TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- Former U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter said on Friday that genetically modified (GM) crops could be of huge benefit to Africa and it was grievous that the idea had spread that such crops were dangerous.
Carter said in a speech in Tokyo that biotechnology offered the chance to produce crops that were almost immune to disease, helping to meet "the most basic human right of all -- food to eat."
"It has been very grievous to me ... to hear some either misguided or deliberately lying people in Europe, to propagate the idea that somehow genetically modified seeds are poisonous," said Carter, himself a peanut and cotton farmer.
"This is not true at all and has never been proven in any way," said he added. "This has resulted in misleading sometimes gullible and ill-informed African, and other leaders, that we cannot accept these seeds," he said.
With more people adequately fed, there would be less disparity between rich and poor, he said.
"The results of this disparity are the root causes of most of the world's unresolved problems...including violent conflict, often causing the threat of terrorism," he said.
Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, won acclaim during his four years as president from 1977 by brokering a peace deal between Egypt and Israel.
Since leaving office he has worked to improve life in developing countries and as a crisis negotiator.
He was in Tokyo for events sponsored by the privately funded Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Africa Association, an Africa-linked non-governmental organization.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml