GIS Mapping, Education and Research
Home   Store   Free GIS   Education   Free Shapefiles   Census   Weather   Energy   Climate Change   News   Maps   TOPO   Aerial   GPS   Learn GIS

DOWNLOAD SHAPEFILES: Canada FSA Postal - Zip Code - U.S. Waterbodies & Wetlands - Geographic Names - School Districts - Indian Federal Lands
Zip Code/Demographics - Climate Change - U.S. Streams, Rivers & Waterways - Tornadoes - Nuclear Facilities - Dams & Risk - 2013 Toxic Release Inventory TRI

ANWR Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; What is at stake; removed USFWS website; photos, maps, descriptions

tools for survival plans Maps Food Water Health Gardening Energy Housing Security Communications Livelihood

Money Making Tips Work from Home Make Money Used Lumber & Building Materal Beginner's Guide Buy/Sell Gold Electronics & Computer

GIS Shapefile Store - for Beginners & Experienced GIS Users Alike. Geographic Names Information System, Nuclear Facilities, Zip Code Boundaries, School Districts, Indian & Federal Lands, Climate Change, Tornadoes, Dams - Create digital GIS maps in minutes.

Toxic Release Inventory TRI Shapefiles

Canada FSA Postal Code Shapefile

GNIS Shapefiles 2,000,000+ Points

Nuclear Energy Facilities in the U.S.

Download Zip Code with Demographics Shapefiles

Download U.S. Streams & Rivers Shapefiles

Download Water Body & Wetland Shapefiles

Download Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles

Download School District Shapefiles

Download Indian & Federal Land Shapefiles

Download Climate Change Shapefiles

Download Tornado Shapefiles

Download Dams & Risks Shapefiles

Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Didn't find what you are looking for? Email me and I'll find it for you.

Progressive Links

Federation of American Scientists

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Union of Concerned Scientists


Reader Supported News

Common Dreams


Huffington Post

Media Matters

Think Progress

Grist Environmental News

Climate Shift Blog

MapCruzin Consulting
Data Research and GIS Specialists.

GIS Tutorials

GIS Basics

GIS Terminology

Of Interest

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Maps

Climate Shift - The effects of climate shift on the future of planet earth and its inhabitants.

Right to Know or Left to Wonder?

Hazardscapes - Toxic and Nuclear Risks in your backyard.

War & Environment

Worst Case Scenarios: Terrorism & industrial chemicals.

South Africa's lonely stance on GM crops


Fair Use Statement

<-- Return To BioTechEffect

Click her for related stories

Source: The Campaign.

South Africa's lonely stance on GM crops

October 15

Johannesburg - An emotive regional debate on the safety of genetically modified food aid has thrown a spotlight on South Africa's stance on biotechnology, exposing a lonely but unwavering policy.

Diplomatic wranglings have overshadowed a food crisis threatening much of southern Africa, with countries in need of food aid first refusing to take GM maize, and then negotiating deals to make sure their own crops do not become contaminated.

But while Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and most prominently Zambia have all expressed great concern over even accepting GM crops, regional economic powerhouse South Africa is steaming ahead with an agenda of strong support for agricultural biotechnology that insiders say is here to stay.

South Africa is the only country in the 14-nation Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to licence the production of transgenic crops, modified to include genetic components from other organisms that do the job of pesticides, protecting the plants from predation.

This year South Africa pioneered the planting of a modified variety of white maize, the region's staple food source.

While SADC officials struggle to find a co-ordinated regional response to agricultural biotechnology, experts see little chance of South Africa deviating from its lonely furrow.

"South Africa's stance in this regard has been so out of step with the rest of Africa, and I see it continuing," said Gillian Kerchoff of the anti-GM pressure group Safeage.

One source in the grain industry concurred, saying regional policies would eventually have to follow South Africa's lead. "GM products are here to stay. It is getting to be increasingly difficult to get GM-free products."


Alone with research knowledge

The South African authorities say they are the only country in the SADC, which includes Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to have access to the necessary research information to make decisions on the safety of the crops.

"We have a regulatory process that examines genetically modified foods from a safety perspective," said Shadrack Moephuli, head of South Africa's Directorate of Genetic Resources.

"The other countries in SADC do not have the regulatory system to be able to determine whether the food is safe or not," he added.

He refused to be drawn on whether group discussions on GM crops would see more regional policy harmonisation, except to say that information would soon be more freely available.

Critics, however, say the government is in thrall to Western biotechnology companies keen to establish a product base in Africa.

