AfricaBio Asserts That The Biotech Crops Commercialised Are Safe
- Created on Monday, 08 October 2012 06:12
AfricaBio maintains that the currently commercialised biotech maize or biotech-derived products in South Africa have been proven to be as safe as their conventional counterpart.
Biotechnology products (GM maize, cotton and soybean) have been commercially available in South Africa for the past 14 years, and there has been no evidence
South Africa is currently the leading producer of GM crops in Africa, after Burkina Faso and Egypt and is the 9th largest producer of GMO’s globally with planting of 2.3 million hectares in 2011. The country has cultivated, imported and exported GMOs since 1998. About 72% of the maize produced is genetically modified and over 90% of soya and cotton 100% is GM. Up until 2010 South Africa produced a surplus of 4 million tons and has subsequently exported nearly 6 million tons of GM maize to counties like Mexico.
The country has cultivated, imported and exported GMOs since 1998. The GMO Act [Genetic Modified Organism Act, Act 15 of 1997], passed in 1997 and implemented in 1999, paved the way for the introduction and commercialisation of GM crops in South Africa. The act which was revised in 2007, legislates for the approval for the import, use and supply of the infrastructure required to utilise and evaluate genetically modified seed in South Africa.
According to the 2011 ISAAA report, Biotech crops are now the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture, with a 94-fold increase in hectarage from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 160 million hectares in 2011. Thus millions of farmers globally elect to adopt biotech crops due to the socio-economic and environmental benefits they offer.
Dr Nompumelelo Obokoh (CEO)