GM technology has been used over the past 3 decades to produce widely different products such as medicines, industrial chemicals and crops. Almost all immunotherapy medicines used for treating cancer today are GM-based – also referred to as recombinant DNA derived medicines. Other GM medicines include insulin, vaccines, hormones and growth stimulating factors.
As much as 90% of the world’s hard cheeses are made using a GM-based enzyme, called fermentation-produced chymosin (FPC), which assists with the coagulation of milk during the early stages of cheese making. Although diverse GM crops such as carnation, papaya, canola and potato have received regulatory approval around the world, only GM maize, soybean and cotton are currently cultivated in South Africa - these contain a combination of insect resistant and herbicide tolerant GM traits. There are currently no GM fruits, vegetables or wheat on the market.