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- nudicorn answered: The fact that one company dominates the production of SA’s most important crop is a problem, but genetically modified foods are not.
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It’s been said that Africa has the potential to feed the world, if it’s land is utilised properly. Food security is a huge issue in the world right now and millions of people are starving despite the fact that there is so much food being produced around the world.
I don’t know if you hear about this or might’ve seen anything about it, but over the weekend, around the world, people were protesting against a company called Monsanto which is one of the largest chemical and agricultural companies in the the world, ’specialising’ in genetically modified food.
I got a copy of this flyer and was doing some more reading and found a basic fact sheet by the African Centre for Biosafety, on Monsanto in South Africa in 2012. Here are some interesting things which I found:
- Monsanto operates in 9 African countries
- Monsanto controls half of the seed industry in South Africa
- Monsanto owns over 50% of South Africa’s maize seed market and practically all of the GM maize seeds sold in South Africa.
- Monsanto also completely controls the soya and cotton markets in the country and owns many seed registrations of vegetable, oilseed and grain crops. Over half of all wheat varieties registered in South Africa are owned by Monsanto, through its subsidiary Sensako.
- When farmers buy Monsanto’s GM seeds, they must also buy Monsanto’s chemicals. Monsanto thus controls over 60% of the glyphosate market in the country.
- South African farmers and consumers are subject to Monsanto’s decisions pertaining to what kinds of seed to make available and at what prices.
- There are over 140 GM maize varieties registered in South Africa. Of these only one does not contain GM technology owned by Monsanto. Monsanto’s control over this market has resulted in GM maize seed prices rising by over 45% in the last 5 years. In the same period the price that farmers receive for maize has remained the same.
I was HORRIFIED to read that 80% of the white maize, and 93% of the yellow maize is genetically modified. This is mad considering that mielie pap is a staple food for millions of people around the country and the continent. Furthermore, a lot of people come to South Africa to by their food, and take it across to other countries (I wonder what our mielie meal export situation is).
I’d be very interested in hearing which mielie pap producers (Ace, Iwisa, etc) use Monsanto Maize, or rather, which producers DONT use GMO maize for their pap.
How does it make sense that South Africa, with such a rich agricultural history, and so much amazing land, is importing it’s food?
Over 80% of the food eaten by some of the poorest in the country is genetically modified??? Isn’t that a problem for you? If you hear any more information, or have anything else, please wont you share it?