Tag Archive: GM Labelling

The Consumers Have a Right to say NO! NO GMO in our Bread

CEO Pick n Pay Mr Richard Brasher
CEO Spar Mr Wayne Hook
CEO Shoprite/Checkers Dr. Whitey Basson
CEO Woolworths Mr Ian Moir
CEO Tiger Brands Mr Peter Matlare
CEO Premier Foods Mr Tjaart Kruger
MD FoodCorp MD Mr CB Sampson

We, the undersigned members of the public, are outraged to learn that our daily bread is contaminated with Genetically Modified (GM) soya. We have learnt that the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) recently submitted samples of white bread brands sold in supermarkets across South Africa, to a GMO testing facility, which found the levels of GM soya in the soya flour used in the bread to be extremely high.


The test results are as follow:

White bread brand GM content in soya flour Produced by Labelled as
Checkers white bread 91.09% Shoprite Holdings No GM label. (No ingredients labelled)
Woolworths white bread 85.62% Woolworths May be Genetically Modified
Spar white bread 72.69% Spar No GM label. (No ingredients labelled)
Blue Ribbon white bread 64.9% Premier Foods Not labelled
Pick n Pay white bread 42.82% Pick n Pay Not labelled
Albany superior white bread 23.23% Tiger Brands Not labelled
Sunbake white bread 20.46% Foodcorp Not labelled

We are further


The ACB has today, released test results on the most extensively consumed maize brands in South Africa, which indicate that the entire maize supply is utterly saturated with GM maize. ?The majority of South Africans are not only eating GM maize without their knowledge and consent but have no choice or alternative whatsoever even if the products were correctly labelled. This is totally undemocratic and unacceptable. It smacks of outright food fascism? said Mariam Mayet, Director of the African Centre for Biosafety.

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Open letter to the National Chamber of Milling on GMO labelling and the development of a GM-Free market

In July 2012 the National Chamber of Milling (NCM) posted a ?position on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on its website, in which it supports the principle of consumer choice and pledges to ?encourage identity preservation within the grain supply chain to enable clear labelling of our product to the consumer market?.

However, the biotech industry lobby group AfricaBio, who have lobbied vociferously against the labelling of GM food in South Africa, has also claimed to have ?forged a strategic partnership with the NCM? to engage with government on the GM labelling issues. That being the case, the ACB has written an open letter to the NCM asking for clarification of its relationship with AfricaBio, to push for a stringent and accurate labelling and identity preservation system (including establishing GM free maize and soya chains) and supporting the independent, long term and transparent risk assessment of GMOs in South Africa.

2012 Tests

2013 Tests


100% GM Maize, 37% GM Soya

Purity’s Cream of Maize: 56% GM maize

Purity Baby First: 71% GM maize

Bokomo Wheat free Pronutro:

90% GM maize, 71% GM soya

Ace supermaize meal: 78% GM maize
Ace maize rice: 70% GM maize
Ace instant porridge:

Alarm over high GM content in Tiger Brands’ ?Ace’ Maize Products, misleading labelling

Just as consumers were welcoming the news that Tiger Brands has decided to ditch genetically modified (GM) ingredients in its baby food, GMO testing carried out by an independent laboratory on behalf of the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has revealed shocking results in respect of five of Tiger Brands’ most popular maize based products.

The test results on the five products were as follows:

– Ace super maize meal 78% GM maize content.
– Ace maize rice 70% GM maize content.
– Ace instant porridge 68% GM maize content.
– Lion samp and beans 48% GM maize content
– Jungle B’fast energy cereal 41% GM maize content.

The GM maize used in these products will almost certainly contain residues of toxic glyphosate based herbicides, since the vast majority of GM maize cultivated in South Africa has been geneticallly engineered to be resistent to Monsanto’s Roundup. There is now a substantial body of scientifically peer-reviewed data that links glyphosate exposure with severe human health impacts.

Tiger Brands’ Ace brands, consumed as a staple on a daily basis by the vast majority of South Africans, contained the highest levels of GM presence. Community groups are up in arms about these revelations.

Purity GMO Response

Dear Mariam

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write to us personally. We value feedback from our customers and concerned members of the public.

Attached please find our response.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Lind
Managing Executive HPCB
C/O Melinda Potgieter
PA to Martin Lind
Tel 011 840-4592


Tiger Brands responds to the ACB following on from our petition – May 2013.

