Potential Hot Spots: January 28, 2003


We dont usually cover food riots, but the situation in Zambia is deteriorating, and this report has an interesting wrinkle. Zambias Southern Province is experiencing a terrible famine. However, some international agencies have refused to distribute genetically modified corn (most of which comes from US donors). There isnt enough normal corn to meet the needs. Genetic modification doesnt matter to the hungry, at least in the town of Sizanongwe. 6,000 starving people attacked a government storage facility and took 4,600 fifty-kilo sacks of corn after they heard the government intended to take the grain back to Lusaka. A subsequent report said that not all of the looted corn  was the genetically modified variety. Zambia has a ban on all genetically modified food (which some analysts believe is a sop to European Union opinion). It also has around two million people on the verge of starvation.


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