The ACB is committed to dismantling inequalities in the food and agriculture systems in Africa and the promotion of agro-ecology and food sovereignty.

Roundup Ready Flex Cotton / Monsanto

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)

OBJECTION TO MONSANTO’S APPLICATION FOR GENERAL RELEASE OF GM COTTON RR FLEX
African Centre for Biosafety, Dec 2005

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Summary

The application is for a general release permit to allow the commercial sale and growing of a new transformation event MON88913, also known as Roundup Ready Flex cotton. The new RR Flex variety ostensibly provides increased tolerance to glyphosate compared to the current product, Roundup Ready cotton line 1445. Use of MON 88913 will enable the application of Roundup agricultural herbicide over the top of the cotton crop at later stages of development than is possible with line 1445. Monsanto intends to release the new variety, RR Flex during October/November 2006, in Mpumalanga/Limpopo provinces, and will include both irrigated and dryland cotton plantings.

1. The notifier claims that there are no wild relatives of cotton in South Africa (5.5 of the application). It has come to our attention that this is not the case and we have a concern that we have been misled by the notifier’s claims in this regard. There are about 39 species of Gossypium. They are found worldwide in the tropics and warm

Bt-Maize MON89034 and MON89597 / Monsanto

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
  • Objections To The Application Made By Monsanto South Africa For A Permit For A Trial Release Of Mon89034 And Mon89597
    African Centre for Biosafety, 01 Oct 2005
OVERVIEW
DEVELOPER (MONSANTO) APPLICATION: AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The dossier supplied by Monsanto is designated Non Confidential Business Information (Non-CBI). Any response to developers of genetically modified foods is based on a system of gathering information from several sources. This includes engaging scientists and individuals that have similar concerns regarding the introduction of genetically modified foods and who keep track of the different events. Further it includes accessing online government resources of different countries to monitor applications and their progress in those countries and also accessing developer and other web sites (consumer groups, farmers, environmental organisations) to gather information on the events in question. On the basis of this information and coupled with our understanding of the South African situation and legislation a response is formulated to the developer highlighting our concerns. It is instructive that a search on the internet across several search engines for both these events has not yielded a single result. Further, none of the individuals or organisations whom we

Zambia – GMO Legislation

INTRODUCTION

The Draft Labeling Standards are non-binding in the sense that they do not create legally binding obligations and responsibilities. As such, they are also not legally enforceable. The lack of teeth of the standards is not cured by the fact that the Zambian Bureau of Standards, a statutory body, produces the standards. However, the standards do fit well into the efforts underway in Zambia, regarding its establishment of a detection laboratory for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and more generally, its proactive policy on biosafety on the African continent. According to Zambia‘s National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), the new laboratory is being built to safeguard Zambian’s health and maintain a sustainable environment. The goal is also to have the new facility accredited as a regional and national referral laboratory. It is quite possible that the laboratory may qualify as one of the Biotechnology Centres of Excellence contemplated by the Science and Technology Secretariat established under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa‘s Development (NEPAD), although no decision has yet been made by NEPAD’s Science and Technology Steering Committee which institutions would form part of the Centre of Excellence networks.

In the “Forward” to

Sugarcane with altered sugar metabolism & new promotor elements (SARSI) / SARSI

Sugarcane with altered sugar metabolism & new promotor elements (SARSI) / SARSI
Objection To The Application By Sasri In Respect Of A Trial With Gm Sugarcane, To The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa.
African Centre for Biosafety, June 2005

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SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT
BACKGROUND

Application by SASRI and Available Information

An application has been made by the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) to conduct a trial with genetically modified sugarcane (The North Coast Courier May 13 2005). According to the public notice, several independent modifications, falling into two categories, are being investigated:

1. To determine sucrose yields in mature plants: endogenous enzymes (phosphofructokinase, aldolase, fructose 2,6-bisphosphate) of sugarcane plants of cultivars 88H0019, N19, N27 and N31, NCo310, have been up- or downregulated. For the purposes of the following discussion, these are hereinafter collectively referred to as T1 modifications.

2. To establish whether promoter elements isolated from sugarcane can be used to target gene expression to specific regions of the plant: sugarcane plants, cultivar NCo310, have been transformed with novel promoter elements and a reporter gene b-glucuronidase (GUS) from E.coli. For the purposes of the following discussion, these are hereinafter collectively referred to as T2 modifications

Act Now

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You Can make a difference by keeping the pressure on food producers. Consumer pressure works.. Especially if it is constant and relentless… We have won many victories and we can win the big one’s too. Consumers have the power!

Let’s take back our food supply…

Keep writing to them

To demand GM free food the food

To remind them how disappointed you are with the lack of non GM options

To mention to them that you switched to a GM free product

To tell them that you just couldn’t bring yourself to buy their product

and then of course just for good measure

To DEMAND GM FREE FOOD again

 

Contact Details of Food Producers

The four big maize millers are Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Premier Foods and Foodcorp. They can be contacted

Tiger Brands
Tiger’s Ace Maize Meal contains 87% GM Maize!
Tiger Brands spokesperson Nevashnee Naicker said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had approved the use of GM maize, soya and cotton.
011 840 4000
tigercsd@tigerbrands.com

Pioneer Foods
Pioneer’s White Star Maize contains 55% GM Maize!
Pioneer group executive Anton van Zyl said the company was aware of the debate on the merits of GM,

BT-Maize MIR 604 / SYNGENTA

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
  • Objection To The Application By Syngenta For Commodity Clearance Of Syngenta Mir604 Maize To The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa
    African Centre for Biosafety, 27 May 2005
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OVERVIEW
SUMMARY OF ISSUES RAISED IN OBJECTION

The discussion below details our concerns against the possible granting of a permit to Syngenta for the commodity clearance of MIR604 maize against the background of both scientific and historical evidence that points to the need for more rigorous testing of the event in question.

In summary our concerns are:

  • The safety approval sought by Syngenta in respect of genetically modified (GM) maize MIR 604, still subject to field tests in the US, appears to be in conflict with the principles and provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to which South Africa is a Party, because the Protocol applies to real situations of cross border trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and not to speculative trade in respect of non- existent GMOs.
  • The currently applied techniques for the genetic modification of higher plants is imprecise and exposes consumers to powerful promoters usually of non-food origin to which

Bt-Maize Herculex Xtra / Pioneer HiBred & Dow Agrosciences

Objections To The Application Made By Pioneer Hibred Rsa And Dow Agroscience Southern Africa For Commodity Clearance Of Grain And Derived Products From 1507×59122 Maize (herculex Xtra) To The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa

African Centre for Biosafety, 18 April 2005

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OVERVIEW
SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT

The scientific assessment is based on the information provided as part of the notifier application. The information provided for comment within a period of five days is in excess of 1000 pages comprising largely technical scientific data. The information provided is only that deemed unclassified. Notwithstanding this volume of information, there appear to be several omissions or references to previous applications. The section on toxicity of foreign gene products to humans and animals (page 17), for example, states that a ‘very detailed evaluation of the potential toxicity to humans and animals of the Cry1F, Cry34Ab1, Cry35Ab1 and PAT proteins expressed in 1507 maize and 59122′ was included in the respective applications. As a result, this information is not included in this application. A great deal of the information relating to the digestion assays was obtained from other researchers who have had sight of this data.

Bt-Maize 59122 / Pioneer HiBred & Dow Agrosciences

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB) and Friends of the Earth U.S.

Objections To The Application Made By Pioneer Hibred Rsa And Dow Agroscience Southern Africa For Commodity Clearance Of Genetically Modified Organisms, Specifically 59122 Maize To The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa
African Centre for Biosafety, 8 March 2005

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Comments On The Application By Pioneer Hi-bred Rsa And Dow Agroscience Southern Africa For Commodity Clearance Of Genetically Modified 59122 Maize To The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa
Friends of the Earth U.S., 9 March 2005

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OVERVIEW
SUMMARY OF LEGAL ISSUES
1. EC TO UPHOLD RIGHT TO SAFE FOOD; REFUSE APPLICATION BASED ON PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

It is our submission, taking into account our scientific assessment; the Executive Council will flout the constitutionally protected rights of South Africans to safe food if it were to grant a safety approval for Pioneer/Dow’s Herculex RW GM maize. Indeed, the Department of Health, who plays an oversight role on the Executive Council in terms of the GMO Act, has on obligation to safeguard the consumer from foodstuffs that are harmful or injurious to human health and ensure a science-based and