Tag Archive: Mauritius

Civil Society Statement on COMESA Seed Trade Laws

This submission was made by civil society groups at a COMESA meeting in Lusaka during March 2013, in which serious concerns were raised about the COMESA seed trade laws as negatively impacting on small farmers in the COMESA region.

Statement made by:
Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN); East and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) ? Zambia; Participatory Ecological Land-Use (PELUM) Association; Alliance for Agro-Ecology and Biological Diversity Conservation; Kasisi Agriculture Training Centre (KATC); Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT); Green Living Movement (GLM); African Centre for Biosafety (ACB)

 

 

The Regulations allow for the expedited registration of seeds to enable the creation of a seed free trade zone within the COMESA region. ?Seed trade? is not defined in the regulations as being restricted to only the commercial seed sector. In this regard, there are serious concerns that the Regulations do not provide any safeguards that small farmers will be allowed to freely use, save, sell, barter and exchange traditional varieties of seed.? Lack of these safeguards will open the door for the criminalising of the customary practises of small farmers to exchange, sell and

Malawi – GMO Legislation

OVERVIEW

The government of Malawi published its biosafety draft regulations in The Malawi Gazette Supplement on the 13th September 2002 (“biosafety law”) at the height of the GM food aid controversy when several countries in Southern Africa imposed restrictions on the acceptance of genetically modified food aid from the United States. Malawi accepted the GM food aid, with few restrictions being imposed. At the time of writing, the writer obtained conflicting information as to whether the draft law had been promulgated. However, the writer was able to ascertain that the biosafety law, represents the current biosafety framework.

Malawi is not yet a Party to the United Nation’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (“Biosafety Protocol“), nor is it amongst the 123 developing countries participating in the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Capacity Building project. It was however, one of 7 “core target” countries in Southern Africa that participated in a USAID funded biosafety capacity building project, the Southern Africa Regional Biotechnology Program (SARB)”.

SARB is a sub-project of a larger United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) project, managed by the Michigan State University, Agricultural Biotechnology Support Program (ABSP). ABSP’s private sector partners include, Asgrow, Monsanto Co. Garst See Company

Mauritius – GMO Legislation

The Mauritian Paradox
Selva Appasawmy, April 2004

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OVERVIEW

Mauritius has introduced legislation to regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and its associated activities. This legislation perhaps represents the most stringent precautionary regulations yet on the African continent. As a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Biosafety Protocol), the Mauritian government can also be said to have put in place, through this legislation, stricter measures than the minimum standards established by the Biosafety Protocol. At the same time, the Mauritian government is strongly committed to becoming a GE centre of excellence – a GE hub and plant nursery for the African region. It is in the throes of establishing the Mauritius Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (MABI) to provide impetus and complement the GE research currently underway by the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), the Food and Agriculture (FARC) and the University of Mauritius. But still, is this sufficient reason not to congratulate the Mauritian government for having taken such bold steps in putting in place a seemingly stringent biosafety regime? It must be specifically noted that the entire process of drafting this unique ‘stringent’ law took place out of the public’s eye: in secret.

Meaningful public