Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:45 am
A woman sells bananas at the Kampala Airport. Ugandans eat about a pound of the fruit, on average, per day.
Credit Ronald Kabuubi / AP
While a few states in the U.S. are debating mandatory labels for genetically modified foods, some African nations are considering a bigger question: Should farmers be allowed to plant genetically modified crops at all?
The question carries extra weight in countries like Uganda, where most people are farmers who depend on their own crops for food.
There's a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that's unlike any rice ever seen before. It's yellow. Its backers call it "golden rice." It's been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Egyptian military's been deployed to the streets of Port Said today. Riots erupted in that city last night just northeast of Cairo after a controversial court verdict. At least 25 people have been reported dead. The violence comes amid mass street protests in Egypt against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
Today on the podcast, the story of one of the most destructive and mysterious food shortages in recent memory. Colbert described it on his Threatdown segment:
The global food shortage is finally becoming an important story, because now it is affecting me. Costco and Sam's Club are now both rationing rice. You can't buy more than 80 pounds in a single visit. How am I supposed to make my famous kiddie pool paella?!?
The Obama administration is announcing a major new initiative to boost investments in rural Africa in hopes of lifting millions out of poverty. Several African leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the announcement, which comes as President Obama hosts leaders of the Group of Eight in Maryland. Food security is a key agenda item.