GM crops surging ahead in SA

2010-01-20 13:24

Johannesburg - Genetically modified (GM) crops are surging ahead in SA, where during the 2009/10 planting season it is estimated that 10% more white maize and 14% more soybeans have been planted, Andrew Bennett, Monsanto's technology development manager for GM crops in Africa, said on Wednesday.
White and yellow maize are estimated at 2.5 million ha, of which over 75% is GM, he said.

In a new year's message, Bennett said 2009 was undoubtedly "the Golden Era for GM crops worldwide".

A vast new range of GM crops was developed to help feed the world, secure food security, and alleviate famine and poverty, Bennett said.

"Some of the most exciting and promising biotech crop achievements have been Monsanto's Genuity Roundup Ready 2 soybeans with increased omega-3 fatty acids, the world's first Bt rice and GM phytase maize in China, and Bt Brinjals in India," he added.

  • Johnathan - 2010-01-20 13:33

    Nice! GM is the way to go (and has been since the domestication of animals and crops started thousands of years ago)!

  • Punk27 - 2010-01-20 14:22

    Howcome GM crops/food is still allowed in SA when most of the modern 1st world has banned it outright from their shelves (except for the states where Monsanto is based, and where they keep alive by bribing politicians). Do yourself a favour and read up on Monsanto and GM foods on the net to see what trouble they are. Stay far away....

  • Jonas - 2010-01-20 14:38

    Monsanto are amongst the biggest criminals in the world. The fact that they're business in SA is expanding is terrifying to say the least....

  • martin - 2010-01-20 15:11

    Like so many other innovations, there is no longitudinal studies undertaken to ascertain the effects of GM foods on the human system. Lots of dollars and Short trials which are mostly inconclusive seem to be sufficient to placate those who give the go-ahead. We have forgotten the unseen determinants of human behaviour?

  • ahimsa - 2010-01-20 15:26

    As a dedicated vegetarian, I say NO! to GM modified foods!!! I wish people would just all nature to do its thing... it bothers me that you can't plant the seed of GM crops and grow another plant like nature intended... This planet makes me sick... really

  • Karel Vorster - 2010-01-20 15:37

    GM foods? That's why there's all these oils in the beans - its been spliced with genes from a fish (and yes, you can go and google this) While you're doing that, have a look at the correspondence between GM foods, BT foods and Morgellon's disease... Scary, to say the least. But, our fellow SA citizens will also allow it, because it comes from the States....

  • Maximus Odi - 2010-01-20 15:37

    Who let these criminals, that is monsanto, into South Africa like this??? Tjarsus, doing experiments with food in a "third" world country like some pharma companies do?

    O well, just not buying South African maize and soya...

  • Buckwheat - 2010-01-20 15:51

    GM crops is the way to control the third world, and strangely enough even uncle Bob is too clever to allow them. But our esteemed leaders allow this. Very clever people. You think we have freedom, you are wrong - wait till all crops are GM, then you will see what control is. Please JZ and your buddies, do some thinking - honestly.

  • Judith Taylor - 2010-01-20 16:00

    Agreed Jonas, these crops deprive farmers of seed, as they have to keep buying from Monsanto and they are proving toxic in many countries. That is why they are banned in the EU amongst other countries and should be banned here as well

  • skipi - 2010-01-20 18:50

    please dont hate me but i agree with GM crops. a large percentage of our food is GM and we are all fine. Gm crops is a great way to feed third world countries. do you want to go to that starving child and say 'no you cant have this GM food because it is bad for you'.

  • Anon - 2010-01-21 06:48

    All of you who are anti GM are fools casting your little snobbish gaze down from your ivory tower. THere are people who dont get a single decent meal everyday and now because it has been enhanced you have this stigma that it must be bad? you are all arrogant prats! How many of you take supplements? those are made in a lab too, are they also lab made. there is no downside to GM.

  • suzy - 2010-01-21 08:03

    Oh please!! People get your facts straight. Don't just believe any nonsense you read on the internet, read reputable peer reviewed scietific journals or ask anybody with an appropiate scientific degree. GM FOODS ARE SAFE!! It has been tested more than any other crop on the market. @Karel there are NO comercialised soybeans containing genes from a fish. And farmers have a CHOICE to plant whatever they like. The farmers who CHOOSE to plant GM crops do it because of the benefits. I can go on with all the facts but I know I'm waisting my time because people rather believe what some brain dead celebrity says on TV than what 1000's of scientists with PhD's tell them.

