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Crop Biotech Update

ISAAA Report Launched in Swaziland

May 20, 2015
For the second year since 2014, Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA) in collaboration with ISAAA AfriCenter launched the ISAAA Annual Global Status Report on GM crops in Mbabane on 13 May, 2015. The launch event attracted about 45 participants comprised of media, policy makers, regulators, scientists, and civil society representatives. 

The report, which was presented by Dr. Faith Nguthi, Senior Program Officer ISAAA AfriCenter, generated a strong debate on health and socio economic concerns amongst the participants. The event provided an opportunity to sensitize participants on the benefits and perceived concerns of GM crops. While launching the report, the Minister for Tourism and Environment, Hon. Jabulani Mapuza allayed participant's fears and concerns about the safety of GM crops. He reiterated that over the last 19 years of commercial production of GM crops, no ill effects have been reported over their use on either human health or the environment. He informed the audience that Swaziland is already importing yellow GM maize from neighboring South Africa for feed. 

The Biosafety Registrar Swaziland Environment Authority, Mr. Bongani enlightened participants on how GM crops are developed, their advantages and prevalent concerns. He emphasized that many of these concerns are not unique to GM crops. He informed the audience that the Swaziland Cotton Board had started confined field trials on Bt cotton in December 2014 in six locations. He affirmed SEA's commitment towards increasing public awareness on GM crops amongst varied stakeholders by mainstreaming Biotech/Biosafety into the curricula.


For more information about the launch, contact Dr. Faith Nguthi at fnguthi@isaaa.org