Arnold Kling

Food Fight

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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There is a battle between the U.S. and Europe over genetically modified crops, with starving Africans caught in the middle, according to Steven den Beste.

We in the US have contributed huge amounts of corn, hundreds of thousands of tons. But it's grain which was genetically modified. We in the US have been eating it for years with no ill effect. The WHO says that it is completely harmless to humans. And many of the governments in Africa are refusing to accept that grain because, they say, "it's dangerous" but really because if it enters their countries and some is diverted to seed, then their agriculture would be permanently contaminated by genetic modification and they'd never be able to export to Europe again.

Discussion Question. Is Europe's stance on genetically modified crops driven by concerns over safety or by old-fashioned protectionism of its agricultural interests?

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