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GMOs: two decades of laying out the facts

Even though first-generation genetically modified (GM) agricultural crops have faced significant setbacks and outright failures over the last two decades, a new push for second-generation GM crops has emerged. Despite the destructive role of industrial agricultural expansion in biodiversity loss and human health, we are seeing a resurgence in its momentum, with false solutions such […]

New to Genetically Modified (GM)? Fact sheets

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What you should know about Dows, 2,4-D GM maize

During May 2012, the South African GMO authorities1 approved Dow Chemical’s highly controversial GM maize variety, DAS-40278-9 for import into South Africa for direct use as food, feed and processing. This GM variety has been genetically engineered to withstand liberal applications of Dow’s toxic chemical herbicide 2,4-D and has yet to be approved for growing […]

GM crops in South Africa – who benefits?

Anybody who has heard of genetically modified (GM) crops has also heard that we in Africa must accept them or face starvation. The primary message is that GM crops have been developed for the poor and hungry. This is a highly emotional argument put forward by the companies that develop GM technology. However, when we […]

GMO food labelling – consumers’ right to know

It is a consumer’s right to know what is in their food and to make informed choices about what they eat. Yet, South Africans have been eating genetically modified (GM) food for more than a decade without their knowledge or consent. The producers of GM foods say that these foods are perfectly safe, but many […]

GM cotton in SA

The biotechnology industry has really tried to win small-scale farmers over to genetically modified (GM) cotton, especially in Africa and Asia. Getting cotton approved in a country is a good way for the industry to pave the way for the entry of GM food crops. It is estimated that farmers around the globe planted about […]

GM maize in SA

Genetically modified (GM) maize is big business globally. In 2011, farmers grew about 51 million hectares of GM maize. Most of this production happened in the United States where the majority of GM crops are being grown. There are just four major GM crops grown in the world today and maize and soya make up […]

GM soya in SA

It might surprise you to learn that there are very few kinds of GM crops growing in the world today – the four major crops are soya, maize, cotton and canola. The most commonly grown GM crop is soya – it makes up almost half of all GM crops grown around the world. This soya […]

International regulation of GMOs

Genetic engineering (GE), also called genetic modification (GM), is not just a modern version of the natural breeding that we know and have practised for many thousands of years. It is a new and totally artificial way of creating living organisms that can never occur in nature. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have a life […]

Flawed Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Act

It was only in 1999, after much pressure from civil society groups, that the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Act of 1997 came into force. At that early stage, few people had expertise on GMOs and civil society was only starting to learn about the issues. Therefore, government relied on experts from the biotechnology industry to […]