In this first alert of the decade, African Centre of Biodiversity research and advocacy officers Linzi Lewis and Sabrina Masinjila provide an update on the status of GM activities, in South Africa and in relation to the region.
Summary of current key trends
The South African government has authorised field trials of 2,4-D resistant soybean. Curiously, it has also authorised field trials involving 2,4-D resistant maize varieties, albeit that these events were already approved for commercial growing in 2019.
Authorisation has been given to export GM maize seeds (MON87640 X MON810 drought tolerant and Bt maize) to Kenya and Uganda for field trials. This variety has expressly been rejected by South African regulators for commercial growing in SA, due to non-performance.