All Africa

According to a new report from the African Centre for Biosafety, in South Africa, “Monsanto’s Bt maize, MON810, has failed hopelessly in South Africa as a result of massive insect resistance, after only 15 years of its introduction into commercial agriculture.”

Yet the same variety is being promoted in other African countries by projects supported by Monsanto. And South Africa’s supply of maize, a staple food, is dominated by a few large companies and consists almost entirely of GM crop varieties.

While scientific and public opinion world-wide is fiercely divided about the safety of genetically-modified crops, South Africa, like the United States, is a country where the dominance of large-scale commercial agriculture linked to global seed supply companies has meant an open door for this controversial technology. Even if one refrains from judgment on the safety for consumers of the technology, the threat from the oligopoly of large corporate interests to control of smallholder farmers’ control of their seeds is undeniable.

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