Detection of GMO in food products in South Africa: Implications of GMO labelling
Genetically modified (GM) crops currently account for 29% of crop production worldwide. South Africa is currently the only country in Africa to commercially grow GM crops. Despite a lack of regulations to provide for food labelling that allows for consumer preference, many products carry negative or positive labels with regard to genetic modification. The aim of this study was to test different maize and soy products to determine the uptake of GM food into the human food chain as well as the validity of “non-GMO” (genetically modified organisms), “GMO free” or “organic” labels, on local as well as imported products. Of the 58 products selected and sampled randomly, 44 tested positive for the presence of GM. Furthermore, of the 20 products with a GM related label, 14 tested positive for GM. These results demonstrate the extent of GM in the human food chain in South Africa and highlight the need for effective regulations to protect consumers against misleading claims.
Keywords: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), genetic modification (GM), food, labelling