Policy Submissions

Policy Submissions

Easy-to-read materials on the revision of South African Seed laws: entrenching an unjust and unsustainable seed system

As we continue to engage and mobilise around the seed policy and legislation revisions, ACB has developed 2 easy-to-read documents outlining the central concerns and possible alternative directions for seed policy to move in South Africa.

Despite the public interest to support an equitable seed system, the Plant Improvement and Plant Breeders’ Rights Bills, create an environment for further corporate ownership of the commercial seed system, which ultimately excludes and criminalises small-scale farmers and small seed enterprises.

We need to be able to freely exchange seed, and enable farmer-managed seed systems to flourish, for the of future of our seed.

Right now, National government is moving across the country engaging in Provincial briefing and Public engagements on these Bills. Now is the time to educate ourselves on the draconian, oppressive, and vulnerable state of our seed systems.

Download Lobby paper PIA in pdf

Download Lobby paper PBR in pdf

View additional comments Jan 30, 2017 here “Standing up for farmer-saved seeds, agrobiodiversity and seed sovereignty! ACB commenting on revised seed laws in South Africa” .

Standing up for farmer-saved seeds, agrobiodiversity and seed sovereignty! ACB commenting on revised seed laws in South Africa

ACB submitted comments on the Plant Breeders’ Rights and Plant Improvement Bills, to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the 24th January 2017.

These bills restrict the saving, trading, exchanging, and sale of seed. This can have massive ramifications on seed and food sovereignty, agricultural biodiversity, access to diverse seed, and increasing the disparities and inequalities in South African agriculture, food and nutrition.

ACB will continue to engage in this process to ensure that South African seed laws take into account farmer-managed seed systems, agrobiodiversity, and maintain farmer’s rights to save, reuse, exchange, and sell seed.

We invite interested parties to join this conversation, to fight for our right to seed.

 

Download the ACB Comments on the PBR Bill in pdf

Download the ACB Comments on the PIA Bill in pdf

Letters to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for urgent interventions: Dow?s 2,4 D + glufosinate ammonium+ glyphosate tolerant GM soya.

Request for intervention to uphold the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health ? GM crops engineered to be resistant to three herbicides: 2,4-D, glufosinate ammonium and glyphosate.

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Previous letters sent to:

Mr. Anand Grover
Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health

Previous letters sent to:

Mr. Anand Grover
Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health

28-11-2012

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19-03-2013

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Letter to the UN secretariat on 2,4D

Request for intervention on GMOs likely to have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity; GM soybean tolerant to 2,4-D, glufosinate and glyphosate (DAS-44406-6).

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Annex A GM crops in the pipeline: AnnexA-SR-physica-and-mental-health

ACB Comments on National Strategy on Agroecology

The Department of Agriculture is in the process of developing a Strategy for Agroecology for South Africa, with the aim of achieving ?an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable agro-ecology sector that contributes towards poverty alleviation, job creation, food security, economic development, climate change mitigation and adaptation?. It is not clear where the drive for this Strategy emerges from, given that South Africa did not support the findings of the IAASTD when it was up for signature in Johannesburg in 2008. However, the proposed Strategy seems to posit agroecology as another production technology, an add-on to our current system, rather than a transformation of our deeply entrenched industrial agricultural system, which is based on the privatization of agricultural resources and knowledge to deploy an environmentally destructive production system, ever at the mercy of skewed global trade relations.

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Comments on COMESA’s Draft Policy on Commercial Planting, Trade and Emergency Food Aid Involving Genetically Modified Organisms.

On the 8th and 9th May 2012 COMESA held a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, to review a draft policy on the regulation and trade of GMOs for the region. While the Biotech Industry was very well represented at the meeting, civil society was completely left out of the process. This policy is being drafted behind closed doors to suit the trade interests of the major sponsor of the Policy – the United States government. Rather than ensure the most effective biosafety procedures for the Region, this policy is crafted to create an enabling environment for the free trade of GMOs with few checks and balances. The policy poses a threat to the national sovereignty of Member States, all but excludes public participation in the decision making process on GMOs and lowers the bar when it comes to risk assessments.

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This document is endorsed by:

ACB submission to the Secretariat of the Biosafety Protocol – discussions on socio-economic assessment (Article 26)

28 May 2011

The Secretariat of the Biosafety Protocol is engaging in discussions on socio-economic provisions related to decision-making and GMOs (Article 26). The ACB has submitted several studies from South Africa to enrich this discussion and has applied to participate in online discussions. These documents highlight South African experiences regarding the rejection of GM SpuntaG2 potato for commercial release, GM yeast and grapes for wine production and the failure of the governments Massive Food Production Programme in the Eastern Cape which promotes the use of GM maize for small scale farmers.

The following documents have been submitted:

– Covering letter/summary

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Executive summaries of two socio-economic studies carried out by the ARC on the impact of GM tubermoth-resistant potato entitled:

– Potential economic benefits of a genetically modified (GM) tubermoth-resistant potato variety in South Africa: an ex-ante socio-economic evaluation for commercial producers
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– Smallholder potato production activities in South Africa: a socio-economic and technical assessment of five cases in three provinces
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A study carried out by the Trust for Community Outreach and education on the Massive Food Production Programme in the Eastern Cape entitled: Threats to the Food Security and Food