Pioneer Hi-Bred, who are currently attempting to acquire South Africa‘s largest remaining seed company, Pannar Seed, have submitted applications for field trials of four GM maize varieties. These are all stacked varieties inferring varying combinations of insect resistance and herbicide tolerance. Of particular concern is that all four varieties have been engineered to be used with glufosinate, a highly toxic herbicide that is set to be banned in the European Union.
Stacked GMOs are those containing more than one gene genetically engineered into a crop plant. A controversial stacked GMO, Smarstax containing 8 such genetically engineered genes, was commercially approved in the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea during 2009. Stacked gene varieties are highly complex, posing new biosafety risks that outpace the capacity of regulatory systems. Since 2005 theglobal area under stackedGMOs has nearly trebled, to just under 30 million ha. If thisrateof adoption continues,an area the size of Mozambique could be planted with them by 2015.Their research, development and ownership is also dominated by a handful of the world’s largest biotech companies. This drive for stacked GMOs is ostensibly for ‘climate ready’ crops to improve ‘food security’ and ‘climate adaptation’. However, the increased profit margins of stacked GMOs, and the opportunities they will afford for the unprecedented patenting of lifeforms hints at an altogether more insidious motivation.
Prepared for the African Centre for Biosafety by
Dr William Stafford
- Description of Application
- Description of Data furnished to ACB
- Molecular characterisation: Unintended genetic effects
- Risks to human health and the environment
- Compositional analysis, allergenicity and toxicity
- Herbicide resistance, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and gene escape
- Lack of monitoring and compliance with legislation
SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
OBJECTION TO APPLICATION BY DOW AGROSCIENCES TRIPLE STACKED GM MAIZE, EVENTS, 1507 x NK603 x 59199.
African Centre for Biosafety, Jan 2006
We will thus not repeat the grounds upon which we have based our comprehensive objections, but reiterate them here, and request that the Executive Council take these into account in considering this application. For more details on those three GM maize events read the respective pages on this web site.
FURTHER GROUNDS FOR OUT OF HAND REJECTION
GM 59122 NOT YET APPROVED IN USA/NOT BEING GROWN IN USA
We are utterly amazed that Dow Agrosciences is persisting in seeking regulatory approval for the current GM maize event 1507x 59122 x NK 603, in the light that the cry genes Bt Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 used in event 59122 have not yet been registered by the Environment Protection Authority in the USA. According to information
Objection To The Application By Monsanto For Commodity Clearance Of Its GM Maize Varieties Nk603 X Mon863x Mon810 to The National Department Of Agriculture, South Africa prepared by the African Centre For Biosafety
SUPPORTED BY: Bishop Geoff, Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute; South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering; Earthlife Africa Ethekwini branch; GRAIN; SEED Trust; Ekogaia Foundation; Safe Food Coalition.
The African Centre for Biosafety (?ACB?) has already submitted its objections to Monsanto‘s application for commodity clearance in respect of its genetically modified (GM) maize 863 and 863 x MON 810. It has also objected to a commodity clearance application by Pioneer Hi-Bred in respect of GM maize 59122X NK 603, as well Dow Agrosciences’ application for commodity clearance of triple stacked GM maize 1507 x 59122 X NK 603. The scientific and legal concerns raised in these objections are pertinent to the current GM maize application brought before the Exco by Monsanto.
The current application by Monsanto will join the applications to which the ACB has objected to (above), and form part of those commodity clearance applications on hold until the outcome of a study being