28.11.2019 |

South Africa’s Agriculture Minister Rejects Monsato’s GM Maize Seed

Amidst the clamor that surrounds Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) globally, a small but significant triumph panned out in South Africa last month. The country’s Agriculture Minister, Thoko Didiza, upheld the decision by the Executive Council to reject American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsato’s request for the commercial cultivation of its allegedly drought-tolerant MON87460 x MON89034 x NK603 maize seed. The agro-giant further claimed the genetically modified variety to be resistant to insects.

However, the official report rejecting the GM maize seeds stated that the “kernel count per row and kernel count per year showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the MON87460 x MON89034 x NK603 maize and conventional maize in water limited conditions”. Further, the yield benefits propounded by Monsato were “inconsistent” while the insect resistant data presented was “insufficient as it was collected from only one trial site for two planting seasons”.

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