Equatorial Guinea officially launches Year of Investment 2020 Campaign — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

Equatorial Guinea has kicked off a year-long investment campaign aimed at driving capital investment into the country’s bankable projects; Major U.S. firms have pledged to increase their investment in Equatorial Guinea in 2020, along with Nigerian banking and financial institutions; Notable investment-ready projects include the construction of two modular oil refineries, an ammonia plant, a […]

via Equatorial Guinea officially launches Year of Investment 2020 Campaign — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

The Truth about GMO foods.

Golden Rice – precision enhanced with beta carotene for Vitamin A. Source: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
GMO: Hero or Villian?

Let me explain a few things about the GMO myth/ scam, since a few strong, emotional reactions against GMO crops were brought out by a previous post, Edible GMO cotton could supply protein to 600 million people daily — Genetic Literacy Project . The “NonGMO” food packaging label implies that GMO crops are somehow dangerous, but are they?  Most of the fear is based on propaganda by anti-technology advocacy groups such as Green Peace and “Big Organic” organizations.  Many companies that sell agricultural produce have been intimidated by these groups into adding the “NonGMO” label to their products for fear of bad publicity, protests and reduced sales.  Even products such as salt and water sometimes bear the label, even though they could not possibly have used or contain any GMO crops. This intimidation strategy was adopted by activists when they failed to get the government to require “contains GMO” labels.

What is GMO and why are people afraid of it?  Genetically Modified Organism, GMO, means that gene editing bio-technology has been used to insert or remove a specific gene in the DNA of an organism, (plant, animal or microbe) to enhance or add favorable characteristics, such as added vitamins or protein, insect and disease resistance, enhanced yield or drought resistance; or to remove genes for unfavorable traits such as bitterness or toxins.  The previous post cited above is about removing a gene that produces a toxin in cotton seeds in order to make them available as a much needed high protein food source for man and animals alike.

For example, if a plant lacks a certain needed vitamin, a gene can be added so it produces the vitamin. None of the other characteristics of the plant are changed. Unlike conventional breeding, which crosses or irradiates entire genomes, sometimes with unexpected negative results, GMO only affects the specific trait needed. It’s the difference between a shotgun approach and a precision insertion.

Conventional breeding has been used for centuries to produce the food supply we have today. Cross breeding over generations changed corn from a plant with a few seeds to one yielding the robust ears we know today. Wheat, by similar method has increased yields, reduced time to harvest and  improved disease resistance from the original tall, low yield, disease prone, area-and-season-specific original plant, so that multiple crops can be harvested each year in a variety or environments. Rice has been improved in similar ways.  These improved high yield varieties (HYV) have saved millions of lives.  Beginning in the 1950s this Green Revolution changed countries like India, Pakistan and Mexico from near-starvation, foreign aid crop importers into net exporters.  None of the rights to these high yield varieties have been controlled or retained by “Big Ag” companies or nonprofit organizations.

So, why are GMO improved crops needed?  Precision agriculture, (a better term than GMO), can go beyond conventional means to produce specific changes while leaving the other characteristics untouched.  One special advantage of GMO is that genes from a different species can be inserted to add nutrients or other traits not present in the original varieties.  Golden Rice is a good example of this. By inserting a gene for beta carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, from corn or similar species, the much needed but absent Vitamin A can be produced in rice.  This is very important because Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness and death in people who use rice as the staple foundation of their diets.  An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 vitamin A deficient children go blind each year, half of whom die.

Mother and Child Vitamin A Deficiency, worldwide

 

 

Source: Black, Robert E, “Maternal and child undernutrition: global and regional exposures and health consequences,” Maternal and Child Undernutrition Study Group, Lancet, January 17, 2008

Why Do People Fear GMO? Unfortunately, anti-technology groups, led by Green Peace, have opposed these improvements that could save the lives of millions, against any logical reasoning. They claim that Big Ag companies, specifically targeting Monsanto and later Bayer, retain the patent rights to these crops as a way to control farmers. Stories of low yields, crop failures, suicides of farmers and law suits by corporations against farmers abound;  as are tales of serious allergies, health effects and GMO pollen “infecting” other crops.  When investigated, they are all found to be false, unproven and irreproducible anecdotes aside.  GMO crops are the most thoroughly researched and certified as safe plants on the planet.  Any that are found to cause even mild health reactions are quickly weeded out and rejected.

