Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology By Busani Bafana

hillary monsanto 9

Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology By Busani Bafana

MASOPANE, South Africa, Jan 27 2014 (IPS) – On a family farm tucked between the rolling hills of Masopane, 40 km outside of South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, 35-year-old Sophie Mabhena is dreaming big about her crop of genetically modified (GM) maize.

“This is my dream and I know that I am contributing to food security in South Africa,” she told IPS.

Debate is raging here over the government’s policy to promote the cultivation of GM crops.

This month, South Africa launched a new bio-economy strategy, which the government says will boost public access to food security, better health care, jobs and environmental protection.

The new policy promotes multi-sector partnerships and increased public awareness on the benefits of biotechnology – including the use of GM crops.

Mabhena is growing GM maize on part of her family’s 385-hectare Onverwaght Farm because she says the transgenic maize has saved her 218 dollars a season in dealing with pests and weeds.

“Growing stack maize has reduced my costs in terms of pesticides and labour, but the major benefits are the good yields and income from growing this improved variety of maize,” Mabhena said from Onverwaght Farm where, this season, she expects to harvest up to seven tonnes of maize per hectare.

In-built insect resistance (Bt) maize has been grown in South Africa for the last 15 years, but not without opposition from anti-GM activists.

The benefits of GM maize that Mabhena speaks of are not shared by Haidee Swanby, research and outreach officer at the Africa Centre for Biosafety (ACB), which has been on the forefront of spirited campaigns against GM food in South Africa.

Swanby said that GM technology fits into a concentrated farming system, which requires large volumes based on economies of scale, but does not provide livelihoods or healthy, accessible food for ordinary South Africans.

“We need to take a step back and look at our food system in its entirety and decide what system is equitable, environmentally sound and will provide nutritious food for all,” Swanby told IPS.

“The system in which genetically modified organisms [GMOs] fit can’t do that. Apart from the technological failure – for example, the development of resistant and super weeds – adopting this technology leads to the concentration of power, money, land in the hands of the very few and does not necessarily lead to food security.”

Swanby said it was deeply ironic that controversial research on GM maize by Professor Gilles Eric Seralini from France’s University of Caen was ripped apart by regulators, while approvals to allow GMOs in the South African food system have been based on what she calls “un-peer reviewed science that is very scant on detail.”

A 2012 study by Seralini and his research team linked GM maize to cancer. The study has since been dismissed for failing to meet scientific standards by the European Food Safety Authority, a body responsible for reviewing the use and authorisation of GMOs.

“Very rarely do we see information on how many animals were used, for how long, what they were fed and a full analysis of the results. Why has Monsanto’s [an agricultural company and manufacturer of GM maize] research not been submitted to the same kind of scrutiny as Seralini?”

ACB’s recent report, “Africa Bullied to Grow Defective Bt Maize: The Failure of Monsanto’s MON810 Maize in South Africa”, states that Monsanto’s Bt maize failed hopelessly in South Africa as a result of massive insect resistance only 15 years after its introduction into commercial agriculture.

“Today, 24 percent of South Africans go to bed hungry … but the biotech industry has habitually used yield as an indicator of success and this is too narrow and very misleading,” Swanby said.

The ACB argues that the safety of stacking genes is a new area of science whose long-term sustainability remained questionable and states that Bt technology was approved in South Africa before regulatory authorities had the capacity to properly regulate it.

But Dr. Nompumelelo Obokoh, chief executive officer of AfricaBio, a biotechnology association based in Pretoria, told IPS that the GMO Act was passed in 1997 and before then GM crops were regulated under the Agricultural Pests Act.

“Farmers are business people. If it is so difficult or unprofitable to grow Bt maize why is almost 90 percent of our maize based on biotechnology? Surely, if South African farmers found GM maize so difficult to manage why haven’t they rushed back to the old maize varieties of the past?” asked Obokoh.

In 2011 and 2012, 2.3 million hectares and 2.9 million hectares, respectively, of GM crops were grown in South Africa by both small-scale and commercial farmers.

