Tag Archive: agribusiness

Is South Africa in the US WTO Sights Over GM Import Ban?

Opinion And Analysis: By Mariam Mayet, african Centre For Biosafety

August 2006
South Africa’s ban on GM import approvals

South Africa’s pro-genetic engineering (GE) stance is well documented[1] and enshrined in national government policy.[2] During the period 2001-4, South Africa’s Executive Council (ExCo)[3] established under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act (?GMO Act?) has allowed the importation into South Africa of millions of tonnes of cheap genetically modified (GM) maize,[4] much to the delight of the animal feed,[5] meat and dairy industries in South Africa.

During September/October 2005, the ExCo took a decision not to approve any more new[6] GM applications for the purposes of importation into South Africa as food, feed and processing (also known as commodity import applications). This decision was taken by the ExCo in order to accommodate the serious concerns raised by one of the ExCo members, the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), regarding price distortions of GM maize and its concomitant negative impacts on the South African economy as a whole. Nevertheless, the decision affects all new GM commodity import applications.

Currently, the DTI is studying these impacts and early indications are that price distortions indeed exist. It is anticipated that it will

Article 18(2)(a): The Trojan Horse of the Biosafety Protocol

By Mariam Mayet
African Centre for Biosafety
July 2006

The ?may contain? labels flood the feed sector. Even transboundary movements which could pass as GM-free under existing legislation for LMO-FFPs are labelled as ?may contain?.
Grain trade and important ports are leading in this clever move which actually ridicules the Protocol?
Christine Von Weitsacker1

When the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (?Biosafety Protocol?) was adopted in the small hours on the morning on the 29 January 2000 in Montreal, Canada, delegates had little time to reflect on the implications of the last minute concessions that had been made to Argentina, concerning what would later become the infamous and highly contested ?Article 18(2)(a)?. 2 What had just been conceded was breathing space for the cartel of international grain traders3 to continue with their unrestricted, free trade in GMOs/ bulk shipments of grains, oilseeds and pulses contaminated by GMOs.

Bulk shipments of maize, Soya and canola account for over 98% of the global trade in GMOs. The bulk commodity trade in GM and non GM trade constitutes some 200 million tonnes of cereals, 30 million tonnes of rice, more than 70 million tonnes of oilseeds and


Monsanto and Genetic Modification in South Africa Facts For South African Consumers – Feb 2006
African Centre for Biosafety

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Factsheet: Who Benefits From Gm Crops? Monsanto and the Corporatedriven Genetically Modified Crop Revolution- Jan 2006
Friends of the Earth International

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A Profile Of Monsanto In South Africa – Apr 2005
Mariam Mayet

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GM Food aid: Africa denied choice once again?

Controversy over genetically modified (GM) food aid arose in 2000 in Latin America, and Asia, and exploded in 2002, when several southern African countries refused GM food aid during a food crisis. Now, in 2004 the controversy has erupted again after Sudan and Angola imposed restrictions over GM food aid. Food aid has been heavily criticized in the last fifty years, because it serves the interests of certain countries, particularly the US Government, as a tool to inter alia facilitate export surpluses and/or capture new markets. The use of GM food aid by the US has added a new dimension to the debate, because the provision of GM food aid is seen as providing an important back- door entry point for the introduction of genetically modified organism (GMOs) in developing countries.

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