As GM maize crops fail, US insists we accept more GM

Genetically-modified maize failures in South Africa

280 South African farmers growing genetically modified maize recently suffered extensive crop failures when three different maize varieties all failed to produce much seed. 82 000 hectares were affected by a problem Monsanto blamed on “insufficient crop fertilisation” in the laboratory. The plants looked lush from the outside, but upon opening the cob leaves they were seen to have little to no seeds, and were worthless.

Farmers have suffered millions of rands worth of damage, although Monsanto has offered compensation. Grain-SA, ardent supporters of Monsanto (and ardently supported by Monsanto), made a public statement saying they are still fully supportive of GM-technology.

The maize is designed to be infertile in its second generation, forcing farmers to continually buy seed from Monsanto – it looks like that useful trait skipped a generation.

Global Food Security Act of 2009

While Monsanto and their local friends endanger South African food security, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee has unanimously passed a bill effectively forcing GMO’s on Africa. Ostensibly aimed at assisting with food security and alleviating global hunger (does anyone still believe these claims?), the bill mandated that agricultural research they fund must “include research on biotechnological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology.”

Toxic baby feed

You may remember the outcry a while ago about melamine in Chinese formula, pet food, and so on. Much of the response centred around the lack of Chinese control, but we were reassured that elsewhere controls were in place. Well, in the US, 87% of milk-based infant formula sales in the U.S. have been found to contain perchlorate, a substance normally found in missile fuel, and a potent thyroid toxin. The problem was found to affect 15 different brands across 28 different states, and in particular stems from contamination of drinking water by the military industry.

Changing delivery and pickup times

We’re moving to a new warehouse later this month, and this will affect all our routes. Most of the collection and delivery times will be affected. We’ll announce more details closer to the time, but please remember to look carefully at the new times in 2 weeks time.

To order your perchlorate-free organic food, packed full of vitamins and minerals, head on over to

Have a great week,
the Ethical Co-op team

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Stallion

    I want to know, why are we opting for geneticaly organic food? why are not caltivating our land? South Africa has ernomous abanded land. The Minister must consider bringing the bill that will engourage the farm workers that migrate to town and city to return back and produce crops to feed the Country