10 Facts About GMO’s in South Africa

  1. South Africa is the world’s eighth largest producer of genetically modified organisms.
  2. No other African country grows GM crops on a commercial basis.
  3. Estimates vary, but the general consensus is that 40% of our maize crop, 60% of our soya, and 80% of our cotton are GM varieties.
  4. We import GM maize and soya from Argentina and the USA mainly for animal feed.
  5. GM and non-GM crops are usually not segregated or kept apart when grown in South Africa.
  6. ACB says South Africa has been growing GM crops since 1999 and consumers have been largely unaware that their staple food, maize, has been genetically modified.
  7. Voluntary labels are also permissible; one denoting that the food “does not contain GMO’s”, where the GM content is 0.9% or less and the other, stating that the “GM content is less than 5%”, where the GM content is between 1% and 4.9%. Few food products are likely to be labelled as not containing GMO’s owing to the widespread contamination in South Africa between GM and non- GM food.
  8. The SA regulations state foodstuffs containing more than 5% of GM organisms should be labelled “contains genetically modified organisms”, whether or not they originate in SA.
  9. The first GM crop to be grown commercially in this country was GM cotton in 1997.
  10. Most supermarket chains do not offer SA consumers a non-GM option, however, Woolworths state they have removed GM ingredients from their products wherever possible, and will supply a list of products that may contain GM ingredients upon request.



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