ACB’s objection to commodity clearance of Corteva’s MON 89034 x TC1507 x MIR162 x NK603 x DAS-40278-9 maize

The COVID-19 pandemic shines a light exposing the fragility of South Africa’s unequal and unjust food system. A food system that continues to choose herbicides over health, and profit over people and our planet. Since the pandemic, South Africa has seen an increased concentration of chemical burdens in our foods, more obese children and adults, and a lack of accountability to make information [about what we consume] accessible to the public. In this light, COVID-19 is a wake up cry to drive transformation in creating new models of food and agriculture that values life, cares for the Earth, encourages public interest and participation through making information accessible and available; and bears food sovereignty at heart over corporate well-being.

In this objection the African Centre for Biodiversity raises numerous concerns with the application submitted by Corteva to release MON 89034 x TC1507 x MIR162 x NK603 x DAS-40278-9 into South Africa for commodity clearance.

Our objection highlights the following key concerns:

  • The application fails to provide adequate information to facilitate public access to information.
  • MON 89034 x TC1507 x MIR162 x NK603 x DAS-40278-9 has not been adequately assessed at the molecular level and should be investigate further to rule out adverse effects on food safety.
  • The applicant makes false claims of nutritional equivalence to conventional varieties of maize.
  • The variety has not been assessed for food safety.

The ACB firmly rejects the approval of Corteva’s application based on inadequate evidence of safety to human health.

We urge that the government rejects the approval of this GM maize variety and embarks on an overdue shift towards food systems that increase the resilience of the health and food systems of our country.