Tiger Brand snubs consumers on GM Purity baby food concerns

Baby FoodTiger Brands has snubbed South African consumers who petitioned the company about high levels of genetically modified (GM) maize found in Tiger Brand?s Purity baby food products.

In April 2013 GMO watchdog organisation, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), sent two Purity products to an independent GMO testing laboratory to test for the presence of ingredients derived from GMOs. The results showed that Purity Baby?s First contained 56.25% GM maize while Purity Cream of Maize contained 71.47% GM maize. Neither of the products were labelled as containing GM, as required by law.

Consumers were shocked to learn that they were feeding their babies the controversial foodstuff and outraged at the lack of labelling. 1000 consumers sent a petition to Tiger Brands demanding that the company go GM-free, or at the very least, label their foodstuff so that consumers could avoid GM food if they wish. One signatory said, ?people need to be in charge of what they eat – NOT the biotech companies. ALL food containing any GM product MUST be labelled?.

Managing Executive of Tiger Brands, Mr Martin Lind, responded to the petition by assuring consumers that they are using ingredients that have been approved as safe

GMOs have made no impact on food security in South Africa in fourteen years. ACB responds to DA position

On the 5th of September 2012 James Wilmot, Democratic Alliance MP and Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, issued a press release claiming that poor consumers cannot benefit from the “cost savings offered by GMOs” because genetically modified (GM) foods cannot be labelled. He claimed that labelling could not be implemented without a testing facility and “without an active testing facility, the SABS cannot ensure the safety of GMOs for consumption by the general public. As a result, the Department’s interim solution has been to ban a number of GMOs until the testing facility is operational.”

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), an organisation that has campaigned rigorously on GMO labelling and related issues over the past decade, claims that James is confused. Ms. Haidee Swanby, Outreach Officer for the ACB said, “It is clear that Mr. James does not understand how GMOs are regulated in this country and has mixed up the functions of the Departments of Trade and Industry and Agriculture. He also does not realise the extent of GMOs in our food system. There is no import ban due to labelling issues; South Africa stopped importing bulk GM shipments from Argentina and Brazil in 2010 when these

GM Labeling in South Africa: The Law Demystified

During March 2012, the ACB revealed that four household food products tested positive for genetically modified organisms. None of these products have been labeled in accordance with the requirements of applicable South African laws. There appears to be a great deal of confusion about what the laws provide.

In this briefing, we outline what the legal position is, with regard to the labeling of GM food in South Africa, as well as the rights of recourse on the part of the South African consumer. The briefing is titled : “GM Labeling in South Africa: The Law Demystified”

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GMO Watchdog to Lodge Complaint

Press Release from the African Centre for Biosafety
20th March 2012

Following revelations that several common household food products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has sought advice on its legal options. The ACB seeks to enforce the public’s right of access to information on the GMO content of food products so that consumers can make informed choices according to their individual wishes and needs.
Mariam Mayet, spokesperson for the ACB, revealed that the ACB has been advised that regulations made under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) require that, as from October 2011, all food products containing at least 5% GMOs approved for commercialisation by the Executive Council for GMOs must carry a notice stating that the product ‘contains Genetically Modified Organisms’. These regulations apply irrespective of whether the food products were made or manufactured in South Africa or overseas, and prohibit the production, supply, import or packaging of food products without the required notice.? This notice must be applied to the products themselves or to marketing material, and must be in a conspicuous and easily legible manner and size.

Mayet stated that the ACB has been advised that it is an



5 APRIL 2011, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, South Africa.

The African Centre for Biosafety and SAFEAGE cautiously welcome the mandatory labeling regime established by the regulations made in terms of the Consumer Protection Act for GM food. According to Mariam Mayet of the ACB, “the mandatory labeling regime holds the promise of bringing to an end an era where consumers were deliberately kept in the dark about what they are eating.” Mayet, however cautions that the “regulations are fraught with legal uncertainties and ambiguities, which may give rise to interpretation problems, particularly with regard to the scope of the law.”
The groups also express concern that consumers could be faced with up to five labels on GM foods, owing to attempts by government to appease agribusiness. According to Fahrie Hassan of SAFAGE, “the labeling regime represents a compromise package, which allows industry to opt for labels where testing for GM content is undertaken, as well as for labels where no testing is required. This may result in consumers being confused about what the differences are between the various labels.”

From the 1 October 2011, food producers, importers and