In April 2009, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) learnt that three of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize varieties had failed to pollinate, leaving up to 200 000 hectares of mielie fields barren across several provinces. We were informed that the varieties that flopped were Monsanto’s MON 810, NK 603 and its stacked GM maize MON 810 x NK 603.

The ACB is of the view that the matter has not been dealt with sufficiently by the Executive Council, the GM regulatory body in South Africa that approved these three events in the first place, nor has the public been sufficiently informed of the EC’s final decision on the matter. The handling of this matter has not engendered public faith in the regulation of GMOs, an already highly contentious technology.

The ACB requests that the Executive Council publicise the biosafety procedures followed in reaching their final decision on the crop failures and the scientific basis upon which they have come to their decision. Public support for such an explanation is steadily growing at: We reiterate our demands for a ban on all GMOs.