Follow PUB on Facebook & Twitter: PUB on Facebook Follow PUB on Twitter Online Version | Visit the PUB Website

Issue 5, June 2015

PUB - Public Understanding of Biotechnology
<< Back to contents
Next article >>

Book Review

Hero Article Image
A Landmark Victory for Justice: Biowatch’s Battle with the South African State and Monsanto

Rachel Wynberg and David Fig


Biowatch South Africa

Intended Audience:

General public, non-profit organisations, agricultural and scientific decision-makers


Biowatch South Africa is a non-profit organisation that, according to its website, “works with small-holder farmers, other civil society organisations and government to ensure that people have control over their food, agricultural processes and resources, and other natural resources”. For nine years, Biowatch SA fought a legal battle with the South African government and agri-biotech giant Monsanto for access to information about genetically-modified crops in South Africa. Eventually, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled in Biowatch’s favour, overturning unjust cost orders against Biowatch SA and forcing Monsanto to pay for the costs of the case.

This book, published by Biowatch SA itself and made freely available on its website, documents the court cases, behind-the-scenes meetings and institutional processes that Biowatch went through over the course of its nine-year court case. It is a story of right over might and a triumph for South Africa’s civil society and judicial system. Perhaps most importantly, the court case instigated a reform of legislation related to genetically-modified organisms in South Arica to make the process more transparent.

Download a free copy

<< Back to contents
Next article >>

Department of Science and Technology & NRF SAASTA The PUB Programme is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and is implemented by SAASTA. The mandate of PUB is to promote a clear, balanced understanding of the potential of biotechnology and to ensure broad public awareness, dialogue and debate about biotechnology and its current and potential applications. For more information visit or contact, Tel: 012 392 9300 or Fax: 012 320 7803.

The articles in this newsletter have been reviewed by independent experts through SAASTA’s Scientific Editorial Process. For more information please visit

The PUB newsletter is an initiative of the Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) programme.
The newsletter is developed by ScienceLink.

NRF | SAASTA Department of Science and Technology