Tag Archive: Southern African

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

BT-Maize MON863 and MON863 X MON810 / Monsanto

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
  • Objections to the Application Made by Monsanto South Africa for a Commodity Import Permit of Grain for Feed and Food Purposes that may Contain Maize Grains Derived From Insect-Protected Maize Line Mon863 and Maize Hybrids Mon863 X Mon810
    Mariam Mayet and Shenaz Moola, August 2004
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  • CoverLetter_Mon830X810.pdf Cover Letter to the Registrar
    August 2004
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OVERVIEW
SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS

A scientific assessment was made of the available information. The main findings of this assessment, which are discussed in greater detail later in the document, are:

  • A full assessment of the scientific data could not be made because of the designation of large sections of this data as Confidential Business Information
  • The molecular characterisation information provided by the notifier indicates several irregularities including open reading frames, a missing stop codon and truncated constructs which could give rise to unintended gene effects
  • There is evidence of structural instability arising out of the use of the 35S CaMV promoter and there is a call for the discontinuation of the use of this genetic element in the development of transgenic plants
  • The protocols for assessing gene expression in transgenic plants are