Read more about ACB’s extensive work in GM and biosafety

Bayer opposes black economic empowerment in purchase of Monsanto


Author: Stephen Greenberg, ACB Research Coordinator

The Competition Tribunal announced the finalisation of the merger between Bayer and Monsanto in South Africa in May. Bayer had taken the original conditions imposed by the Competition Commission in 2017 to the Tribunal for reassessment. These included selling businesses to black economic empowerment (BEE) compliant companies. Bayer has claimed confidentiality on the conditions, making it difficult for the public to see what was agreed.

The debate on GMOs in Africa rages on, this time in Tanzania


A heated public debate on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) ensued during a seminar organised by MVIWATA – a network of smallholder farmers – in Morogoro, Tanzania. The meeting took place on 12 May 2018 and was attended by more than a hundred people, including parliamentarians and high-level government officials. The event, which was intended only to raise public awareness about GM crops, saw tensions reaching fever pitched levels between those in favour of and those extremely wary of GM crops.

Tanzania is a key target country for the cultivation of GM crops, particularly by Monsanto and the Gates Foundation projects. Tanzanian scientists are vocal supporters of GMOs and do the lobby work for the biotech industry, often making outlandish promises about the miracle properties of GMO crops.

Biosafety Indaba eSwatini: Unclear motives following approval to cultivate Bt cotton, despite dismal failures in Africa, India


The news that the Swaziland Environmental Authority (SEA) had authorised the importation and commercial release of Bt cotton seeds came as a huge shock to the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). It meant that ACB had to reconsider its earlier acceptance of an invitation by SEA to attend a National Biosafety Indaba on 22 May 2018, where ACB would share knowledge and experiences on GM crop cultivation, in order to inform Swazi decision-making. When ACB received the news, it was just four days before the Indaba and all logistics had already been confirmed and paid for.