"South Africa has always been in a position of a launch pad for the rest of Africa. That has just been made a lot more critical because of the crisis over food aid," Kerchoff said.

The rest of Africa operated very much on the precautionary principle, on the basis that the governments did not know the impact that the technology would have in the future, she added.

"South Africa similarly does not know... And yet they blithely go ahead with crops and imports."

Support from SA farmers

But farmers in South Africa have expressed their support for the crops. Between 10 and 15% of South Africa's maize crop is estimated to be grown from GM seeds that are modified to prevent infestation with insect pests, such as the crop-devastating stalk borer.

While maintaining a healthy respect for the future consequences of growing GM crops in a world where significant export markets, such as Europe and Japan, have come out against the technology, farmers see few problems with GM, said Christo Booyens of Senwes, South Africa's largest grain co-operative.

"At this point in time there is really nothing that one can put against genetically modified organisms," he said, adding that practically no farmers supplying the domestic market were averse to the use of biotechnology.

Gert Pretorius, chair of biotechnology giant Monsanto's board of directors in South Africa, is also a maize farmer and chair of grain co-operative NWK.

He says South African farmers are just more enlightened than their regional counterparts, a statement that opponents such as Safeage's Kerchoff reject.

"To an extent I am worried about our exports," Pretorius said. "But even though my seed costs are higher with GM, I am better off at the end of the day."

Opponents of companies like Monsanto are concerned that initially affordable seed prices will soon rise, and that cross-pollination will contaminate non-GM varieties with patented GM traits.

This was one fear voiced by Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, all of which negotiated deals with the World Food Programme to make sure all US-sourced maize donated for hunger relief, much of which is GM, is milled into flour to make sure local farmers cannot plant it.

"The danger is that once genetically engineered seeds are in the agricultural system there would be cross-pollination and other crops would be found with traces of the genetic modifications. Then the (companies) would claim ownership," Kerchoff said.

<-- Return To BioTechEffect

Didn't find what you are looking for? We've been online since 1996 and have created 1000's of pages. Search below and you may find just what you are looking for.

Michael R. Meuser
Data Research & GIS Specialist is an independent firm specializing in GIS project development and data research. We created the first U.S. based interactive toxic chemical facility maps on the internet in 1996 and we have been online ever since. Learn more about us and our services.

Have a project in mind? If you have data, GIS project or custom shapefile needs contact Mike.

Contact Us

Report Broken Links

Subscribe for Updates


Follow on Facebook
News & Updates

Find: Maps, Shapefiles, GIS Software & More

MapCruzin Blog for updates, questions and answers
Blog Updates

More Blog Updates


Google Earth Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Lester Brown's Plan B 3.0
State GIS Shapefiles, Maps & Resources
GIS Shapefiles & Maps
GIS Programs, Tools & Resources
Free World Country & Regional Maps
GIS / GPS Careers and Job Positions
Disease Outbreak Maps
Extreme Weather & Disaster Maps
Free World Maps from the CIA Factbook
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR Maps
Oil and Gas Maps
Africanized Honey Bees
Renewable Energy Potential Maps of the United States
Terrorism Maps
War Maps
Google Maps
Weather Maps
GPS Resources
Historical Maps of the World
Google Earth
Library of Congress American Memory Map Downloads
Toxic Chemical Pollution Maps
Climate Change Maps
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Census Shapefiles
World Maps


Environmental Justice
Data Sources
Greenwash & JunkScience
Statistical Resources
Wireless Dangers
Surviving Climate Change
Global Right-To-Know
Creating Living Economies
Books of Note
Toxic Klamath River
Federal Lands Maps
TRI Analysis
TRI Webmaps
EnviroRisk Map Network
Community-Based Research
Right-To-Know or Left to Wonder?
Chemical Industry Archives
21st Century Warfare
National Parks and Public Lands
Trade Secrets/Toxic Deception
GIS Books
Our Projects
Other Projects
1999 Archive Environews
Environmental Books
Environmental Links
Redwood Coast Information
Recycle, Salvage, Reuse

Shapefile Store
Free GIS Software
Free Map Downloads
Free Shapefiles
Free Remote Sensing
Free Topo Maps
Free GIS Tutorial
Free GPS

About MapCruzin - Cookies, Privacy, Fair Use and Disclaimer - Advertise on

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Michael Meuser, All Rights Reserved
MapCruzin is a Pop-Up Free Website -- Best Viewed With ANY Browser