About 100,000 tons of World Food Program aid is being held at the Port of Sudan by government officials who contend that the food is genetically modified. The food aid is mostly sorghum wheat donated by the United States and meant for distribution in Darfur.

According to the WFP it has been certified by independent laboratories as not genetically modified.

“We had it tested by a French laboratory along with Canadian split peas which the Sudanese are also objecting to, and neither food consignment is GM. In any case, there is no GM sorghum on the market, it doesn’t exist,” said the WFP’s Caroline Hurford.

News of the hold up comes as the new head of the WFP, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Josette Sheeran, visited Sudan on Wednesday. Perhaps Khartoum seeks to embarrass a key member state pushing for UN peacekeepers in Darfur. Whatever the reason, a responsible government would not hold hostage aid intended to feed their own citizens.

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