South Africa Should License Research Lab on Genetically Modified Sorghum
Prof. Florence Wambugu, a renowned agricultural biotechnologist and the founder of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International, is currently entangled in a row with the South African government over her plan to set up a multimillion dollar research laboratory and greenhouses to develop genetically modified sorghum.
Prof. Wambugu has received a huge grant – US$415 million – from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop genetically modified crops, which have proved essential in alleviating food insecurity. Her choice of South Africa stems from the fact that its the only African country with Biosafety laws.
South Africas early enactment of biosafety laws has made it the preferred destination for biotechnology investors. To now hear a country thats gained international reputation for its friendly policies towards biotechnology is attempting to block an African scientist from advancing a biotechnology cause is appalling.
In justifying its decision to suspend Prof. Wambugus project, South Africas agricultural regulatory agencies have claimed that the genetically...