“Food security is a prime right and biotechnology offers one of the many available solutions,” Obokoh said. “While South Africa is without doubt food secure as a country, we still suffer from food insecurity at household level because of high costs of food and poor incomes. This is where biotechnology is complementing and not competing against conventional farming.”

Anti-GM activist and the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Jeffrey Smith, told IPS via email that bundling herbicide-tolerant GM crops with herbicide use was in conflict with farming. He cited the diversion of much-needed research dollars into development of expensive GMOs and away from more appropriate technologies

“The GMO advocates have also promoted the myth that crop productivity, by itself, can eradicate hunger,” said Smith, arguing that key international reports over the last 15 years describe how economics and distribution are more fundamental to solving this problem.

However, in November the African Science Academies urged African governments to invest heavily on biotechnology, declaring that biotechnology-enhanced tools and products can help Africa break the cycle of hunger, malnutrition and underdevelopment.


Republish | | Print | |En español

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While Sophie Mabhena may be embracing the South African government’s policy to implement biotechnology in farming by growing genetically modified maize, anti-GM experts caution that this does not necessarily lead to food security. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

African Centre for Biosafety: Africa bullied to grow defective Bt Maize


Monsanto Employee Hillary Clinton Counsel US Senator (D), Sec of State

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Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Capitol Hill, behind closed doors, national corporate bully Monsanto is working to ensure its world dominance by pressing President Obama and Congress to fast-track trade deals that force other countries to treat GMOs with the same lack of caution we in the U.S. currently do. Should this come to pass, countries could lose their right to regulate factory farms and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“voluntary” “any products” “if those ingredients present a health or safety risk”

(published in Politico)

“only requires a federal GMO label on any products from GMO plants if those ingredients present a health or safety risk”

hillary monsanto 10

hillary monsanto 11

Wolf in sheep’s clothing is an idiom of Biblical origin.

About ”blessedistruth”




39 Responses to “Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology By Busani Bafana”

  1. blessedistruth Says:


    Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology By Busani Bafana

  2. blessedistruth Says:

  3. blessedistruth Says:

    #hillaryclinton #monsanto #GMO

    Resistance Over GMOs as South Africa Pushes Biotechnology By Busani Bafana

  4. blessedistruth Says:

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    Vintage Black Mavis Staples and Friend & Lover

  10. blessedistruth Says:

  11. blessedistruth Says:

    Vintage Black Mavis Staples and Friend & Lover

  12. blessedistruth Says:

    FEBRUARY 6, 2014
    Newsmakers with Senator Rand Paul

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) talked about Congress and his potential run for president in 2016.

    Senator Paul said that he wanted to tie raising the debt ceiling to economic concessions from Democrats, that he was opposed to sanctions against Iran sanction, and that he favored cuts to defense spending and foreign aid. 

    Topics included his nearly 13-hour “filibuster” March 2013 to postpone a vote on to confirm John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency as part of a fight to bar drone flights over the U.S.

    After the interview, the reporters discussed his responses with the host.

  13. blessedistruth Says:

    #chemTrails #geoEngineering #Arizona #AZ

  14. blessedistruth Says:

    #chemTrails #geoEngineering #Arizona #AZ

  15. blessedistruth Says:

    #chemTrails #geoEngineering #Arizona #AZ


  16. blessedistruth Says:


  17. blessedistruth Says:

    Hillary Clinton thought Bill didn’t have sex ‘of any real meaning’ with ‘narcissistic loony toon’ Monica Lewinsky, secret papers reveal

    She made remark to best friend Diane Blair who kept file on all dealings

    They record years of conversations with Clintons on issues Lewinsky

    She said Bill and Lewinsky never had sex ‘within any real meaning’

    Includes Bill’s love letter to Hillary telling of falling asleep to erotic poem

    New book out tomorrow outlines Hillary’s ‘enemies list’

    ‘I’m used to winning,’ Clinton told Blair, ‘and I intend to win on my own terms’

    PUBLISHED: 10 February 2014

  18. blessedistruth Says:

    Lest we forget Petraeus up to his eyeballs in Benghazi cover-up

    Published on Mar 27, 2013
    Benghazi Cover-Up Syria CIA Petraeus Hillary Obama STOP NATO Newsfeed

  19. blessedistruth Says:

    If I was #POTUS everyone in #Monsanto would go to prison for life without parole @PCCS_VA

    5:59 PM – 8 Feb 2014

  20. blessedistruth Says:

    4. Syria

    Obama had no such appetite for intervening in Syria’s civil war, however, even as the country plunged into chaos in 2012.

