Zimbabwe Has Solved All Its Problems Except…

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Never mind that Zimbabwe's inflation rate has dropped (yes, that's right, dropped) to only 993.6 percent. Never mind that there is no free press, or that the country is governed by a doddering insane octagenerian madman. And of course, never mind that 30 percent of its people are malnourished. Forget all that. The Zimbabwean government has time to worry about…yes, that's right…the menace of biotech crops and food.

According to the Harare Herald:

COUNTRIES in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) should mobilise resources for their national biosafety systems to enhance their capacity to test for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, stock feed and seed, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.

The Minister of Science and Technology Development, Dr Olivia Muchena, said this was important to help the region safeguard against the unintentional placing of GMOs on the market and the environment.

Whole sad heartbreakingly absurd story here.

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  1. This doctor is called the The Minister of Science and Technology Development?!?

    Sounds to me like he wants to keep Zimbabwe in the dark ages.

    The anti-biotech folks are crazy. I can see no real reason to oppose such things, especially if you’re a poor, undernourished country.

    I feel for the poor bastards living in that country.

  2. I guess all of the modern staple crops are out, seeing as they were modified at the genomic level through selective breeding.

  3. That is just so terribly sad.

  4. Poor Zimbabwe. Things just keep going wrong for that country.

  5. That is so depressing. Stupid “greens” screwing over the 3rd world with their idiotic concepts.

  6. Robert Mugabe: the King of Hey, Look Over There!

  7. Timothy: Crossbreeding is phenotype manipulation, not genotype manipulation!

    If only we had the :eng101: or :science: smileys…

  8. The New Left has been pushing its dumb ideas on Africa for at least 40 years with disastrous results.

    Nothing new here.

  9. I once saw a great (imho) political cartoon featuring a fat hippie telling a starving african, “You don’t want that ear of corn, it’s been genetically modified.”

  10. Bristow: Bullshit. Crossbreeding is so genotype manipulation: phenotype manipulations do not get passed to the offspring (define “phenotype” and “genotype”, while you’re at it). May I suggest a remedial biology class?

  11. Holly,

    They still don’t “need” biotech crops.

    Does anybody think the hunger problem in Zimbabwe will be one whit better if the political and economic systems stay the same, but farmers are allowed to plant Monstanto seed corn?

  12. Nothing new here.

    It’s one of the great mysteries, ain’t it?

    http://lampoon.rwinters.com/NL052-July1974.jpg

  13. Is there anyone who would deny that Rhodesia under Ian Smith was a paradise, even for its black citizens, by comparison with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe?

  14. “phenotype manipulations do not get passed to the offspring”

    Since the term “phenotype” refers to “the expression of genetic information in an organism,” that would be a very neat trick.

    I’d suggest not spitting venom at people whose argument you clearly don’t understand.

  15. Poor Zimbabwe. Things just keep going wrong for that country.

    Becca, you almost make it sound as if things are happening ‘to’ Zimbabwe, like earthquakes and tidal waves happen ‘to’ a country.

  16. Mugabe is what happened to Zimbabwe.

    Everything else is a consequence.

  17. All crops are GMO. The only difference is some is modified by random processes by know-little farmers, and some intentionally modified and tested in labs by know-a-helluva-lot-more scientists.

    Take your pick.

  18. But Chad, it’s those scientists and their hubris that will be the downfall of the human race. To think that we can control our environment is ridiculous. Nature reigns supreme!

    /tongue-in-cheek

  19. Is there anyone who would deny that Rhodesia under Ian Smith was a paradise, even for its black citizens, by comparison with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe?

    Yeah, about half the population of Berkeley, CA.

    To modern hard-core leftists, any native dictator, no matter how bloodthirsty, violent or corrupt he may be, is far, far better than any European colonialist, no matter how benevolent, enlightened or competent he may be.

    As the current situation in Zimbabwe shows, it’s all about ideology. Results are secondary. The rapacious white farmers have been driven off; therefore, things are now much better for the poor, even though they have no food to eat.

  20. Regardless of all the bickering… most of the “organic” crops nowadays have been directly geneticly modified, through mutation breeding.

    They have been geneticly modified just as much as the stuff from Montsanto. Genetic mutation has been deliberatly induced in the products (by radiation, chemicals, etc.).

    The only difference between what the Greens call “GM” and “Organic” is that the genetic modifications to Organic products were random and indiscriminate, where as the genetic modifications to GM crops were careful and delibrate.

    But the genes of most “organic” crops most certainly have been modified by humans… and not just by selective breeding.

  21. “phenotype manipulations do not get passed to the offspring”

    Since the term “phenotype” refers to “the expression of genetic information in an organism,” that would be a very neat trick.

    I’d suggest not spitting venom at people whose argument you clearly don’t understand.

    I agree Cynical B was being unreasonably snotty, but he was basically correct: Phenotype changes are not passed on to the next generation.

    Roughly speaking, phenotype is the product of gene expression, while genotype is the gene itself.

  22. Captin Holly,

    “The rapacious white farmers have been driven off; therefore, things are now much better for the poor, even though they have no food to eat.”

    I double dog dare you to provide a link to anyone not working for the Mugabe government who says this.

    I triple dog dare you.

    I certainly haven’t seen anyone do so. I think you’re arguing with the liberal in your head.

  23. This kind of thing just makes me want to tear my hair out, especially after just finishing off reading, “Mao, the Unknown Story” by Jung Chang. Mugabe, was heavily courted by Mao, by the way. Reading about these megalomaniacle geniuses in manipulation and cruelty is like watching a train wreck in slow motion – you can see the blood and bones meshing with metal but you can do no more than yell ‘stop’ at the top of your lungs.

    It’s Kaliyuga all over again….

  24. the country is governed by a doddering insane octagenerian madman…

    At least we don’t have leftwing assholes fawning over the guy like they did with Julius Nyerere…

  25. Evolution in action.

  26. Is the “joe” on this thread our usual joe? I ask this because I find myself agreeing with him strongly. Certainly a new one for me.
    While I agree that the last thing Zimbabwe needs to be doing is banning GM crops, Joe makes the very good point that it wouldn’t matter anyway. The problem does not have its origins in the natural world. This is no different than the “bad weather” that is causing North Korea to starve while South Korea thrives, or the shortages that made East Berliners wait in lines for hours to get some stale bread while their brothers living 20 feet to the west had everything they wanted.
    Amazing how collectivist dictatorships always seem to have the worst luck with weather/soil/insects/”sabotage”.

  27. The remarkable thing is that this state of affairs is precisely what Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation are most in favor of.

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