Africa, GMOs and Western interests | DW Documentary

DW Documentary Dec 21, 2022

Across Africa, lobbyists, philanthropists and businesspeople are working to open up the continent to GMOs. They argue that GMOs can provide a miracle solution to two of Africa’s biggest problems: famine and malaria.

One of the main supporters of the movement is Bill Gates, one of the world’s wealthiest individuals and founder of the most powerful philanthropic foundation in history. The film shows how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation became the main funder of genetic experiments underway on the continent.

Discreetly and beyond the reach of critical voices, scientists are conducting research on the genetic modification of cassava plants and mosquitoes as a solution to the malaria problem.

The role of the EU here is an ambiguous one: Whereas the bloc was initially skeptical about genetic engineering because of the potential risks to health and the environment, now the EU is working together with the Microsoft founder’s nonprofit conducting experiments that would be banned in Europe.

Genetic modification in Africa is about power, but it is also about money. And this puts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the firing line: by financing genetic engineering experiments in Africa, the organization is playing into the hands of big western agribusiness.

“Africa, GMOs and Western Interests” shines a light on the brave new world of philanthrocapitalism, where humanitarian aid has a stubborn aftertaste of business, famine programs are often a pretext to introduce GMOs and public investments can serve private interests.

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