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

More toxic GM crops & food for SA; Ineffective GM drought tolerant maize pushed on Kenya and Uganda!

Alert

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.

GM Potato Push in East Africa

Briefing paper

Andean and African farmers condemn digital sequence information of potatoes from centres of origin – opens doors for biopiracy

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Cusco, Peru; Johannesburg, South Africa and Kigali, Rwanda – 05 March, 2020

Billionaire potato overlords on both sides of the North Atlantic want to see genetically modified (GM) potatoes spread across the world. They rely on the collaboration of the Lima, Peru-based research institute, the International Potato Center (CIP), which is pushing to release a GM potato in East Africa, genetically engineered through cisgenesis.

The GM potato push in Rwanda: With regulatory hurdles in Uganda, is this the industry’s fall back?

Press release

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To enable the introduction of the first GM crop to be grown in Rwanda – a GM potato variety named ‘Victoria’ – the Rwandan government is fast-tracking the development of a biosafety policy and legal framework.
Civil society is deeply concerned about the potential risks of this GM potato variety, which has been genetically modified through cisgenesis – a process that involves taking three genes from three wild South American potato varieties to confer resistance to late blight.