    Clinton came to worry that the cost of inaction was outweighing the risk of intervention.

    So she teamed up with C.I.A. director David Petraeus to devise a plan to arm and train moderate rebel factions, which the two presented to Obama.

    The plan echoed the views of some leading Republicans, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

    But few in the White House agreed—including Obama, who rejected it.

    Hillary never spoke publicly about the plan, although in June her husband urged Obama to be less cautious about Syria.

    “Some people say,

    ‘Okay, see what a big mess it is? Stay out!’

    I think that’s a big mistake,” Bill Clinton said.

    When Obama threatened air strikes last fall to punish the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, Hillary Clinton did support him with a pair of public statements.

    She was apparently undaunted by polling that showed more than 70 percent of Americans opposed to military action.

    [The last thing we need is these two warmongers back in the White House. McCain & Graham? This is EXACTLY why we’ll never get to bottom of Benghazi cover-up — Hillary Petraeus McCain Graham ALL of one mind to escalate in Syria]

  21. blessedistruth Says:

    Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Symphony in E minor, published as Symphony No. 6, was composed in 1946–47, during and immediately after World War II.

    1.2 Moderato


    The second movement starts a tritone away, in B-flat minor.

    The main themes are so chromatic that they eventually have little sense of profile.

    A central feature of this movement is a “rat-a-tat” rhythmic motive that recurs through most of the movement, beginning in the second measure.

    At one point that figure goes away for a while, and the effect of its eventual return is an almost palpable sense of dread.

    After an enormous battering climax fuelled by that figure

    (including the single loudest point in the entire symphony),

    the movement winds down with a lengthy solo played by the cor anglais, still accompanied by the same three-note ostinato.

    The sustained last note links via a half-step drop to the Scherzo Movement.

  22. blessedistruth Says:

    Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Symphony in E minor, published as Symphony No. 6, was composed in 1946–47, during and immediately after World War II.

    1.3 Scherzo: Allegro vivace

    Scherzo: Allegro vivace

    This movement, heavily fugal in texture, follows a typical scherzo/trio structure, but the overall feel is hardly one of amusement; the high spirits are decidedly raucous and sardonic.

    Although the rhythmic style is less disjointed than in the first movement (the listener has little trouble following the meter here), the harmony (heavily dominated by tritones, or lowered fifths) and orchestration both revert to the first movement’s density.

    The trio section features the tenor saxophone’s only true solo role in the symphony; when the scherzo material recurs the composer turns the fugue subject upside down and eventually combines that form with the original version.

    With the final climax (the trio theme stated by full orchestra) the music almost collapses, leaving the bass clarinet holding the sustained note that links to the Finale.

  23. blessedistruth Says:

    I made a little Olympics movie.

    Mussorgsky Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition 4 of 4 The National Philharmonic of Russia

  24. blessedistruth Says:

    The Fourth Estate (or fourth estate) is a societal or political force or institution whose influence is not consistently or officially recognized.

    “Fourth Estate” most commonly refers to the news media; especially print journalism or “the press”.

    [The 4th Estate has failed you, good people. “Arms industries, war profiteers, major corporations who influence politics thru influence, lobbying , opinion shaping.”]

    The world’s top 10 seed companies: who owns Nature?

  25. blessedistruth Says:

  26. blessedistruth Says:

    The Fourth Estate Has Failed You – People Don’t Know What They Are Eating

  27. blessedistruth Says:

    When asked if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should remain the chair of the Republican Governor’s Association in light of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, Paul said it’s not for him to judge.

    But he did say,

    “It’s important that people think that their government not be used to bully them.

    So for example, one of the things that conservatives have been upset with President Obama is that it looked like he was using the IRS to target taxpayer groups.

