Now that the dust is settling after industry’s aggressive PR hype about the unsubstantiated increase in South Africa’s GM commercial plantings for 2006, we bring to you, based upon empirical data, a short briefing paper on the field trials of GMOs grown in South Africa during 2006, compiled by ACB researcher, Rose Williams. This briefing paper is a precursor to a biohazard map we have compiled the field trials for 2006, spread wide across our country, following on from the precedent set by Greenpeace India.

This is now available on the ACB website. The ACB has long held the position that the ISAAA obtains its figures of GM commercial plantings directly from the mouths of the seed companies operating in South Africa, who have an interest in painting a rosy picture of an utterly contested technology. Industry’s PR has obfuscated important issues such as the impact of the higher price of maize and South Africa’s biofuels policy (conversion of maize to ethanol) on maize production in South Africa and absurdly attributing that to consumer acceptance; the moratorium in South Africa on new GM varieties and concomitant aggressive marketing by industry; and most importantly that South Africa has and continues to be a factory for the production of GM seeds for backcrossing and export on the global markets the seed industry, not unlike the GM activities taking place in Chile for example.

It is within this context that South Africa’s permissive policies and laws have allowed the country to be turned into a massive and dangerous experimental guinea pig. Please take a bit of time to read the short briefing paper attached, which paints an extremely sombre picture of wholesale proliferation of GMOs in the South African environment in 2006, in a staggering 32 sites around the country.

Read more here.