Provision in Global AIDS Bill Promotes U.S. Food Aid, Including Genetically Modified Crops
A provision of the five-year, $15 billion international AIDS bill signed into law by President Bush on Tuesday encourages the African and Caribbean countries receiving HIV/AIDS assistance to also accept U.S. food aid, including genetically modified foods that have been banned by the European Union, the Washington Post reports (Washington Post, 5/29). The law (HR 1298), sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), authorizes $3 billion a year for five years to international HIV/AIDS programs, with up to $1 billion in fiscal year 2004 going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/28). Last week, Bush accused the European Union of exacerbating hunger in Africa with its stance on genetically modified food, according to the Post. Some African countries have not accepted genetically modified food because of the E.U. ban. Rep. Frank Balance (D-N.C.), who sponsored the provision and who represents a district with corn farms, said that he is concerned that HIV/AIDS patients will not receive vital nutrition without U.S. food aid, according to the Post. Administration officials said that Bush did not play a role in crafting the provision but that the White House agrees with the "principle" of providing food aid, according to the Post (Washington Post, 5/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.