||Faced with drought and the prospect of widespread starvation, in August of 2002 the government of Zambia made the decision that they would no longer accept the food aid the United States was offering because it contained grains that were genetically modified. The Zambian government's decision was based on several factors, among them that genetically modified food was unhealthy, harmful, and even potentially poisonous for humans, and that allowing genetically modified food aid into the country could lead to cross-contamination of crops, which they believed would make any produce they chose to export unacceptable to the European Union. At the same time, Malawi looked at similar factors and made the opposite decision, that they would allow genetically modified food aid on the condition that it be milled into flour before entering the country. Using Robert Putnam's framework of two level game theory, this dissertation explores and explains the factors that contributed to the two different decisions. I hypothesize that there were three essential factors: first, pressure from the U.S., the WFP, and other international institutions caused quite different reactions in Zambia and Malawi. Second, domestic civil society played a role by acting as a voice for the people, though their message was at times mixed. Third, other domestic considerations such as concerns about effects on people's health, the damage to the countries' ecosystem, and public opinion all played a role.