GMOs

GMOs

The chicanery behind GM non-commercial ‘orphan crops’ and rice for Africa

This paper focuses on research and development (R&D) relevant to non-commercial so-called ‘orphan crops’ in Africa—cassava, sorghum, sweet potato, pigeon pea and millet —as well as one commercial crop, rice. This paper should be read in conjunction with work already produced on GM banana (Schnurr, 2014) and GM cowpea (ACB, 2015). These non- commercial crops as well as rice are mainly carbohydrate crops that constitute staple food for African populations. The intention of this paper is to place information and new knowledge in the public domain.

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APPEAL AGAINST MONSANTO’S BOGUS GM DROUGHT TOLERANT MAIZE HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR URGENT AGRICULTURE TRANSITION

17th December 2015

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South Africa is in the grip of the worst drought since 1992, with many parts of the country experiencing record temperatures and little to no rain. The maize and transport industries are currently planning for a worst-case scenario, where the continent’s largest maize producer – South Africa – may potentially need to import 4 million metric tons of maize due to the prolonged drought. It is against this backdrop that the South African government has granted approval to Monsanto for it to market its wholly inadequate and over-hyped ‘climate smart’ solution to drought– genetically modified (GM) drought tolerant maize, also known as ‘MON87460.’ The controversial maize was developed under the auspices of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded project called Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), currently operating in five African countries and aimed at ‘benefitting’ smallholder farmers.

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has consistently opposed MON87460 as unproven, unsafe and inappropriate for resource-poor smallholders. The organisation has formally appealed against its approval for commercial cultivation in South Africa. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Senzeni Zokwana, has advised the ACB on the 15th December 2015 that he has established an Appeal Board to

ACB to battle SA Govt., Monsanto over controversial GM ‘drought tolerant’ maize

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has on 7th August 2015, lodged an appeal to Agriculture, Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Senzeni Zokwana, against the general release approval of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize, MON87460 granted by the Executive Council (EC): GMO Act. Such approval means that Monsanto can sell the GM maize seed, MON87460, to farmers in South Africa for cultivation.
MON87460 is alleged to be ‘drought tolerant;’ a claim the ACB vehemently disputes.
Administrative justice, procedural fairness and sound science to the test
The appeal is a test for administrative justice and procedural fairness in regard to GM decision-making in South Africa. Administrative decision-making must be based on rigorous food safety, environmental and socio-economic assessments of the potential adverse effects of MON87460, taking into international biosafety best practice.
According to the ACB, the EC’s approval is typical of GM decision-making, which simply reiterates and summarises information provided by Monsanto, who has a clear vested interest in the approval.  Such “rubber stamping” is unlawful. The EC is under a legal obligation to apply a risk averse and cautious approach, which takes into account uncertainties and the limits of current knowledge about the consequences of approving MON87460 for commercial

GM and seed industry eye Africa’s lucrative cowpea seed markets: The political economy of cowpea in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi.

Cowpea seeds

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has today released a new report titled, GM and seed industry eye Africa’s lucrative cowpea seed markets: The political economy of cowpea in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi.  The report shows a strong interest by the seed industry in commercialising cowpea seed production and distribution in West Africa, where a very lucrative regional cowpea seed market is emerging. Cowpea, one of the most ancient crops known to humankind, with its centre of origin in Southern Africa, provides the earliest food for millions of Africans during the ‘hungry season’ before cereals mature.

The report argues that the GM cowpea push in Burkina Faso, nigeria and Ghana co-incides with this strong interest from multinational and local seed companies to produce foundation and certified seed in West Africa.

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Cottoning onto the lie: GM cotton will harm not help small farmers in Africa

After 5 seasons of genetically modified (GM) cotton cultivation in Burkina Faso farmers are denouncing their contracts with Monsanto and cotton stakeholders are discussing compensation for losses incurred since 2008 due to low yields and low quality fibre. Many other African governments are poised to follow suit but should note how GM cotton has impoverished smallholders in South Africa and Burkina Faso as well as heed the fierce opposition on the continent toward accepting it.

