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25/10/2007

GM crops and antibiotic resistance...

Did GM Crops Create Antibiotic Drug-Resistance In SA?

By Adriana Stuijt
10-23-7

In 1999, when South Africa became one of the first countries in the world to publicly introduce large-scale farming of genetically- manipulated food crops, the country's 'Safe Food Coalition' spokesman Angus Durran raised major concerns over the health issues surrounding genetically engineered food - then a brand-new, untested technology. For several years before that, South Africa was one of the testing-grounds for these Monsanto crops and set up its own brand, SAGENE to market the GM-seeds in the rest of Africa.

"The types of genes and proteins introduced into high tech food crops could have dangerous side-effects, as has been shown in a well-documented case where a food allergen from Brazil nuts was transferred to soybeans through gene splicing," he said.
"There were concerns that bacteria in the human gut may become resistant to antibiotics from marker genes in such plants."

His concerns were ignored and indeed laughed at by South African government officals. Today, South Africa is listed sixth as the world's major producers of genetically-manipulated crops - from huge plantings of corn, wheat and soybeans to cotton -- yet the country still displays very few warnings to this effect on its labelling of these products - which are also exported extensively to the rest of southern Africa.

See recent article about the South African GM-crop programme:
http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=19012&

Today, South African scientists also published a paper in which they directly accused the World Health Organisation of "manufacturing" the uniquely-South African killer strain of Extensively drug-resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) -- which is now killing many thousands of people in SA in a seemingly unstoppable epidemic spreading rapidly throughout southern Africa. For the past decade, these scientists had been tracking the South African TB- strain's increasing drug-resistance and say that this is due because of the WHO's distribution of new anti-TB drugs to SA without their first being tested for drug resistance.

see:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/200...o-xti101907.php

My question is this: 'Is it a coincidence that the world's biggest and deadliest epidemic of XDR-TB also occurs in the very same country to first grow Monsanto's genetically-manipulated food crops and cottons on a large scale since 1999?

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