Tag Archive: maize

Biohazard Map of GM Field Trials in SA

Now that the dust is settling after industry’s aggressive PR hype about the unsubstantiated increase in South Africa’s GM commercial plantings for 2006, we bring to you, based upon empirical data, a short briefing paper on the field trials of GMOs grown in South Africa during 2006, compiled by ACB researcher, Rose Williams. This briefing paper is a precursor to a biohazard map we have compiled of the field trials for 2006, spread wide across our country, following on from the precedent set by Greenpeace India. This is now available on the ACB website:

The ACB has long held the position that the ISAAA obtains its figures of GM commercial plantings directly from the mouths of the seed companies operating in South Africa, who have an interest in painting a rosy picture of an utterly contested technology.

Industry’s PR has obfuscated important issues such as the impact of the higher price of maize and South Africa’s biofuels policy (conversion of maize to ethanol) on maize production in South Africa and absurdly attributing that to consumer acceptance; the moratorium in South Africa on new GM varieties and concomitant aggressive marketing by industry; and most importantly that South Africa has

BT-Maize MON863 and MON863 X MON810 / Monsanto

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
  • Objections to the Application Made by Monsanto South Africa for a Commodity Import Permit of Grain for Feed and Food Purposes that may Contain Maize Grains Derived From Insect-Protected Maize Line Mon863 and Maize Hybrids Mon863 X Mon810
    Mariam Mayet and Shenaz Moola, August 2004
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  • CoverLetter_Mon830X810.pdf Cover Letter to the Registrar
    August 2004
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OVERVIEW
SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS

A scientific assessment was made of the available information. The main findings of this assessment, which are discussed in greater detail later in the document, are:

  • A full assessment of the scientific data could not be made because of the designation of large sections of this data as Confidential Business Information
  • The molecular characterisation information provided by the notifier indicates several irregularities including open reading frames, a missing stop codon and truncated constructs which could give rise to unintended gene effects
  • There is evidence of structural instability arising out of the use of the 35S CaMV promoter and there is a call for the discontinuation of the use of this genetic element in the development of transgenic plants
  • The protocols for assessing gene expression in transgenic plants are

BT-Maize 176 / Syngenta

Protest letter by the African Centre for Biosafety, the South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering, Biowatch, and the Safe Food Coalition
  • Demand for a Ban on Imports of Bt176 and for a Public Enquiry into Safety of Food Derived from Genetically Modified Crops
    African Centre for Biosafety, the South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering, Biowatch, and the Safe Food Coalition, May 2004
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  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Report
OVERVIEW

Dear Honourable Madam Ministers

We wish to bring your attention to the decision taken by the Spanish government on the 29th April 2004, to ban Syngenta’s genetically modified (GM) Bt176 maize for commercial cultivation on the grounds that it may confer resistance to ampicillin. (EIEstado espanol retirara un OGM a instancias de la UE. El maize Bt 176 Podrian provoca resistencisas a los antibioticals, GARA). According to Richard Lopez de Haro, Spain’s Office of Crop Varieties, Spain’s food safety authority banned Bt 176 after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its report on the utilisation of antibiotic resistance market genes in GM plants.

We also point out that even the United States, the world’s largest grower and exporter of genetically modified

BT-Maize 11 / Syngenta

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY BIOWATCH and THE SOUTH AFRICAN FREEZE ALLIANCE ON GENETIC ENGINEERING
  • Appeal against the decision of the Executive Council for Genetically Modified Organisms, to authorise various activities of Syngenta Seed Co. (Pty) Ltd regarding maize event Bt11, under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 15 of 1997.
    Winstanley Smith & Cullinan Inc. on behalf of Biowatch, October 2003
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OVERVIEW
Appeal against the Bt11 decision of the Executive Council

The Biowatch Trust (“Biowatch”) is a national non-governmental organisation that acts in the public interest. It was established in response to, among other things, concerns arising from the widespread commercialisation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in South Africa, and the absence of civil society involvement in the determination of policy and law, and in decision-making, regulating their use, control and release. Biowatch is aggrieved by the actions and decisions of the Executive Council for Genetically Modified Organisms (“the Council”) and/or the Registrar: Genetically Modified Organisms (“the Registrar”), relating to an application made to the Directorate: Genetic Resources, Department of Agriculture, by Syngenta Seed Co. (Pty) Ltd (“Syngenta”), for the import of maize event Bt11 (“Bt11 maize“) seed and the commercial planting and general release of