IFP calls for GMOs to be banned in SA

The party has called on govt to ban the products, pending an investigation into their toxicity.

FILE: Maize. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called for genetically modified foods in South Africa to be banned, pending an investigation into whether they can be toxic to humans.

The party's Member of Parliament Mkhuleko Hlengwa was speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

He cited reports that Free State University lab tests have found the percentage of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) in the country's staple food maize meal have increased to an average of 80 percent, while in some brands it was as high as 97 percent.

The tests were done at the request of the African Centre for Biosafety, an NGO that lobbies against genetic engineering.

Hlengwa says this means the vast majority of South Africans living below the bread line are consuming high levels of possibly toxic GMO's in their maize.

"This is totally unacceptable and we therefore call for an immediate ban on all GMO foods in South Africa, pending the outcome of full research and investigation into their alleged toxicity to humans, our livestock and plant-based crops."