The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Monsanto Ad Banned in South Africa Due to Deceptive GMO Messaging
On March 20, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa ordered Monsanto to immediately withdraw an unsubstantiated radio ad that touted the benefits of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), according to AllAfrica.
The African Centre for Biosafety lodged a complaint with the ASA following an advertisement on Radio 702 that claimed genetically engineered crops “enable [Monsanto] to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially.”
The ASA gave Monsanto an opportunity to substantiate its claims, but all the oversight organization received were links to documents on the agriculture giant's website. Since Monsanto didn't provide independent and credible data—which is required by South African law—the order was given to pull the ad from airing in the country's heavily populated Guateng Province where Johannesburg is located.
“We are elated with this decision," said Mariam Mayet, executive director of the African Centre for Biosafety. "Monsanto has already been warned by the ASA as far back as 2007, that it needs to substantiate its claims from an independent and credible expert ... regarding its claims of the so-called benefits of [GMO] crops. However, it appears Monsanto does not have much regard for South African law as it is hell bent on disseminating false information to the South African public."
The ASA also told Monsanto to "ensure that it holds proper substantiation for its advertising claims” or risk attracting further sanctions.
Earlier this month, France’s agriculture ministry temporarily banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810 genetically engineered (GE) corn—the only variety that has been authorized in the European Union (EU).
Then, in an abrupt and surprising turn, Sri Lanka ordered a ban on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide Roundup, due to concerns the chemical may be linked to a mysterious kidney disease that has killed scores of agricultural workers.
Visit EcoWatch’s GMO page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."