At present, there are over 40 companies and nonprofit organizations producing precision biotech enhanced plants around the world. Over 40 countries have approved genetically enhanced crops as safe, including the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA.

The rights to most these seeds are freely given away to impoverished peoples, without any strings attached. The seeds can be saved from year to year, so that even control through economic means is false.  Only hybrids require purchasing new seed from the producer each year. Hybrids are crosses between dis-similar varieties that do not breed true in subsequent plantings. GMO crops are not hybrids, and neither are the Green Revolution high yield varieties, which were originally crosses of very similar varieties, that breed true in subsequent plantings.

Environmental groups such as Green Peace have adopted this anti-GMO rhetoric as a cause celebre to cripple modern agriculture, which they oppose on questionable environmental grounds. The European Union has also taken up the banner in order to block agricultural competition to their subsidized farmers by agricultural imports from other countries like the USA,  as well as by poor South and Central American, Asian, and African countries that grow any GMO crops.  The internet is awash with outrageous half-truths, outright lies, and conspiracy theories so that the average person doesn’t know what to believe. Most people will choose the cautious approach and avoid GMO products without really understanding why. Remember, it’s all about economics and ideology, not science or actual harm. Meanwhile, it serves to keep impoverished countries poor, thus furthering the overpopulation and genetic inferiority myths.

European Union Fat Cats keep more nutritious, more disease & drought resistant, higher yield Biotech Foods (GMO) from poor countries by blocking trade if they grow any — Image Credit: Des Moines Register, Feb 1, 2000

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”  —Mark Twain

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“… shake off all Prejudice, nor harbor any favorite opinions: for, if you do, it is not unlikely Fancy will betray you into Error, and make you think you see what you would wish to see. Remember, that Truth alone is the Matter you are in Search after; and if you have been mistaken, let no Vanity reduce you to persist in your Mistake.

From chapter XV of Henry Baker’s Of Microscopes and the Discoveries Made Thereby, 1785.

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Additional Information:

Saving Africa from Lies that Kill, Chapter 11, “The Green Revolution and Precision Agriculture …,” has more information that could not be included here for brevity.

Over 110 Nobel Laureates sent a letter to Green Peace re: their support of Precision Agriculture in general and particularly Golden Rice.  See “Laureates Letter Supporting Precision Agriculture (GMOs)”

Check out the Genetic Literacy Project, Golden Rice Project and ISAAA, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications for databases, facts and news articles.

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Please remember to sign up on my blog at https://savingafricafromliesthatkill.com/  to receive email updates, and like my page on Facebook Comments are welcome.

My new book, Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available at bookstores and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, in print and eBook. If you like the book, please review it at any of the above online sites.  Thank you.

Updated from original post  Nov. 15, 2018

If Africa adopts biotech crops, will anti-GMO Europe retaliate against the continent’s most important trading partner? — Genetic Literacy Project

How would Europe react if GMO crops became commonplace in Africa?

via If Africa adopts biotech crops, will anti-GMO Europe retaliate against the continent’s most important trading partner? — Genetic Literacy Project

Nigeria gears up for two GMO crops in the 2020 planting season — Genetic Literacy Project

Nigeria made significant progress in agricultural biotechnology in 2019, approving two genetically modified (GM) crops — pest-resistant Bt cotton and cowpea — that are very important to the country’s economic development and food value chain. Now it is gearing up to get those crops in the ground for the 2020 planting season.The adoption of Bt […]

via Nigeria gears up for two GMO crops in the 2020 planting season — Genetic Literacy Project

USAID launches ‘Water for Agriculture’ Activity promotes livelihoods for farmers in the Northeast — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a three-year, $8 million Cooperative Agreement to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) that will boost the livelihoods of crop and livestock farmers in the conflict-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe by improving the water supply in crisis-affected zones in northeast Nigeria. ‘Water for Agriculture’ will also […]

via USAID launches ‘Water for Agriculture’ Activity promotes livelihoods for farmers in the Northeast — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

African Development Bank approves €8 million technical assistance grant to support preparation of Ruzizi IV Hydro Power Project in the Great Lakes region — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

The Board of Directors of African Development Bank Group (https://www.AfDB.org) has approved an €8 million grant drawn from the European Union’s Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support the preparation of the Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project. The plant will be situated on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and will supply […]

via African Development Bank approves €8 million technical assistance grant to support preparation of Ruzizi IV Hydro Power Project in the Great Lakes region — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-Colonialist

African Development Bank caves to UN and Environmentalist Pressure and abandons electrification goals.
See excerpts from this TownHall.com article below.  Read the full article by clicking here.

Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-colonialist

Paul Driessen
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Posted: Dec 28, 2019 12:01 AM

. . .

Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-colonialistSource: AP Photo/Stephen Wandera

Editor’s note: This column is authored by David Wojick. 
Africa has the world’s lowest electrification rate. Its power consumption per capita is just 613 kilowatt-hours per year, compared to 6,500 kWh in Europe and 13,000 in the United States, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina observed in July 2017. That’s 9.4% of EU and 4.7% of US electricity consumption. It’s equivalent to Americans having electricity only 1 hour a day, 8 hours a week, 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times, for a few minutes, hours or days at a stretch.It’s actually even worse than that. Excluding significantly electrified South Africa, sub-Sahara Africans consume an almost irrelevant 181 kWh of electricity per capita – 1.4% of the average American’s!

In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million people have no electricity, and over 700 million rely on wood, grass and dung for cooking and heating. The region is home to 16% of the world’s population, and 53% of those without electricity. By 2050, its urban populations could increase by 600 million.

Determined to transform the “dark continent,” the AfDB launched a $12-billion New Deal on Energy in 2017 and a Light Up and Power Africa initiative in July 2018. It frequently emphasized that access to sufficient supplies of reliable, affordable modern energy – including fossil fuels – is critical for the continent’s social and economic development. Without energy, it is impossible to create jobs, increase productivity, reduce inequality, improve people’s health and wellbeing, or end poverty.

The bank’s lofty goal for its energy New Deal is 100% access to electricity in urban areas, and 95% in rural areas, by 2025. In July 2017, Mr. Adesina told the African Union Summit he was excited that “Japan has answered our call” to “adopt a balanced energy mix” that includes “its ultra-super critical clean coal technologies” that remove sulfur, nitrogen oxides and particulates, while greatly reducing CO2 emissions.

In 2018, the bank approved seed money for a Nigerian coal project and geared up to finance a 350MW coal plant in Senegal. It also initiated plans for a $2-billion coal-fired power station in the Kenya’s port city of Lamu, after the IMF, World Bank and other western lenders rebuffed Kenya.

But then Mr. Adesina and the AfDB caved in to carbon colonialist pressure. The bank now says almost nothing about coal or even natural gas. Its new themes include: responding to global concerns about climate change, gradually adopting a “low-carbon and sustainable growth path,” significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and transitioning to “green growth” and “clean renewable energy,”

In September 2019, the bank announced that it planned to begin scrapping coal-fired power plants all across Africa, build “the largest solar zone” in the world, and pull funding for the Lamu power plant. “We’re getting out of coal,” Mr. Adesina said. “Coal is the past, and renewable energy is the future.”

So the AfDB has joined the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and other Multilateral anti-Development Banks in caring more about climate alarmism and avoiding criticism from the likes of Greta, the perpetually aggrieved and angry Grinch of Christmas 2019 – than they do about safeguarding the lives, livelihoods, health and living standards of hundreds of millions of electricity-deprived Africans.

This 180-degree flip-flop is delusional, dysfunctional and disingenuous. For many, it will be lethal.

. . .

Finally, banishing fossil fuels (and nuclear), and focusing on pseudo-renewable energy will mean millions of children and parents will continue to suffer and die needlessly every year from diseases of poverty and energy deprivation. This eco-manslaughter at the hands of climate activists and banks must not continue.

. . .

Read the full article here.

 

Kenyan Cabinet Approves Commercial Planting of Bt Cotton — Crop Biotech Update

The Kenyan Cabinet, chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has approved the commercial planting of Bt cotton after the 5-year field trials showed positive results. The biotech crop is expected to increase the cotton production of Kenyan farmers and thus boost the manufacturing pillar of the Big 4 Agenda where it is stated that Kenya aims…

via Kenyan Cabinet Approves Commercial Planting of Bt Cotton — Crop Biotech Update