English

Apres cinq saisons de culture de coton génétiquement modifié (GM) au Burkina Faso, les exploitants dénoncent leurs contrats avec Monsanto et les acteurs de la filière coton discutent actuellement des indemnités qu’ils comptent demander pour les pertes essuyées depuis 2008, en raison de faibles rendements et d’une fibre de mauvaise qualité. De nombreux pays africains sont sur le point de faire de même mais devraient prendre note de combien le coton GM a appauvri les petits exploitants en Afrique du Sud et au Burkina Faso. Ils devraient également tenir compte de l’opposition féroce au coton transgénique sur le continent avant de l’accepter sur leurs terres.

French

Gates and Monsanto’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project

In this report, the ACB interrogates the Gates Foundation and Monsanto?s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project and exposes it to be nothing more than corporate ?green washing,? designed to ensnare small holder farmers into adopting hybrid and GM maize in order to benefit seed and agro-chemical companies.

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Who Owns Our Food Systems… Information sheets in English, Afrikaans, Sotho and Zulu

Click on a heading below and download an A4 information sheet in your preferred language.

GM-Health

Is our PAP safe?

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Price-Fixing

Fixing the price of Food. SA’s poor bear the brunt of rising food costs while big food companies’ profits rise.

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Small-scale-farmers

Small-Scale Farmers and the maize value chain. Our government’s vision for agrarian reform is for small-scale farmers to enter the commercial market. This is a pipe dream!

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Value-Chain

Who Owns our Maize? In South Africa a handful of very powerful corporations control how and what we eat!

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GM-Health

Is ons PAP veilig?

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GM-Testing

Geneties gewysigde pap: Geen keuse vir Suid-Afrikaners.

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Price-Fixing

Prys vasstelling van voedsel. Suid-Afrika se armes ly onder die stygende voedselpryse, terwyl groot voedselmaatskappye se winste styg.

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Small-scale-farmers

Kleinskaalse boere en die mielie-waardeketting. Ons regering se visie vir landbouhervorming, is dat kleinskaalse boere die kommerersi?le mark betree. Dit is ‘n hersenskim!

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Value-Chain

Aan wie behoort ons mielies? Die reis wat mielies vanaf die boer se plaas tot by dies silo en dan na die meul en eindelik tot by die supermark onderneem, word die ‘mielie waardeketting’, genoem.

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GM-Health

Na PAPA ya rona e bolokehile?

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GM-Testing

Papa ya

WHO OWNS OUR FOOD SYSTEM?

It is a matter of urgency that we break up these cartels that have South African consumers, especially the poorest of the poor, in a vice grip through control of our two staple foods ? maize and bread.

South Africans eat about 28 billion loaves of bread and, on average, about 100kg of maize and maize-related products each year ? wheat and maize are the country?s staple foods. Only a few companies control the wheat and maize value chains ? the journey taken from the farmer?s fields to the mill, the supermarket shelf and then to our tables each day.

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Suid-Afrikaners eet jaarliks sowat 28 biljoen brode en gemiddeld verbruik elke persoon jaarliks 100kg mielies en mielie-verwante produkte ? koring en mielies is die land se stapelvoedsel. Die koring- en mielie waardekettings word deur slegs ?n paar maatskappye beheer. Dit sluit die voorsieningsketting vanaf die boer se lande na die meule, die winkelrak tot by ons tafels elke dag, in.

Lees verder

Abantu baseNingizimu Afrika badla cishe amalofu esinkwa angu 28bhiliyoni, kanti ukulinganisa, cishe ngu 100kg wombila kanye nemikhiqizo eyenziwe ngempumphu kunyaka nonyaka ? ukolo kanye nombila ukudla okudliwa kakhulu kwemihla ngemihla ezweni. Zinkampani ezimbalwa ezilawula

Industry employing bullying tactics to scupper GM food labelling in South Africa

GM-Labeling-zebraThe Biotech industry continues to stall the implementation of a GMO labelling regime, claiming that only a “lunatic fringe” or a “European funded lobby” want it, despite government’s clear intentions in the Consumer Protection Act to grant the consumer’s right to know and to choose. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has re-opened the public comment period for submissions on the amended GMO labelling regulations until 15 August 2014. Submissions can be made to JSekgobela@thedti.gov.za

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