Do You Know How Much GMO is in Your Staple Food?

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) is an organisation that aims to protect Africa’s biodiversity, traditional knowledge, seed systems, genetic diversity, food production systems, culture and diversity from the threats and risks posed by genetic engineering and industrial agriculture.

They have published some worrying statistics about the level of GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) in our foods, especially our staple foods which are consumed by the majority of poor South Africans, people who may not have access to information, or even an awareness about what GMO’s are. Considering that there have been studies linking GMO’s and particularly the chemical used in the production of Monsanto’s GM soya, glyphosate, to a number of worrying health problems that are burgeoning with our modern lifestyles such as chronic kidney disease, birth defects in humans and animals and spontaneous abortions, it’s important that awareness needs to be spread. It has been found in studies in America that this chemical has even found its way into mothers’ breast milk. (You can read more about GMO’s here).

It is now at a point where practically all maize in South Africa is genetically modified – did you know that? And it was found that the white bread tested contained high levels of Monsanto’s GM soya.

It’s bad enough that GM food has crept into our food supply so insidiously, without us really having any say in the matter, but it also seems that the legally required labeling of this genetically modified food is not being honoured in any particular fashion that can be relied on.

The Consumer Protection Act requires that every ingredient in food products containing 5% or more GM content must be labelled ‘contains GMOs’ or ‘produced using genetic modification’.  When white bread was tested for GMO’s, only one white bread brand had a GM label, and this was strangely enough one with practically no discernible GMO’s. Here are the results of the tests on white bread:

Genetically modified content in tested white bread


White bread brand GM content in soya flour Produced by Labelled as
Checkers white bread 91.09% Shoprite Holdings No GM label. (No ingredients labelled)
Woolworths white bread 85.62% Woolworths May be Genetically Modified
Spar white bread 72.69% Spar No GM label. (No ingredients labelled)
Blue Ribbon white bread 64.9% Premier Foods Not labelled
Pick n Pay white bread 42.82% Pick n Pay Not labelled
Albany superior white bread 23.23% Tiger Brands Not labelled
Sunbake white bread 20.46% Foodcorp Not labelled
Sasko white bread so low as to be unquantifiable Pioneer Foods Produced using Genetic Modification

(via acbio)

What you can do

Read your labels

Maize or soya on the ingredients lists almost certainly means GM, unless there is a label that specifically says “non GMO’.

Go organic

If you are reading this you at least have the option of choosing to go organic, or choose foods that are less likely to be modified. There is a range of non GM flours produced in South Africa by Eureka Mills you can buy to make your own homemade bread. Support local health shops that are selling non GM options such as Nature’s Choice, Orgran and Santa Anna’s. For those many poor people who are unaware of GM in their food, you can speak out for them by putting pressure on the groups responsible for allowing GMO’s into our food supply. Chat to your baker, spread the word, email the cartels responsible, the more pressure we put on them the better.

Grow Your Own

Another way you can take back the power (it’s not only maize and soya that are being tampered with) is to grow your own veggies using non GMO seeds and keep propagating Heirloom Seeds, preserving this precious living resource for future generations.










  • Odette
    Posted at 21:10h, 09 May Reply

    Did it occure to you that the reason there is so much ‘GMO’ in our food is because if it wasn’t there there wouldn’t be enough food for all the people on this planet. Judge GMO’s as much as you want, I’d like to see if you’re the first to give up your rations of food if we had to run out. Sadly organic farming does not yeld high, thus why GMO’s are used. GMO foods are tested by the FDA, and even if they do have these terrible side effects that death ratio from that is a lot lower than it would be if we had no food and people were dying of starvation. Have you ever had to watch a loved one dying of starvation? And I don’t mean like oh, I’m dying of hungar, let’s go grab some McDonalds. I mean actually die of starvation, it takes days, you body shuts down slowly. So rather thank GMO’s for the fact that you have grocery stores full of food so you don’t have to watch your children die of starvation you uneducated idiot!

    • Gary
      Posted at 05:39h, 24 October Reply

      Your argument … is simply NOT correct ..

