From January 2007 to July 2008 the GMO Executive Council, the governmental body responsible for granting GMO permits in South Africa, granted a staggering 425 new permits for import, export, commodity clearance and general and trial release.
The vast majority of these permits were for commodity imports of GM maize from Argentina for use in the animal feed industry.
Over 2 million metric tonnes of maize were imported into South Africa from Argentina in 2007 alone, for use as food, feed and processing. The frequent assertion by the pro-GM lobby that GMOs are developed to fight against hunger does not hold water. The major beneficiaries of these permits are foreign agribusiness corporations and the majority of GM crops are used as animal feed.