The effect of genetically modified maize on biodiversity in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. L.G.C. Scheepers en
dc.contributor.author Haasbroek, Leonard F.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-02-05T07:08:53Z
dc.date.available 2009-02-05T07:08:53Z
dc.date.issued 2009-02-05T07:08:53Z
dc.date.submitted 2004-06
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1998
dc.description M.Sc. en
dc.description.abstract South Africa is a maize producing country. Similar to many other African countries, maize is one of the primary staples. Genetically modified (GM) maize was introduced in 1997 to the South African agricultural sector by multinational seed companies. At present thirteen yellow and six white GM maize hybrids are grown in all the major local cultivation areas. About 10% of all local maize hectares are under GM cultivars, which is about half of the global average for GM maize producing countries. Biotechnology has been the focus of much controversy. This is hardly surprising, since it is a technology that exerts a change on the environment and therefore causes a shift in biodiversity. This study focuses on the effect that GM maize has on biodiversity and the factors that contribute to this change in the maize industry. The effects of biotechnology can be felt in the political, economical and environmental arenas of society. The United States of America and the European Union are locked in a trade war over the safety of bio-engineered crops. Certain African countries are very reluctant to import GM maize due to these prevailing uncertainties. At a global level, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety seeks to address these concerns. On a national level, South Africa has enacted the Genetically Modified Organisms Act (Act No. 15 of 1997) to provide a mechanism to implement South Africa’s obligations to the Cartagena Protocol. The farming community has been struggling to cope with the new biotechnology, which places a heavy burden of responsibility on them. The struggle to protect non- GM and organic crops against contamination from cross-pollination seems neverending. The labelling of GM products in order to have liability and traceability in the event of mishaps has been requested around the world. All of these factors contribute to the rapid change that is observed in biodiversity. It is apparent that a large pool of new genetic material is available now and the impetus is there to take advantage of this. It remains to be seen if biotechnology will be the answer to the looming question of world hunger. At the very best, it is an immediate solution toward safe-guarding crops against certain pests and diseases. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Corn genetic engineering en
dc.subject Crops genetic engineering en
dc.subject Genetically modified foods en
dc.subject Agricultural biotechnology en
dc.subject Biodiversity en
dc.title The effect of genetically modified maize on biodiversity in South Africa en
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en

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