    Nobody wants to think their government would shut down a bridge or do something just because you’re a Democrat and I’m a Republican.

    It’s an unsettling charge. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s unsettling.”

  28. blessedistruth Says:

    #hillary #hillaryclinton #petraeus #benghazi #syria

    Hillary Clinton, Petraeus, Benghazi and Syria

    Did CIA and State Department Run Illegal Arms Trafficking in Benghazi?

    December 10, 2012

    Former CIA officer Clare Lopez said,

    “That means Stevens was authorized by the U.S. Department of State and the Obama administration to aid and abet individuals and groups that were, at a minimum, allied ideologically with al-Qaeda, the jihadist terrorist organization that attacked the homeland on the first 9/11, the one that’s not supposed to exist anymore after the killing of its leader, Osama bin Laden, on May 2, 2011.”


    Hillary Planned To Arm Syrian Interventionists

    03 February, 2013

    A plan developed last summer by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus to arm and train Syrian rebels was rebuffed by the White House, The New York Times reported on February 2, 2013.

    The United States has sent humanitarian aid to Syria but has declined requests for weapons by rebels fighting to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    The White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the United States into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands, the Times said, citing unnamed Obama administration officials.

    The plan called for vetting rebels and arming a group of fighters with the assistance of some neighboring countries.

    Some administration officials expected the issue to come up again after the November US elections, but the plan apparently died after Petraeus resigned because of an extramarital affair and Clinton missed weeks of work with health issues, the Times said.

    Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state on Friday, declined in a recent interview with the Times to comment on her role in the debate over arming the rebels.

    Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was said by some officials to be sympathetic to the idea, the paper reported.

    Petraeus and a spokesman for Panetta declined to comment, the Times said.

    [I’d rather have another 4 years of Obama than Hillary. I don’t believe Hillary would be kept in check by the anti-war Left. Do you honestly believe these people would allow a little thing like legality stop them?]

    [But she or any Dem will win if Republicans put forth a candidate who talks hawk.]

  29. blessedistruth Says:

    #hillary #hillaryclinton #petraeus #benghazi #syria

    Hillary Clinton, Petraeus, Benghazi and Syria

    Did CIA and State Department Run Illegal Arms Trafficking in Benghazi?

    December 10, 2012

    Former CIA officer Clare Lopez said,

    “That means Stevens was authorized by the U.S. Department of State and the Obama administration to aid and abet individuals and groups that were, at a minimum, allied ideologically with al-Qaeda, the jihadist terrorist organization that attacked the homeland on the first 9/11, the one that’s not supposed to exist anymore after the killing of its leader, Osama bin Laden, on May 2, 2011.”

  30. blessedistruth Says:

    SEP. 7, 2012

    Federal Judge Susan Bolton paves the way for the most controversial section of Arizona’s sweeping immigration legislation, provision requiring authorities to verify the status of people who they suspect are in the country illegally, by denying a request by a coalition of civil rights groups to bar the provision.

  31. blessedistruth Says:

    #Monsanto #GMO #Argentina

    Argentina Province Stalls Monsanto Corn Project on Environmental Concerns

    February 11, 2014

    Despite their broad use, there has been significant grass-roots resistance to Monsanto and its technology, both in Argentina and across the globe, and in Europe most GMOs are banned. Nearly a dozen protestors were arrested at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in January in St. Louis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    In the U.S. and Argentina weeds resistant to the glyphosate are spreading, forcing farmers to use more of the herbicide and to combine other, more powerful herbicides into the mix widely sprayed over the fields each season.

    A small, but determined group of activists have camped out in front of the Cordoba construction site since September, blocking the road and preventing vehicles from coming in or out.

    “The reality is that the environmental groups are opposed to Argentina’s farming model,” Mr. Vaquero said.

    Those protestors celebrated the rejection of the environmental-impact assessment.

    “We’re overjoyed,” Matías Marizza, member of the Malvinas Fight for Life Assembly told Cordoba radio station FM Las Higueras on Tuesday. “There’s no turning back. Monsanto has to go,” he said.

