JOHANNESBURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2014, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa has ordered Monsanto to withdraw an advertisement that was aired on Radio 702 in August 2013 wherein Monsanto referred to the benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops.
The radio advertisement read as follows: “Biotechnology and GM crops enable us 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.”
Monsanto responded to the complaint launched by a member of the public to the ASA in August 2013 with various links to substantiate our comments in the advertisement. In March 2014, the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) issued a negative ruling alleging that several claims made in the advertisement were not substantiated and therefore in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II of Advertisement Code. ASA in its ruling considered that the following claims have not been sufficiently substantiated by Monsanto:
- GM crops “…enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources….”
- GM crops “…provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides…”
- GM crops “…decrease[s] greenhouse gas emissions…”
- GM crops “…increase[s] crop yields substantially….”
Monsanto decided to invoke article 4.1.7 of Advertisement Code in South Africa and to further substantiate our claims by providing additional materials to the ASA. After considering the additional material provided to it, the ASA dismissed the complaints.
Kobus Steenekamp, Business Lead Monsanto South Africa, welcomed the ASA’s decision. “We always believed that there are sufficient independent studies globally, as well as farmer testimonials, to show the benefits of using biotech crops,” he said.
Biotech crops are amongst the most extensively tested and regulated food and fibre products ever developed. All biotech crops currently approved for commercialisation world-wide have been thoroughly assessed by scientific and regulatory authorities throughout the world for food, feed and environmental safety according to internationally agreed guidelines and principles. There is a huge amount of scientific evidence that supports our product safety and we constantly review new information and studies about our products, as do the regulatory agencies responsible for human and environmental safety across the globe.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce a variety of seeds ranging from fruits and vegetables to key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers produce abundant and nutritious food. We work to find sustainable agriculture solutions that help farmers conserve natural resources, use data to improve farming practices, use water and other important resources more efficiently, and protect their crops from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: discover.monsanto.com and monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at monsantoblog.com or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.