Published: 13/02/2002

The following article printed February 12 in the South African publication Business Day outlines the concerns of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) about genetically modified food in South Africa. FAWU is the IUF’s food industry affiliate in South Africa. Should industrial action eventually take place it would be the first such direct action by a trade union in the food industry that the IUF is aware of.

We will update this story as it develops.

Strike looms on genetically modified food

The Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU) is threatening to strike if talks with National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to ban genetically modified food for five years fail.

Africa Bio, a body that backs modified food, slammed the planned talks, saying FAWU’s information on the food was “based on misinformation.” Limited numbers of genetically modified crops are grown in SA, and imported-engineered soya is used in processed meat and other locally produced food.

FAWU deputy-general secretary William Thomas said yesterday that it was asking for debate on the issue with government and business at Nedlac. “If the talks don’t succeed, we will definitely consider embarking on industrial action,” Thomas said.

Nedlac spokeswoman Jennifer Wilson said the union was currently debating
international subsidies around the SA-European Union (EU) free trade agreement, and no notice had yet been received that FAWU planned to introduce a debate on food safety issues.

Business Day, February 12, 2002

If the talks don't succeed, we will definitely consider embarking on industrial action
William Thomas, FAWU deputy-general secretary