  32. blessedistruth Says:

  33. blessedistruth Says:

    (The Battle Against Geoengineering)

    Global Geoengineering – The Most Important Topic of Our Time: the undisclosed global campaign engaged in weather modification and weaponization, climate “mastery,” and ecocide (destruction of the biosphere).

  34. blessedistruth Says:

  35. blessedistruth Says:

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  38. blessedistruth Says:


    #NSA #Metadata #Assassination

    “We can kill you if we don’t know your identity, but once we kill you, we want to figure out who we killed.”

    Death By Metadata: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas


    Well, Amy, first of all, we saw very recently that the U.S. carried out a drone strike that killed many members of a wedding party in Yemen.

    The question should be asked: How is it that those individuals were selected on that day for that strike?

    And, you know, what the president is saying is very misleading, according to people who actually work on this program.

    And in fact, when we asked the White House for comment, we went to the National Security Council spokesperson, Caitlin Hayden, and asked directly,

    “Is it true that you’re ordering strikes where you don’t actually have any human intelligence?”

    And the White House refused to directly answer that.

    They just said,

    “Well, we don’t select targets based on only one source of intelligence.”

    Well, we knew that already, and we told them that we knew that.

    The point here is that they don’t actually have a requirement to confirm the identity of the individuals that they’re targeting, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing so many innocent people being killed in these strikes.

    It effectively amounts to pre-crime, where an acceptable level of civilian deaths is any civilians who die in the pursuit of a limited number of so-called bad guys.

    AMY GOODMAN: Didn’t the spokesperson also say, though, confirming that human intelligence was used—


    AMY GOODMAN: —tried afterwards, but not before—after attack?


    Right. I mean, I’m not sure that they’re aware of the kind of twisted irony of the statement that they issued to us, because

    on the one hand they’re refusing to acknowledge that they don’t actually need to confirm the identity of people who they’re trying to target for death;

    on the other hand they say,

    “Oh, well, when we kill someone, we do actually confirm whether or not civilians were killed by using human intelligence.”

    So, it basically is—the standard is:

    We can kill you if we don’t know your identity, but once we kill you, we want to figure out who we killed.


    AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report.

    We are broadcasting our exclusive first interview with Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald upon the publication just hours ago of their new piece, “The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program.”

    The article appears at, a new digital magazine launched today by First Look Media.

    Glenn and Jeremy co-founded The Intercept with filmmaker Laura Poitras.

    Glenn is with us from his home in Brazil, and we’re going to talk about whether he plans to come into the United States.

    And Jeremy Scahill joins us from Los Angeles. Jeremy’s film, Dirty Wars, has been nominated for an Academy Award.

    Glenn, can you talk about the legality of publishing this information, the way it’s been challenged by the administration?

    In your piece, you have Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Agency, saying,

    “the type of operational detail that, in our view, should not be published,”

    she said, referring to the questions that you both were asking her.

    You are a former constitutional lawyer, Glenn.


    The position of the U.S. government is that it’s illegal to publish any kind of classified information that you are not authorized to receive.

    It’s of course illegal, in their view, for a government employee or contractor to leak it without authorization.

    But their view, as well, is that it’s actually illegal, even if you’re a journalist, to publish it.

    And they believe that’s especially the case if the information pertains to what they call signals intelligence.

    And if you look at the Espionage Act of 1917 and other relevant statutes, it does seem to say that it is illegal in the United States to publish that kind of information.

    The problem for that view is that there’s a superseding law called the Constitution, the First Amendment to which guarantees that there shall be a free press and that Congress and no other part of the government has the right to interfere with it.

    Drones, metadata, and ‘Dirty Wars’

    Chris Hayes talks with “Dirty Wars” author and filmmaker Jeremy Scahill about the bombshell revelations on the NSA’s metadata campaign.

    Obama once reportedly told his aides that it “turns out I’m really good at killing people.”

    The president added, “Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”



  39. blessedistruth Says:

    #NSA #Metadata #Assassination

    “We can kill you if we don’t know your identity, but once we kill you, we want to figure out who we killed.”

    Death By Metadata: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas

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