African Countries

African Countries

South Africa – National Environmental Management Biodiver Act

Support Letter – Response To Open Invitation By Csir For The Development Of Guidelines To Implement The Provisions Of Section 78 Of The Biodiversity Act
EARTHLIFE AFRICA – eThekwini Branch

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Response To Open Invitation By Csir For The Development Of Guidelines To Implement The Provisions Of Section 78 Of The Biodiversity Act
Safe Food Coalition, March 2006

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Comments On Regulations Under Section 24(5) Of The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (act No. 107 Of 1998) As Amended
Mariam Mayet, February 2005

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Implementation Of Section 78 Of The National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act: Key Issues And Challenges
August 2004

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Tanzania – GMO Legislation

THE NATIONAL BIOSAFETY GUIDELINES FOR TANZANIA

According to the Minister of State in the Vice President’s office-Environment, the Honourable Mr Ntagazwa, the Biosafety Guidelines are meant to “facilitate the importation and use of GMOs and their products in Tanzania“. Indeed, the Guidelines, which pay a great deal of attention to scientific details, establish a non-legally binding, voluntary framework for the introduction of GMOs into Tanzania. This framework is meant to compliment and mutually support national policies and legislation. The Guidelines also appear to be of a temporary nature in that one of its primary objectives is to “encourage and assist the establishment of an appropriate national regulatory framework”. It is unknown why the Tanzanian government has not chosen to draft legally binding regulations instead of opting for non-binding guidelines.

The Guidelines are made up of 105 pages, comprising of a bundle of measures: non-binding “regulatory” type measures that typify a permitting system for GMOs; extensive measures under the heading “Risk Management” dealing with different types of “containment procedures”; and ten annexes. The document is thus not only voluminous but may be quite intimidating to farmers and ordinary citizens in need of information.

It is beyond the

Uganda – GMO Legislation

OVERVIEW

INTRODUCTION

During 2001, Uganda embarked on a national agricultural biotechnology programme focusing on the several transformative biotechnology innovations, and genetic engineering (GE). This programme is linked to Uganda?s policy to eradicate poverty by 2015, described in its Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). PEAP is Uganda?s overarching macro-economic framework, designed to transform Uganda into a modern economy. PEAP has been developed within the context already established by structural adjustment policies put in place in Uganda since 1987, which has led inter alia, to the liberalisation of the seed production and supply sector. The opening of the seed industry has resulted in the influx of foreign seed companies that supply hybrid seed to farmers.

PEAP sets out two groups of actions, which it sees as directly increasing the ability of the poor to raise their incomes and improve their quality of life: (1) the radical transformation of rural communities from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture; and (2) a Plan for the modernization of Agriculture (PAM). The uptake of GE is an integral part of PAM.?

During 2003, the National Council for Science and Technology developed a National Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety (PBB) wherein it describes a

Contaminated US Rice Must Be Recalled From Africa

African Groups Condemn US Decision To Authorize Illegal GM Rice Sent To Africa

Lagos (Nigeria), Johannesburg (South Africa), 27 November. Friends of the Earth Africa and the African Center for Biosafety are today urging African countries to monitor US rice imports and to recall all shipments contaminated with GM rice known as LibertyLink601 (LL601). This call follows the confirmation of the presence of the illegal variety LL601 in food aid and commercial imports of rice from the US in Ghana and Sierra Leone.

?This rice is not approved in Africa and must be immediately recalled from our countries? said Nnimmo Bassey of FoE Africa. ?Africa will not accept being the dumping ground for unwanted GM rice. Our governments must stay firm and not fall under the US pressure to accept this tainted rice?.

The presence of illegal rice was verified in 9 samples of U.S. food aid and commercial imports after tests were conducted in an independent laboratory in the U.S. The unapproved GM rice has been detected in rice sent to Ghana and Sierra Leone and the results were publicly announced by FoE Africa in a simultaneous press conference in both countries in the morning of the 24th

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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Mozambique – GMO Legislation

OVERVIEW

The proposed biosafety regulatory regime (hereafter referred to as the “draft biosafety law” or “biosafety law”) of the Republic of Mozambique consists of a draft Decree of Council of Ministers, containing the biosafety regulation and 2 draft technical guidelines for risk evaluation as well as public awareness and participation in biosafety and biotechnology related issues.

The biosafety regulation itself consists of a preamble, 27 articles, organised in 9 chapters and 6 annexes, and a glossary of terms.

The draft biosafety law is typically a permitting system, based on a step-bystep, case-by-case risk assessment, evaluation and decision-making that adopt a risk management approach to genetic engineering in food agriculture and medicine. By this we mean that Mozambique views genetic engineering as having a role to play in agriculture, food security and human health care, but that the risks have to be managed by the creation of an enabling legislative environment, to this end. In other words, Mozambique will follow the route taken by South Africa and permit the entry of GMOs into its agriculture systems, after a desk- top evaluation of the risk assessment data provide by an applicant.

Currently, Mozambique’s seed law prohibits the import and planting of GM

Zambia – GMO Legislation

INTRODUCTION

The Draft Labeling Standards are non-binding in the sense that they do not create legally binding obligations and responsibilities. As such, they are also not legally enforceable. The lack of teeth of the standards is not cured by the fact that the Zambian Bureau of Standards, a statutory body, produces the standards. However, the standards do fit well into the efforts underway in Zambia, regarding its establishment of a detection laboratory for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and more generally, its proactive policy on biosafety on the African continent. According to Zambia‘s National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), the new laboratory is being built to safeguard Zambian’s health and maintain a sustainable environment. The goal is also to have the new facility accredited as a regional and national referral laboratory. It is quite possible that the laboratory may qualify as one of the Biotechnology Centres of Excellence contemplated by the Science and Technology Secretariat established under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa‘s Development (NEPAD), although no decision has yet been made by NEPAD’s Science and Technology Steering Committee which institutions would form part of the Centre of Excellence networks.

In the “Forward” to

GM Food aid: Africa denied choice once again?

Controversy over genetically modified (GM) food aid arose in 2000 in Latin America, and Asia, and exploded in 2002, when several southern African countries refused GM food aid during a food crisis. Now, in 2004 the controversy has erupted again after Sudan and Angola imposed restrictions over GM food aid. Food aid has been heavily criticized in the last fifty years, because it serves the interests of certain countries, particularly the US Government, as a tool to inter alia facilitate export surpluses and/or capture new markets. The use of GM food aid by the US has added a new dimension to the debate, because the provision of GM food aid is seen as providing an important back- door entry point for the introduction of genetically modified organism (GMOs) in developing countries.

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