Green groups to protest ‘until there is no more GMO stuff in SA’

2013-10-14 00:00

ENVIRONMENTAL activists protested against U.S. seed and chemical group Monsanto and its manufacture of genetically modified organisms (GMO) for food production in Durban on Saturday.

The protest, the second in a worldwide campaign, saw activists marching through the city centre and waving placards outside the U.S. Embassy.

Earthlife eThekwini spokesperson Vanessa Black said yesterday the Durban march was a collaboration of organisations including Earthlife, the Green Squad Alliance and Citizen Gardening.

Green Squad Alliance Dalwin Pillay said other protests were held in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Nelspruit on Saturday.

“We will not stop [our opposition] until Monsanto closes down and there is no more GMO stuff in South Africa,” said Pillay. More than 80% of maize produced in South Africa is genetically modified (GM), he added.

The first global march for the permanent boycott of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) took place on May 25.

Hundreds of marchers reportedly took to the streets in cities such as Vienna, London, Los Angeles, Chennai and Sydney.

A pamphlet from Saturday’s march in Durban claims SA is the only country in the world to allow staple food to be genetically modified.

Critics of Monsanto claim its seeds destroy the soil and are designed to make constant repurchase necessary because the seeds last only one generation.

Supporters of GM say it allows high-yield conventional and biotech seeds to be created that enable more nutritious and durable crops and more effective crop protection solutions.

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