Misinformation kills

Zimbabwe (“get behind the fist”) and Zambia have thrown away thousands of tons of much needed corn, leaving people to starve rather than allow them to eat genetically modified foodstuffs.  (Via Instapundit.)

Robert Paarlberg explains:

The overregulation of this technology in Europe and the anxieties felt about it in the United States are not so much a reflection of risks, because there aren’t any documented risks from any GM crops on the market. I explain that reaction through the absence of direct benefit. The technology is directly beneficial to only a tiny number of citizens in rich countries—soybean farmers, corn farmers, a few seed companies, patent holders. Consumers don’t get a direct benefit at all, so it doesn’t cost them anything to drive it off the market with regulations. The problem comes when the regulatory systems created in rich countries are then exported to regions like Africa, where two thirds of the people are farmers, and where they would be the direct beneficiaries.

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