Call for urgent Parliamentary hearing on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and transparent review of risk assessment procedures and public participation in GMO decision making
Mr. Mlungisi Lulu Johnson
Chair: Portfolio Committee on Agriculture
Parliament of South Africa
Dear Honourable Mr Johnson,
Recent events, such as the nationwide protests against Monsanto and consumer outrage over the presence of genetically modified (GM) ingredients in well-known brands of baby food, illustrate that the issue of GM food is of great concern to the people of South Africa. Much of this public anger was triggered by the decision, in May 2012, of GMO Executive Council (SA?s GMO regulatory body) to permit the importation of the Dow Chemical Company?s GM maize, dubbed ?agent orange maize?, engineered to tolerate herbicides based on the highly toxic chemical 2,4-D.
As a result of this decision, on the 7th of August 2012 the ACB, with support from the African Christian Democratic Party, submitted a petition to Parliament calling for the reversal of the Executive Council?s decision to approve Dow?s 2,4-D tolerant maize for import and for a review of the GMO decision making process in South Africa. The petition was supported by 18 health