AFSA attended a Regional Workshop on the ARIPO PVP Protocol, 29-31 October 2014, in Harare Zimbabwe, where numerous technical and administrative flaws continue to characterise the process. In particular, member states were forced into accepting a recommendation, disguised as if crafted by them, mandating ARIPO to urgently organize and call for the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the Protocol. In reality, member states, instead, unanimously endorsed the need for further consultations to be held at national levels and independent expert review of the draft ARIPO PVP Protocol and that talk of a Diplomatic Conference to adopt the Protocol is hopelessly premature.

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Monsanto’s failed SA GM Maize pushed into rest of Africa

Today the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) released a new report ?Africa bullied to grow defective Bt Maize: the failure of Monsanto?s MON810 maize in South Africa?i, showing how Monsanto?s GM maize, which utterly failed in SA, is now being foisted on the rest of the continent, through ?sleight of hand?.

Independent scientists have shown that Monsanto?s GM maize variety, MON810 ? which has been growing in SA for 15 years ? has completely failed due to the development of massive insect resistance, leading to the GM maize being withdrawn from the SA market. Monsanto has compensated farmers who were forced to spray their crops with pesticides to control the pests, calling into serious question the very rationale for GM crops.

According to the Director of the ACB, Mariam Mayet, ?Monsanto got the science completely wrong on this one. Independent biosafety scientists have discovered that the inheritance of resistance in African stem borers is a dominant, not recessive, trait as erroneously assumed. Hence the insect resistance management strategies that Monsanto developed, and accepted by our regulators, based on these erroneous assumptions, were utterly ineffective.?

Undeterred, Monsanto is now pushing its flop GM maize onto the rest of the continent. According

Kenyan Biosafety Bill – May 2009

Genetically Modified crop plants continue to be offered to Africa as a solution to alleviate poverty and stave off hunger. It is a trite observation that hunger has little to do with how efficiently food is produced or how much food is available for consumption. Indeed, hunger is rooted in socio-economic realities which limit the ability of people to access food on the market or land; the means to acquire food and other resources to produce food; access to a clean and healthy environment’ health care and education and so forth. Nevertheless, several countries in Africa, especially Kenya, are hell bent on adopting GMOs into their agricultural systems. During February 2009, Kenya‘s President Mwai Kibaki signed the country’s heavily contested Biosafety Bill.[i] A year earlier, the NGO ‘Africa Nature Stream’ approached the Kenyan courts to intervene and stop the promulgation of a previous version of the Bill (Biosafety Bill 2007), on the grounds that GMOs cause unacceptable risks to human health and the environment.[ii] However, this legal intervention proved to be futile as did other forms of resistance on the part of Kenyan activists. Indeed, no amount of opposition by activists in Kenya could have changed the

First GMO Seed Scandal in Africa: SA Contaminated the Continent

Seed maize from South Africa, claiming to be pure, has been found to be contaminated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The South African branch of US seed giant Pioneer Hi-Bred recently exported contaminated maize seeds to unsuspecting Kenyan farmers.
The maize seeds are contaminated with a genetically engineered variety-MON810- belonging to Monsanto that has not been approved in Kenya. GM maize MON 810 contains a novel gene that is considered unsafe and banned in several European countries.

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ACB’s Comments on Kenya’s June 2007 Biosafety Bill, August 2007

Kenya?s Biosafety Bill is drafted as an enabling statute, and will require the promulgation of numerous regulations in order to bring it into effect. Its fundamental nature is one of a lenient permitting system as opposed to a biosafety regime intenton regulating genetically modified organisms within
a context of caution.

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Kenya – GMO Legislation

Draft_GMO_Bill_Kenya.pdf A Bill For An Act Of Parliament To Regulate Biotechnology And Biosafety Matters And For Connected Purposes.
Sep 2003

The ACB has been requested by a network of NGOs and other civil society groups in Kenya, to analyse and critically comment on the latest draft of the Kenyan Biosafety Bill (“the Bill”).

1. In general, the Bill does not in its present form represent an adequate, robust and comprehensive biosafety regime designed to protect the environment, human health and biodiversity from the risks posed by GMOs and its related activities. It is foremost, a piece of draft legislation that seeks to put in place, a mere permitting system designed to approve applications for the contained use; import; export, placing on the market and release into the environment of GMOs. The underlying imperative of the Bill is the promotion of genetic engineering and not biosafety.

2. The Bill has partially, selectively and numerous instances, erroneously (intentionally?) attempted to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Biosafety Protocol) in order to weaken its implementation. Critically important provisions of the Biosafety Protocol that form the cornerstones of biosafety regulation have been omitted from the Bill in its entirely. These include the Precautionary

GM Cassava fails in Africa

The Donald Danforth plant science centre (the ‘Danforth Centre’), who’s partners include Monsanto corporation, has been pursuing disease-resistant Cassava since 1999 for its projects in Kenya. Despite initially claiming a breakthrough, the group has subsequently conceded (on the 26th of May, 2006) that its GM virus resistant Cassava has now lost resistance to the African Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMVD).

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