groups warning us for Frankenstein food.

For almost ten years now no new GM-crop has been approved in the EU. It is not only Greenpeace and friends that hamper new introductions, there is also red tape and unwilling governments that ensure the EU becomes an underdeveloped continent.

Africa also falls short

There is another continent where the introduction of GM-crops is slow and that is Africa. This continent would be ideal for modified crops, since yields are only a quarter of what they could be.

According to a professor at the university of Venda in Nigeria GM-crops are perfect for poor countries and poor farmers.

This is in contrast to the "green revolution" of the seventies where fertilisers and pesticides increased yields dramatically, but were unaffordable for the poor farmers in Africa. It required too much capital investment.

GM-seeds, however, are relatively cheap and still ensure higher yields, because they are more insect resistant and thus need less pesticide. Farmers in Africa see that they can harvest larger crops and earn a better income without using these hazardous pesticides.

The objections of the European greenies against the use of GM-crops are also reaching Africa. Many scientists had their education in the country of their former colonizer and were infected with the arguments of the European environmental movement and thus block development in their home country accordingly.

Another illustrative fact is that European supermarkets refuse meat from South African farms if it has been fed with GM-corn.

In contrast: European cows are fed US corn of which everybody knows it is genetically altered.

The article in the magazine ended with the conclusion that Europe usually talks big about solidarity and ethics, but in practice counteracts the fight against hunger in and the development of Africa. I call that retarded.

3 comments

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    William Kanitz -ScoringAg

    Whether Europe has created an unbridgeable gap regarding GM-crops or not is not the question. The question is whether the feed and its ingredients can be traced back to the source and be verified within a couple of seconds as to origin tests ,containers used, including lab tests to protect the purchaser from unannounced additives or compounds even though the products has many sources of commingling ,handlers ,and movements from being exported . With the correct web-based database traceback is easy and fast.

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    Dwayne B.

    Obviously, William Kanitz is not familiar with the harvesting of any grain! Tracing a needle in a haystack presents less of a challenge than tracing grains. After grain crops are harvested from a field they are collected in Coops and stored with grain harvest from all farmers in one region. When those grains are sold, they are railed, or trucked, to processing plants where they are further mixed with other grains from other regions, and the cycle goes on and on. Traceability of meat, eggs, fish, produce, etc. present much of a challenge. Grains are very much impossible under current methods. And let me guess, who's going to pay for all these propossed traceability programs? The farmer/rancher who buys at retail and sells at wholesale? There is nothing fast and easy about any agricultural based traceback.

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    William Kanitz -ScoringAg

    You need to come from a agriculture grain growing operation to understand how traceback of grains would work ,I have. You also have to have some of the best UNIX and Cold Fusion code engineers in the world to write the algorithms of grain commingling for full traceback,We Do. ScoringAg database web-based traceback system is worldclass. The ScoringAg database uses every handlers information to produce full records of commingling and traceability. Everyone along the way to retail pays their fair share of a grain record,even the transporter. Records can be displayed at the speed of google. Technology does change for the better for food anf feed safety.

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