  • Eek - 2010-01-21 08:44

    Definitely not ever buying SA maize again - did you read that wiki about Monsanto?. Holy cr@p they are like the friggin mafia.

  • Mike - 2010-01-21 09:01

    This is real bad news for South African consumers. The movie/documentary Food Inc. gives an insight into what genetically modified crops and Monsanto are all about. The film only shows one side of the story, but it is still very interesting!

  • Emile - 2010-01-21 09:09

    Firstly, GM crops are the most heavily tested crops, organic crops don't undergo testing at all.Secondly, it is sad to think that these purveyors of organic food are in actual fact fighting the technology that can save the life of someone's starving child.Thirdly, we do not have enough food to feed everyone on this planet, I dont see any of these organic only people willing to offer up their lives so that we can have an abundance of food for everyone.GM is perfectly safe. And NEVER EVER trust green peace "science" And furthermore, I challenge any of these organic only fools to provide aid to those in need like Norman Borlaug did. Its very easy to dictate to others what they can and cannot eat if you aren't starving.

  • emile @ eek - 2010-01-21 09:10

    you actually believe what you read on wiki?

  • Kevin - 2010-01-21 09:14

    GM rocks! Way to go! If you think about it, cows and mealies are genetically modified. Dont be fooled by the ignorant who preach from their ivory towers and well-stocked pantries. There are millions of people who need feeding, and GM is without any doubt the way to go. When I have a choice, I choice GM.

  • Maximus Odi - 2010-01-21 13:44

    All those folks in favour of GM, kindly get of the BS wagon. That feed the poor/masses is a load of crap, Monsanto is not a charity organisation and they have only one goal in mind - maximise profits. This feeding the masses is called PR and you guys are all falling for it.Then the argument about GM food being the most heavily tested food, do me a freaking favour and look at who did the testing, what the actual data says. Yeah Tobacco is also heavily tested.But the price for idiocy goes to the chap who had a brief brainwave informing us that "organic" food has less testing done on it. Well no kidding....Comparing GM food with food that has been "changed" by cross-breeding etc etc is so blatantly dishonest and intellectually bankrupt that I won't even address that.And I leave you with this thought... Have the effects of GM crops been properly tested as far as impact is concerned on say, o, the disappearing honey bee populations..

  • Punk27 - 2010-01-21 15:16

    Don't believe what Skipi, Emile and Suzie tell you, they probably work for Monsanto. GM crops do not feed hungry children nor help 3rd world countries. Its a greed driven program that ties in farmers and forces you to be dependent on Monsanto input for life. You cannot reuse the seed from GM crops - how does that help any thrid world country?

  • Don - 2010-01-21 15:23

    Would all those pro GM people please explain exactly just how GM crops magically feed poor people in 3rd world countries? Does it get offered to them for free? No I doubt it seriously. Monsanto is in the business of making profits, and they do so aqt the expense of 3rd world countries, not for their own benefit.

  • stef - 2010-02-18 07:47

    Yes and at the end of the season you can go to Monsanto with your begging bowl for more seed..... and the next season and so on, great.

  • Brad - 2010-03-23 19:49

    Monsanto a bunch of deceiptful liars. The modus operandi is to into a rural community that has no farming skills, then give them extensive farming training and GMO seeds and voila they produce far more crop than before. Has nothing to do with GMO. The only goal is take over the seed supply and gradually increase prices. Not rocket science.

  • Steve - 2010-05-15 01:29

    Honestly, if you don't like GM food, then grow your own. Oh! but be sure to make sure it's the "original God-intended variety", which is to say, corn the size of wheat seeds, and wheat about 6 times smaller. Would that make you happy? I mean, its so logical, grow large quantities of crappy small grained crops, which would take up more land and resources, kill more rain forests, use up more of the water we don't actually have to waste, all so that you can feel then magnificent feeling of.... oh yes, HUNGER. Don';t be so foolish, GM is as old as agriculture itself, and if you don't like it, don't eat it.