      These are the facts ( since you keep harping on about being educated !! .. which you have not taken the time to do yourself !! ).

      Proportion of undernourished people in the less-developed world last 40 years …

      1st GMO foods in the shop was 1990 +- ..

      1970 37%
      1980 28%
      1990 20%
      2004 16%
      2007 17%
      2009 16%

      As you can see the biggest improvements in the reduction of malnutrition … was prior to the use of GMOs.

      1970 – 1990 ( non gmo era 20 years ) – :17% reduction in malnutrition
      1990 – 2009 ( gmo era 19 years ) -: 4 % reduction in malnutrition

      Source :-

      Your case is simply not factual !!

  • s
    Posted at 10:27h, 10 November Reply

    Odette is a complete idiot!. Gmos are proven completely worthless and do not increase yields. They fail in times of drought. And all their promises have been shown to be lies. Only idiots trust the corrupt FDA and the GMO companies that make these lies

  • Geegee
    Posted at 13:43h, 18 November Reply

    Whats so sad is the REAL idiot who made the first comment on this article. Its really pathetic that we still have terribly uneducated people in this country that think its ok for a handful of poorly educated government officials to make bad decisions on behalf of the entire SA population for a quick buck in the back pocket. You eat up all your GMO’s now honey and enjoy the untested consequences. The rest of us with just over half a brain will continue to choose SUSTAINABLE organically grown produce IN THE BEST INTEREST of ourselves, our children and our FUTURE GENERATIONS. Pls slip out of the dumbass mindset of only thinking about the present day. How sustainable is GMO? U want to know? It was introduced in this country as far back as ’98; mainly corn. WE ARE ONE OF ONLY A HANDFUL OF COUNTRIES that have chosen to introduce it for a STAPLE FOOD; not one of the european countries accepted Monsanto’s crap; Australia, switzerland…they all rejected it. Hmmm dont u find it strange that first world countries would reject GM staple seeds?? So some idiot ok’s it for South Africa-for the majority of the poor who are uneducated in GM and its long term health effects (the offspring of lab rats fed only on genetically modified materials had organs too small to sustain them and ended up dying early in infancy as a result; and as you should know by now rats are used in lab experiments as they have the closest genetic make up to humans; monkeys after that). The result of GMO’s in SA? The bugs that feed on regular non-gmo plants have begun feeding on GM plants-and have become super-bugs resistant to standard pesticides that were before used on standard plants. The results? Even lower crop yields than before GMO’s were introduced; and stronger more lethal forms of pesticides being developed. These stronger bugs have also started spreading to and annihilating non GM crops. And who suffers from the increased maize price due to lower crop yields? Once again the unknowing poor who are in the majority; who will also suffer long-term health effects from the more lethal pesticides used on the GM plants – as well as the rest of us who choose non GM crops who are exposed to now stronger pesticides due to GM-resistant bugs. This besides the fact that because Monsanto’s seeds are patented, you cant reseed the crop-it wont grow. So you need to return to Monsanto to continue buying new seeds for each required crop yield; that ensures their nice fat profit each year. Now that I would say is taking a life-giving God-given creation and using it to make money. Thank you Rene for an incredibly informative article. I was an ignorant consumer and since then have switched to Future Life bread which contains no GMO’s. We really need to up the ante in this country when it comes to ignorance; thanks again for posting this and for attempting to inform those who are too lazy or dim-witted to do the research about what they are putting into their bodies themselves. Go do your homework peeps! ‘Explain to the future generation that it was good for the economy- when they can’t farm the land, breathe the air and drink the water.’

    • Allex
      Posted at 08:55h, 19 June Reply

      Hi. I suggest you stay off Futerlife products all together. Them bieng non GMO is just a claim that is backed up by little to no evidence. I do not trust what they say because their ingredients do contain soy, if they are non GMO and are a healthy choice they should not have soy bean flour in the first place. Save your future health from Future Life.

  • Geegee
    Posted at 13:44h, 18 November Reply

    PS, if u trust everything passed by the FDA, aw shem…they go where the money does. Wake up.

Post A Comment