Agriculture

Corn grain mould used as pesticide

In the early 1960s more than 100,000 turkeys died in Britain of cancer of the liver. Eventually, researchers identified mouldy peanut flour from Brazil containing large amounts of aflatoxin as the cause of this mysterious 'turkey X' disease. Even today the toxin is regarded as one of the most virulent natural carcinogenic substances. The tasteless toxin is produced by the mould aspergillus flavus . It grows in hot, arid regions, in the south-west of the US and in many regions of Africa and Asia. In Third World countries, particularly, this dangerous paintbrush-shaped mould is ubiquitous. This...

GM battle in danger of trampling Africa

Tewolde Egziabher Tewolde Egziabher argues that developing nations must put in place biosafety systems based on the precautionary principle, and develop the capacity - no matter how costly - to deal with the risks of genetically modified crops. The author of the text below is director general of Ethiopia's Environmental Protection Authority, and was chief African negotiator at the Cartagena Protocol. [ADDIS ABABA] As the world's attention was focused firmly on the Cancún World Trade Organisa

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