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Advertising news

Monsanto backs down on GM advertising following ASA ruling

19 Mar 2014 09:00
The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) lodged a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa following an advertisement on Radio 702 by Monsanto. Judith Taylor from Earthlife Africa supported the ACB in its complaint.
Monsanto backs down on GM advertising following ASA ruling
With immediate effect, the ASA has ordered Monsanto to withdraw its advertisement on Radio 702 wherein it claims that genetically modified (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."

According to ASA, Monsanto's claims were found to be unsubstantiated and misleading.

Substantiate advertising claims

Monsanto was given an opportunity by ASA to respond to the complaint. According to the ASA, it was only able to provide the ASA with links to documents on its website but was unable to provide inputs from an independent and credible expert confirming the various studies that it relied upon showing the ostensible benefits of GM crops, as it is required to in terms of South African law governing advertising.

The ASA has warned Monsanto, "It should ensure that it holds proper substantiation for its advertising claims" or risk attracting further sanctions.

View the full ruling at
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