Richard Boucher, US state department spokesman, yesterday [Wednesday] slammed Zambia’s refusal to allow genetically modified food aid into the country despite many of its people being on the verge of starvation.

“The United States government deeply regrets the decision by the government of Zambia not to accept food aid that we have offered. We believe this decision is likely to place the citizens of Zambia at a greater risk of starvation. In making this decision, we believe the government of Zambia has disregarded the scientific evidence and is rejecting the advice […] that accepting this safe maize to feed its hungry people would help avert human catastrophe.”

He reiterated the US position, namely that it is ready to provide food assistance if Zambia relaxes its opposition to the GM maize on offer, reported Agence France Presse.

Zambia is refusing to accept aid that may include genetically modified crops as it fears it will contaminate its non-GM crops and thereby jeopardise exports to areas such as the EU.