JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe will not accept genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs as part of mostly U.S. aid shipments to its famine-threatened population, its agriculture minister, Joseph Made, said on Saturday.
"We do not accept genetically modified material into Zimbabwe," Made told Reuters in Johannesburg following the arrival of President Robert Mugabe for the Earth Summit.
Of six southern African nations threatened by famine, Zambia has also rejected GM grain. Most of it comes from the United States, which is providing the bulk of food aid in the region.
Zambia has said it shares European fears that GM is not safe and wants its own scientists to probe the issue. Western nations have accused Mugabe's government of hurting output in southern Africa's "breadbasket" through land seizures from white farmers.
Asked if he was prepared to discuss the aid issue with U.S. officials at the
Earth Summit, Made said: "There is nothing to discuss...You can't use the Zimbabwean
population as guinea pigs...There is no way we can bring that material into Zimbabwe,
which is a very clean environment."
Copyright 2002 Reuters Ltd