Beyond a fertile ground for GM crops; thinking with decolonial theory for regulatory decision-making in South Africa and the global South

Authors: Jen Whittingham, Maya Marshak, Haidee Swanby





GM crops and their expected superiority did not arrive in South Africa independent of political, economic, and social-cultural processes. The ground in which these seeds were sown and the social fabric into which they were woven was carefully designed to receive such a technological intervention.

The role of modernist science in engineering this receptive landscape remains largely uninterrogated. This video is a creative analysis of how the scientific authority that envelopes GMOs and their regulation has not always been objective, nor has it served the interests of marginalised smallholder farmers. Rather, when considered in the complex and harshly unequal social context of South Africa, modernist science has served the needs of capital accumulation and political gains.

Our analysis emerges through an engagement with Decolonial Theory and the Ontological Turn to shed light on the often-hidden dynamics of modernist scientific knowledge production in the global South.