South Africa has approved the importation of genetically modified corn from US.
Dirk Kok, the spokesperson for the secretariat of South African Cereals, Oilseeds and Trade Association confirmed during an interview session.
He related that South Africa will allow both white and yellow Genetically modified corn from US to arrive SA.
Referring to the drought negative impact on local products, Kok argued that the import will go a long way in managing the skyroctting price of corn in the country.
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He was quoted to have said: “the door is open to imports from the US…prices will come down.”
Reporting this, Bloomberg related that Wandile Sihlobo – the head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at the Agricultural Business Chamber – described the decision as a critical one.
“We are going to see a stronger correlation between the yellow-maize price and the US price.
“The reaction of the South African farmers are going to be intresting,” Sihlobo reportedly said.
Grain SA expressed disatifaction over the decision. Speaking, its Chief Executive Officer Jannie de Villiers said: “we think this is a bit of unfair trade because American farmers have better access to technology and now we have to compete with them…why are we opening it up to the Americans to have a shot at the South African market?”
Meanwhile, a senior director of US Grain Council, identified as Cary Sifferath asserted that the decision “will allow US corn, both white and yellow, to ship into South Africa fairly easily.”
Sifferath added that “there could be some need for some additional white corn imports” while South Africa wait for harvest between late April to May.
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Records have it that genetically modified corn triggered controversy due to concerns about possible health effects, impact on insects and on other plants.
In US, a strain named Starlink was approved only for animal consumption. It was later found in food and led to a mass outcry for the food products to be recalled from market.
Over 300 food products were found to contain the genetically modified corn which had not been approved for human consuption.