On the 12th of May 2006 Syngenta South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of Swiss chemical giant Syngenta, notified the public of its intention to seek commodity clearance for its GM maize for the use in the production of ethanol.

This is the first GM application for commercial approval in the world for a non-feed, non-food GM crop, using a food crop, has simultaneously also been launched in the US, the EU and China.

This briefing paper offers a summary of our biosafety concerns relating to Syngenta’s application. In addition, it also delves beneath the veneer of the agro-fuels boom, particularly in South Africa, and questions the general assumptions offered by the industry that agrofuels will simultaneously mitigate climate change, and provide mass employment opportunities for the poor and the marginalised.

Read here.