Bill Gates and Monsanto and Africa?


ECOTERRA Intl.   Bill Gates and Monsanto Bully Africa to Grow Defective Bt Maize Today the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) released a new report ‘Africa bullied to grow defective Bt Maize: the failure of Monsanto

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Bill Gates and Monsanto Bully          Africa to Grow Defective Bt Maize
Today the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) released a new report ‘Africa      bullied to grow defective Bt Maize: the failure of Monsanto’s      MON810 maize in South Africai, showing how    Monsanto’s GM/GE (genetically engineered, transgenic) maize, which    utterly failed in SA, is now being foisted on the rest of the    continent, through ‘sleight of hand’.
Independent scientists have shown that Monsanto’s GM/GE maize    variety, MON810 – which has been growing in SA for 15 years     – has completely failed due to the development of massive insect    resistance, leading to the GM/GE maize being withdrawn from the SA    market. Monsanto has compensated farmers who were forced to spray    their crops with pesticides to control the pests, calling into    serious question the very rationale for GM/GE crops.
According to the Director of the ACB, Mariam Mayet, ‘Monsanto got    the science completely wrong on this one. Independent biosafety    scientists have discovered that the inheritance of resistance in    African stem borers is a dominant, not recessive, trait as    erroneously assumed. Hence the insect resistance management    strategies that Monsanto developed, and accepted by our regulators,    based on these erroneous assumptions, were utterly ineffective.’
Undeterred, Monsanto is now pushing its flop GM/GE maize onto the    rest of the continent. According to the ACB report, Monsanto has now    donated its MON810 GM/GE technology ‘royalty-free’ to a Gates    Foundation/Monsanto funded ‘philanthropic’ project, Water Efficient    Maize for Africa (WEMA). WEMA is being rolled out in Mozambique,      Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The defective GM/GE maize is set    to be approved for commercial growing by 2015.
WEMA was first touted for a good number of years, with much fanfare,    as a charitable project intent on bringing drought tolerant maize    varieties to resource poor African small farmers. However, with a    sleight of hand and stony silence, WEMA has included MON810 into the    mix. Field trials with MON810 are already running in Kenya and    Uganda. In response to the project, the Mozambican government is now    changing its biosafety laws to allow for the cultivation of GM/GE    crops while WEMA is pressurising the Tanzanian government to change    the country’s biosafety law that will hold Monsanto strictly liable    for damages that may arise.
According to researcher with the ACB, Haidee Swanby, ‘WEMA is a    convenient vehicle for Monsanto to gain regulatory approval for its    controversial technology in African countries. However,     “royalty-free” seed simply means that resource strapped commercial    farmers will get the seed at the same price as hybrid seed, which    means that these seeds will be prohibitively expensive. The patents    on the gene sequences still reside with Monsanto, and farmers will    have to pay premium prices for the GM/GE seeds.’
The ACB report also highlights that Monsanto’s MON810 GM/GE trait    has been genetically engineered into a local Egyptian maize variety    called Ajeeb. ‘Ajeeb Yieldgard’ has now been patented by Monsanto    and ‘approved’ for commercial growing through circumvention of the    Egyptian biosafety law. Significantly, the report highlights that    the Egyptian government has published peer reviewed independent and    publically funded biosafety studies on MON810 showing serious risks    to human and animal health.
Said Swanby, ‘The scariest revelation is that GM/GE producers and    regulatory authorities are making it all up as they go along, while    the massive biotech PR machinery spreads the myth that these crops    are connected to feeding the poor in Africa.’
i      The ACB report can be downloaded from our website www.acbio.org.za
Contact:     Haidee Swanby 082 459 8548     Mariam Mayet 083 269 4309
The African Centre for Biosafety www.acbio.org.za     PO Box 29170, Melville 2109 South Africa     Tel: +27 (0)11 486 1156
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