Better gmo corn

Published on March 23rd, 2014 | by Jill Ettinger

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South Africa to Monsanto: GMO Crops Aren’t Producing More Sustainable Food

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gmo corn

South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority has ordered biotech giant Monsanto to immediately withdraw an advertisement it’s been running on the country’s Radio 702 channel. The decision comes after the African Centre for Biosafety submitted a complaint to the ASA after the ad was aired and found to be inappropriate.

In the radio spot, Monsanto claims that its biotech crops “enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially.” But according to the ASA, those claims are “unsubstantiated.”

The ASA gave Monsanto an opportunity to respond the complaint filed by the ACB, but the ASA reports that Monsanto could not do so. AllAfrica reports the multibillion dollar chemical and seed company only provided “links to documents on its website,” but was unable to provide required items in accord with South African law. Those include: comments from independent and credible experts “confirming the various studies that Monsanto relied upon showing the ostensible benefits of GM crops.”

“We are elated with this decision. Monsanto has already been warned by the ASA as far back as 2007, that it needs to substantiate its claims from an independent and credible expert in the matter of GM Food/M Wells/ 8739 (18 June 2007) regarding its claims of the so called benefits of GM crops. However, it appears Monsanto does not have much regard for South African law as it is hell bent on disseminating false information to the South African public, “ said Mariam Mayet, Executive Director of the ACB.

The ASA has warned Monsanto that “it should ensure that it holds proper substantiation for its advertising claims” or risk attracting further sanctions, reports AllAfrica.

Monsanto’s crops, which are predominantly genetically modified seeds including soy, corn, canola, cotton and sugar beets, are reliant on heavy applications of herbicides and pesticides, some of which have recently become less effective at deterring pests and weeds that have shown abilities to become resistant.

GMO corn image via Shutterstock



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About the Author

Jill Ettinger is co-director of Eat Drink Better. She is the senior editor at EcoSalon.com and OrganicAuthority.com. A focus on food, herbs, wellness and world cultural expressions, Jill explores what our shifting food, healing systems and creative landscapes will look, sound and taste like in the future. Stay in touch on Twitter @jillettinger and .



  • Kevin Coleman

    Can you provide a link to the evidence the ASA used in its judgement on Monsanto please. I have no doubt it is legit and would like to use this case as an ex#mple of how Monsanto and other biotech companies are totally wrong when they make these claims of better productivity etc.
    Many thanks

    • http://www.jillettinger.com Jill Ettinger

      Hi Kevin,

      The link to the original story is in the article.

  • http://tinyurl.com/czgdz6c Bob Phelps

    Congratulations and thanks to the African Centre for Biosafety, for this great success! Court decisions in New York State and France also previously forced Monsanto to stop making false claims about the supposed benefits of their toxic products. This decision gives us hope that the rest of us may also win a reprieve from pollution and contamination from synthetic chemicals and genetically manipulated organisms.

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