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Setback for Monsanto in South Africa

Bayer subsidiary Monsanto has been trying to establish its drought-tolerant genetically engineered maize in Africa. It is intended to protect African farmers from the increasing effects of drought. But the maize does not live up to Monsanto’s promises. The South African Ministry of Agriculture has therefore denied Monsanto a cultivation permit.

Agricultural minister Thoko Didiza expressed himself clearly. In his public notice, he stresses that in experiments under conditions of water shortage, the genetically engineered maize did not show better results than conventional maize. All in all, the yields were inconsistent. In some experiments, Monsanto maize even produced poorer harvests than the compared varieties. In addition, the insect resistance could not be proven sufficiently. The Ministry’s conclusion: “The drought tolerance gene in the MON87460 x MON89034 x NK603 maize event did not provide yield protection in water-limited conditions“.

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