Battle over GM cotton in South Africa.

PositionInnovation - Genetically modified crops - Brief Article

South Africa is one of Africa's most liberal countries as far as bin and genetic plant modification is concerned. The fact that the government gave the green light to some genetically modified (GM) agricultural produce more than a decade ago has given South Africa a substantial lead over its African counterparts. Now a triple genetic trait cotton is on the commercial cards for South Africa if an application to grow the plant by the US biotech company, Monsanto, is approved--but the venture is facing stiff opposition. GM cotton was one of the first crops to be given the nod by the department of agriculture.

There are significant differences between the new cotton and existing South African GM crops; it contains three genetic constraints, two of them insect resistant and the other herbicide resistant. Currently, South African crops are single trait-they may include a gene that is resistant to either pests or chemicals. If Monsanto's application succeeds, it will be the first time that more than one genetic trait has been added to a plant.

However, the project has stalled because the South African...

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