George Bush: Europe must accept GM food

From a speech by the United States President to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Oour world produces more than enough food to feed its 6 billion people. Yet tens of millions are at risk of starvation, and millions more lack water fit for drinking. This crisis is concentrated in Africa. We have the ability to confront this suffering. And we accept the duty, a old as the Scriptures, to comfort the afflicted and to feed the hungry.

America is already the largest provider of food relief, giving more than $1.4bn in global emergency food aid, and one-half of all contributions to the World Food Programme. And we are determined to do more. I've committed to a nearly $1bn initiative to provide clean drinking water to 50 million people in the developing world.

We can greatly reduce the long-term problem of hunger in Africa by applying the latest developments of science. By widening the use of new high-yield bio-crops and unleashing the power of markets, we can dramatically increase agricultural productivity and feed more people across the continent.

Yet our partners in Europe are impeding this effort. They have blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears. This has caused many African nations to avoid investing in biotechnologies, for fear their products will be shut out of European markets. European governments should join - not hinder - the great cause of ending hunger in Africa.

We must also give farmers in Africa, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere a fair chance to compete in world markets. When wealthy nations subsidise their agricultural exports, it prevents poor countries from developing their own agricultural sectors. So I propose that all developed nations, including our partners in Europe, eliminate subsidies on exports to developing countries so that they can produce more food to export and more food to feed their own people.