  • jono - 2010-05-27 21:37

    AGREED STEVE! WELL SAID! I'm also fully in agreement with GM crops. like you said if these greenies want their wonderful 'organic' foods that use far more resources to grow, then the deserve to pay extra. SA is one of the leading countries in GM crop development, and it is going to do us a lot of good for our food security. As for Monsanto, they may dump waste and practice some slightly unethical behaviour, but then so does every other chemical company. i like the way many people here who know nothing about GM crops are up in arms about the whole thing. jump on the greeny bandwagon and sing kum-ba-ya and have a spliff. i wonder what a starving kid in Ethiopia thinks about GM crops? i'm sure he's pretty darn grateful, unlike many to whom food is just there on the shelves and readily available. honestly, most people who moan have no appreciation for the incredibly hard work that scientists put in to develop these things. yes they make a profit, but a farmer then makes a profit because he has to spray less insecticide or herbicide, which means less collateral damage to the environment. GM foods are another testament to the brilliant ingenuity of human beings.

  • Raven - 2010-09-07 23:50

    Because they have genetically engineered corn, soy, etc., nature has made hundreds of new bacteria that attacks human flesh. Good luck with outbreaks of the disease called morgellons, where people are being literally consumed by the new bacteria inside of their bodies. Where strange fibers and bugs exit the skin. Monsanto values profit over people's lives. Nature has a way of fixing our screw-ups when mad scientists play God.

  • Nemesis Hex - 2010-10-17 12:41

    suzy & Johnathan et al Frankenfoods. It's all very nice that they have done all the relevant studies to prove that GM is supposedly safe. What will be the impact over 20 years btw. What about the natural ecology that is being disturbed. Yes, we wish to save human lives but at the behest of the natural ecology that has been around for millenia? Maybe humanity should stop overbreeding like rats then there should be enough to feed on, naturally, without us "clever" monkeys screwing with nature. This arrogant belief that the puny humans are the masters of nature is backfiring daily on us and will ultimately be our downfall. Fact. However. This is ultimately about control as once you buy into the GM market you are hooked. What you do not realise about this product is that they control the natural process in the sense that you have to keep on buying because you cannot replant the seeds. So, in future your existence is dependant on corporations like Monsanto and if you are a poor country and you cannot afford the product, you starve anyway, because you cannot generate your own crops anymore, not even a little bit, naturally. So, who's the winner here, humanity or the corporations holding the key to manipulated survival. Foodsecurity my ass. Besides. Who in their right mind would eat maize that is part moth. Where do you draw the distinction between wheter it is maize or now just moth looking like maize or vitamin enriched worms just looking like rice. Will you hypocritically allow these products to be given to a hungry Kenian but not to your child. I wonder? Seeing as none of you have moral objections to these products why don't you feed your families grubs and bugs (very high in protein and vitamins and easily generated) or is there a line you draw somewhere. Better yet. As long as the package says it is a legume and it looks like a legume then you believe it to be legume? A major point missed here is the fact that Africa does not have the means to prevent contamination of not only the product but the ecology. Have you arrogant monkeys ever heard of the concept of mutation. Natures own way of solving certain problems, normally of the mamal type. Man, you deserve to become extinct. Maybe you'll fare better as moths or worms after all.

  • Diamond Dog - 2010-10-17 13:08

    No wonder the human race is teetering on the brink of extinction. Having attempted to manipulate nature to the extreme in the last couple of hundred years it's finally biting us in the ass. Cancer has become a leading killer due to dangerous levels of chemical oestrogen in our water and excessive levels of not just hormones but antibiotics in the animals you eat. The ocean is so poluted fish are becomming unedable, not to mention dissapearing fast. Our air is so polluted more and more kids are born with dysfunctional respiratory systems, never mind the multitude of other anomalies such as being allergic to a host of natural substances. Now we have genetically modified foods flogged to the world by unscrupulous conglomerates. The same type of people that poison the world whilst turning a buck. And you trust them. HA, STATS. You obviously do not have a clue how stats can be "manipulated" to show what you wish to intend. Your ignorance precedes your actuall stupidity on the matter. Yes people. That's where nature normally start cleaning up. The young, frail and old normally goes first. We might just be the last to witness the end of human existence on earth.

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