'African consumers need basics like access to clean water and safe food not GMOs' - Amadou Kanoute
Consumers International bring GMOs to G8
Amadou Kanoute, Director of Consumers International Regional Office for Africa, will be speaking in Edinburgh on 6 July about debt relief and foreign aid, and he will attend the G8 in Gleneagles (7-8 July).
Amadou led the march at the 'Make Poverty History' rally (2 July) with cardinals and Bianca Jagger, amongst others. At 'Make Poverty History' Consumers International (CI) had a stand and campaigned for trade rules that will benefit Africa, and food security for Africa - not genetically modified organisms (GMOs). CI also asked members of the public their opinion on GMOs.
Amadou Kanoute, Director of CI Regional Office for Africa says: 'Some companies and governments are trying to promote GM as a miracle solution to world hunger. But the long term effects of GMOs on human health and the environment are unknown. African consumers need basics like access to clean water and safe food not GMOs.'
89% say no to GMOs
CI staff asked 79 people who passed by the CI stand, at 'Make Poverty History' rally, their opinion on GM. Respondents could 'agree', 'disagree' or say 'don’t know' to 10 statements about GM. The opinion of this non-representative sample reflects results from public opinion surveys. 89% of respondents said they would prefer to eat food that has NOT been genetically modified and 97% agreed that all GM food should be labelled. Many of the people asked (57%) feel poorly informed or not at all informed about GM suggesting the need for more public awareness raising (see full results in note for editors below).
Interestingly, none of the respondents agreed that it is O.K. if GM food is only safety tested by the GM food producer, and 92% thought that GM food should be independently safety tested (e.g. by universities, independent research centres, government, regulatory bodies).
CI is campaigning for independent safety testing of GMOs and David Cuming, Campaign manager says:
'We still don't know if GM food is safe for people to eat. The scientific community is still divided. At the moment only GM food producers test GM food, but CI believes that GM food must undergo independent safety assessments before it is sold to consumers. Our food is too important to take any risks.'
Note to editors:
Amadou Kanoute is available for interview in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 6 July 05 and in Gleneagles, Scotland on 7-8 July 05. To arrange an interview please call: Kaye Stearman + 44 (0) 7985 023 005 (or Heidi Ullrich + 44 (0) 7968 844 778).
Amadou Kanoute will be speaking at 'Will debt relief and increased foreign aid make poverty history in Africa?' in Teviot Row House, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ on 6 July 05 (10.30am through 5pm) http://www.woni.org.uk/cms/index.php?id=7,11,0,0,1,0 and he will be attending the G8, Gleneagles (7-8 July 05).
To arrange an interview with David Cuming, or for more information on GM, please call Julia Crosfield +44 (0) 20 7226 6663 ext: 212.
About Consumers International
Consumers International... currently represents over 250 organisations in 115 countries.
For more information, see: www.consumersinternational.org
image: Amadou Kanoute, CI Regional Office for Africa leads 'Make Poverty History' march in Edinburgh, Scotland (2 July 05)
image: Amadou Kanoute talks to press, at CI stand, Make Poverty History, Edinburgh (2 July 05)
Results from CI questionnaire
CI asked 79 people who passed by the CI stand, at 'Make Poverty History' rally, what they thought about GMOs.
- 5 people feel very well informed about GM, 29 well informed, 41 poorly informed, and 4 not at all informed
- 70 people (89%) agreed they would prefer to eat food that had NOT been genetically modified (6 disagree, 3 don't know)
- 77 people (97%) agreed all GM food should be labelled (0 disagree, 2 don't know)
- 36 people (46%) disagreed that GM food is safe (5 agree, 35 don't know)
- 71 people (92%) agreed GM food should be safety tested for effects on human health (1 disagree, 5 don’t know)
- 71 people agreed GM food should be independently safety tested (0 disagree, 2 don't know).
- 0 people agreed it is OK if GM food is only safety tested by the GM food producer (68 disagree, 3 don't know).
- 73 people (94%) agreed it is important that GM seeds are prevented from spreading in the environment (3 disagree, 2 don't know)
- 57 people (73%) agreed they would like the place where they live to be a GM-free zone (6 disagree, 15 don't know).