Tag Archive: Syngenta

Call on BASF, Bayer, and Syngenta to stop marketing highly hazardous pesticides.

PAN Germany, a charitable organisation which provides information on the adverse effects of pesticides and promotes environmentally friendly and socially just alternatives.

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We will send the following letter in your name:

To: Syngenta, Martin Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Bayer CropScience, Sandra E. Peterson, Chief Executive Office
BASF, Wayne T. Smith, Member of the Board of Executive Directors

Dear Mr Taylor,
Dear Ms Peterson,
Dear Mr Smith,

Every year, countless cases of pesticide poisoning occur. Syngenta, Bayer, and BASF, as the three largest pesticide companies worldwide, are to a large extent responsible; your company markets more than fifty highly hazardous pesticides worldwide.

Since the mid-1980s, programs for a safe use of pesticides have been implemented to prevent pesticide poisonings. Nevertheless, people, farm animals, and the environment continue to suffer considerable harm due to highly hazardous pesticides.

Twenty-five years are enough. I call on you to end the sale of highly hazardous pesticides.

Yours sincerely,

Bad News!! SA approves GM rice, barrage of new GM maize varieties for import

The South African GMO authorities have approved Bayer CropScience’s GM rice, Event LL62 for import into South Africa. LL62 has also been approved for commercial growing in the United States and for import into Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

South Africa is a net importer of several varieties of rice, which it imports from around the world. It also re-exports rice to a large number of African countries. During the 2009/10 marketing year, SA‘s rice imports increased by 35% to 788, 104 tons. Although around 70% of SA‘s rice is currently imported from Thailand but SA does import rice from the US.

Rice is the staple food for half the world’s population and provides more calories than any other single food, about 90% from carbohydrates and 10% from protein. Bayer’s application before the SA authorities was for the import of GM rice grain for food and feed use with parboiled milled rice being the main rice commodity to be imported. The rice has been genetically engineered to confer resistance to glufosinate ammonium.

The African Centre for Biosafety, (ACB) supported by a large number of groups and individuals objected to the approval of

Support our appeal to the minister for Environmental Impact Assessment of GM maize GA21

On the13th of December 2009, Syngenta published a public notice of their intent to apply to the GMO Registrar for a permit for the general release of genetically modified maize, GA21. Having obtained a ‘non-confidential-business-information’ version of Syngenta’s application, it is our contention that the application cannot be adequately assessed. The information provided is sketchy at best, key information required for a full and thorough assessment of the event in question is designated confidential business information and therefore not made available to the very public who are expected to consume the product. Claims made regarding gene stability are by reference to information provided by the developer of the GMO and not to any independent, objective source. Additionally, assertions made as to the socio-economic benefits pertaining from a general release of GA21 are grossly misleading and do not hold up to objective scrutiny.

Please support us in our request to the Minsiter of Water and Environmental Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica, to have Syngenta’s application for the general release of genetically modified maize GA21 subject to a full, independent environmental impact assessment.

http://www.activist.co.za/campaigns/2010/eia.php

ACB’s Objection to Syngenta’s application for general release of GM maize GA21

On 13th of December 2009, Syngenta published a public notice of their intent to apply to the GMO Registrar for a permit for the general release of genetically modified maize, GA21. Having obtained a ‘non-confidential-business-information’ version of Syngenta’s application, it is our contention that the application cannot be adequately assessed. The information provided is sketchy at best, key information required for a full and thorough assessment of the event in question is designated confidential business information and therefore not made available to the very public who are expected to consume the product. Claims made regarding gene stability are by reference to information provided by the developer of the GMO and not to any independent, objective source. Additionally, assertions made as to the socio-economic benefits pertaining from a general release of GA21 are grossly misleading and do not hold up to objective scrutiny.

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In 2009 section 78 of the Biodiversity Act was amended, and now provides that:

‘…if the Minister has reason to believe that the release of a genetically modified organism into the environment under a permit applied for in terms of the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (Act No. 15 of 1997), may pose a

Marketing of GE potatoes in South Africa imminent: African farmers face loss of markets and consumer choice

South Africa‘s Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has developed a GE-insect resistant potato (SpuntaG2, which is a Bt potato) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This potato now awaits safety assessment and general release approval from the national authorities.

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On- going Concerns about Harmonisation of Biosafety Regulations in Africa

The paper is a response to concerns raised by the African Union‘s Biosasfety Unit about assertions made in an earlier briefing in June 2009 regarding the African Union‘s biosafety harmonisation processes.

In this briefing the Ms Swanby on behalf of the ACB salutes the initiatives taken by the AU in the biosafety discourse on the continent to date, including the early harmonisation attempts by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Union (OAU) to put in place a Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology. At that time, the OAU’s harmonisation approach was to bring about a consistent African approach to biosafety regulation based strongly on the precautionary principle.

However, this briefing continues to warn of the dangers lurking in the AU’s Biosafety Stategy with regard to proposed biosafety harmonisation processes that involve several players that cause us great concern. These players include: Regional Economic Communities (RECs), who have a decidedly pro trade and pro GM agenda and whose biosafety initiatives have to date been funded by USAID. The briefing points out that the harmonisation approach favoured by USAID is one that creates a one stop GMO approval system, and thereby side stepping a country-by-country, case-by-case risk assessment and

Response from the AU Commission Biosafety Unit to Briefing no. 9

The Revised African Model Law on Biosafety and the African Biosafety Strategy“. 15 July 2009. In July 2009 The African Union Biosafety Unit communicated their concerns about the ACB‘s briefing no.9, their letter can be viewed here.

The original briefing can be viewed at here.

The ACB‘s response is titled On-going concerns about harmonisation of biosafety regulations in Africa, November 2009.

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South African Govt rejects GM potato

In a damning and ground breaking ruling, South Africa‘s GM body, the Executive Council (EC), has rejected attempts by the Agriculture Research Council (ARC) to bring GM potatoes to the South African market. The EC cited no less than 11 biosafety and socio economic and agronomic concerns for rejecting ARC‘s commercial release application. These support the objections raised by the ACB that GM potatoes pose unacceptable risks to human health, the environment and the farming community.

The ARC has touted the GM potato, engineered to resist tuber moths, as a new agricultural technology that will benefit smallholder and commercial farmers. Its five year field trial programme has chewed up considerable public funds as well as having been bankrolled by USAID and Michigan state university.

According to Haidee Swanby of the ACB, ?the precautionary decision taken by the EC concluded that ARC’s toxicology studies were inadequate, scientifically poorly designed and fundamentally flawed. It was unconvinced that the GM potato would benefit small holder farmers, who are faced with more fundamental production problems such as access to water and seed, and found that the Potato Tuber Moth is a low priority for most farmers.?

?We are elated

Africa is heading for an ecological disaster

Genetically Modified (GM) crops, already used extensively in South Africa, are being promoted by the biotech industry through their philanthropic conduits such as the Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet foundations as the principle solution to food insecurity in Africa. The industrialistion of African agriculture that this would entail is more likely to exacerbate the complex socio-economic forces that are undermining African food security than to ameliorate them.

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