To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

September 09, 2009

Majority of maize, cotton and soya grown in South Africa are genetically modified

by Petronel Smit

Biotechnology consultancy group FoodNCropBio reports in its annual 
project studies that 69% of maize, 92% of cotton and over 80% of soya currently planted in South Africa are genetically modified.

Insect resistance has resulted in profits of some R3-billion for genetically modified (GM) maize over the past ten years.

FoodNCropBio consultant Dr Wynand van der Walt says that 125-million hectares 
of GM crops have been grown globally in 2008.

“The positive impact on the environment and human health is evident from the 
decrease of 359 000 t of the active ingredient of pesticides used. GM maize grain has less risk of mycotoxin contamination than conventional grain. 
“None of the scare mongering allegations have materialised to date,” he explains.

South Africa started field testing cotton with resistance to bollworm in 1990 and 
received approval for commercial use in 1997. GM maize followed in 1998 and GM soya beans in 2000. 
Since 2000, some six-million hectares of GM maize has been grown and has yielded 
a cumulative volume of 23-million tons of GM grain.

Genetic modification entails changing genes that carry the codes for expressing specific traits or transferring a useful gene from one plant species to another. 
In this way, plants take on new characteristics, such as insect or disease resistance, improved oil or nutritional composition or tolerance to herbicides.

Van der Walt explains that what sets GM crops apart from conventional crops is that the GM crops and their products must 
undergo extensive biosafety assessments 
before government approval is granted for release and commercial purposes.

“Products from GM crops are substantially equivalent to the conventional, except where oil composition or nutritional value has been changed for the better. 
The overarching Genetically Modified Organisms Act, which provides for measures to promote the responsible development, production, use and application of GM organisms, sees to safety evaluations for humans, animals and the environment. 
“There exists no such proactive safety for products derived through conventional or 
organic farming,” says Van der Walt.

Engineering News

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP