South Africa Taking Part In U.S.-funded GMO Trials

Published online: Sep 08, 2004
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Trials of genetically modified potatoes with inserted genes have been taking place at three locations in South Africa.

The "secret" U.S.-funded trials are being coordinated with the Agricultural Research Council.

"No GM potatoes have been harvested for human consumption," a spokesman said.

The Council commented after the lobby organization African Center for Biosafety and the South African government had approved trials at six locations.

It said similar potatoes had been grown in the U.S. but then were withdrawn because of consumer resistance.

"The South African government is obliged to advise objecting groups of the outcomes of decisions taken on the release of genetically engineeered products," a spokesman said.

"But in this instance it wanted to give International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications, a U.S.-funded institution, the opportunity to first do the public relations work for Golden Genomics and the Agricultural Research Council, which would run the project.