Monsanto Seed Failure in South Africa

South African farmers are experiencing what is being called a disaster, as upwards of 80% of the corn crop planted this year has failed to go to seed. Three varieties of Monsanto created corn have failed on over 82,000 hectares of farmland, resulting in millions of dollars of losses for farmers. Monsanto is reportedly blaming the lack of seed on problems of fertilization in the lab and is offering some compensation, although based on estimates of failure much less than is being claimed. According to an article in the Digital Journal, this is not satisfying many in South Africa: "Environmental activitist Marian Mayet, director of the Africa-centre for biosecurity in Johannesburg, demands an urgent government investigation and an immediate ban on all GM-foods, blaming the crop failure on Monsanto's genetically-manipulated technology."

Perhaps most disconcerting about this event is that one cannot tell there is a problem with the corn until it has matured and has been picked and peeled. Only then does it become apparent that there is no corn on the cob. This late-term discovery allows for no replanting and a potentially disastrous last minute shortage of a very important staple crop - a main food source in South Africa. This should be seen as a cautionary tale about the concerns of corporate control of our food supply.

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  1. Anonymous8:36 AM

    wow. what a crazy development in the ongoing monsanto saga.

  2. Your last line is spot on. Unfortunate that this has happened and it will be interesting to see the ramifications, but these are the things that happen when corporations control food. They want the easiest, most profitable way to do things and if something goes awry they oftentimes are not the ones that suffer.

  3. Anonymous7:34 PM

    That's over 200,000 acres of useless corn!!!


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