South Africa: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   SF2021-0060

South Africa has a robust and experienced regulatory system for genetically engineered (GE) products, which started with the publication of its “GMO” Act in 1997. Today, South Africa is among the top-10 largest producers of GE crops in the world and by far the largest in Africa. To date, South Africa has approved 27 GE plant events for commercial production contained in three commodities, namely corn, soybeans, and cotton. The production area of the GE commodities in South Africa is estimated at around 2.8 million hectares. South Africa is in the process of defining a regulatory policy for New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) and is considering regulating genome edited products in terms of its current “GMO” Act. Unnecessarily strict regulations in terms of NBTs could impede innovative research and agricultural trade.

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