GM Crop Failure Petition 2009

african-centre-for-biosafetyBy African Centre for Biosafety

Three varieties of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize failed to produce crops during the 2008-09 growing season, leaving up to 200,000 hectares (~500,000 acres) of fields barren of cobs and crop losses across several provinces in South Africa.

According the GRAIN SA, the varieties are: MON 810, NK 603 and MON 810 x NK 603. These seeds were sold to commercial maize farmers and provided to resource poor farmers in South Africa.

Monsanto has compensated commercial farmers who lost their yield, and barred these farmers from speaking to the media or public. Monsanto has claimed that a mistake was made in the breeding process. No further details regarding this mistake or how it might have similarly affected all three varieties has been forthcoming from Monsanto. Why the veil of secrecy on Monsanto’s part and the gagging of affected commercial crop producers?

The South African biosafety regulatory authority, which approved the commercial release of these three maize varieties, has not seen fit to make any statement regarding the crop failure to the consuming public. Should we assume that the regulatory authority has uncritically accepted the Monsanto explanation? South Africa is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and is therefore obliged to implement an effective precautionary approach to monitor and regulate GMOs. What confidence can we, the consuming public, have that our regulatory authority is effectively fulfilling this role in an independent and transparent fashion?

Concerned scientists have long since warned that commercialisation of GM plants is premature given the attendant uncertainties and imprecision of genetic crop modification. The impact of these “mistakes” in producing these GM maize crops was smoothed out this time by compensation from Monsanto to affected commercial farmers. How might other mistakes impact on farmers and consumers and who will pay the price?

What steps has Monsanto taken to protect the interests and reimburse the loss of affected resource poor farmers? These and other questions remain unanswered.

Sign the petition here. http://www.activist.co.za/campaigns/2009/investigategm.php

WE, THE CONCERNED PUBLIC, CALL ON OUR GOVERNMENT TO MAKE PUBLIC WHAT IT KNOWS ABOUT THE CROP FAILURES AND TO SUPPORT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL OF INDEPENDENT EXPERTS TO INVESTIGATE THESE CROP FAILURES AND ACT AS A MONITORING BODY FOR ALL GMOS RELEASED INTO OUR ENVIRONMENT. 

Please repost this widely.

9 responses to “GM Crop Failure Petition 2009

  1. signed and sent on to 20 more, when it first happened they tried to blame fertilizer misuse and the farmers..ha ha ha..
    3 varieties failed? due to “inadequate pollination in the lab” yeah, right, we believe you…not!
    UNSTABLE GENES!!!

    • these franken freaks think they own life.

      insane.

      I wish the petition were more strongly worded – in addition to oversight, all gm crops should be banned until more independent scientific studies are completed.

  2. Too much mucking around with without full proper controlled trials ,before being releases on the general public . This applies to the food chain , pharmacuticals , fuel and other . Greed is at the back of all these trials and we ingest most of these one way or another

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  6. Friends,

    I just created a petition entitled Label Genetically Modified (GMO) Food Products, because I care deeply about this very important issue.

    I’m trying to collect 10,000 or more signatures, and I could really use your help. (maybe you can put the petition on your website?)

    To read more about what I’m trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/label-genetically-modified-gmo-food-products?share_id=ifyQgjyEuw&pe=d2e

    It’ll just take a minute!

    Once you’re done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word! Let me know if you will help on this blog!

  7. I’m trying to collect 10,000 or more signatures, and I could really use your help. (maybe you can put the petition on your website?)

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