In Africa

In Africa

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

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

Bt-Maize MON89034 and MON89597 / Monsanto

SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
  • Objections To The Application Made By Monsanto South Africa For A Permit For A Trial Release Of Mon89034 And Mon89597
    African Centre for Biosafety, 01 Oct 2005
OVERVIEW
DEVELOPER (MONSANTO) APPLICATION: AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The dossier supplied by Monsanto is designated Non Confidential Business Information (Non-CBI). Any response to developers of genetically modified foods is based on a system of gathering information from several sources. This includes engaging scientists and individuals that have similar concerns regarding the introduction of genetically modified foods and who keep track of the different events. Further it includes accessing online government resources of different countries to monitor applications and their progress in those countries and also accessing developer and other web sites (consumer groups, farmers, environmental organisations) to gather information on the events in question. On the basis of this information and coupled with our understanding of the South African situation and legislation a response is formulated to the developer highlighting our concerns. It is instructive that a search on the internet across several search engines for both these events has not yielded a single result. Further, none of the individuals or organisations whom we

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

African Agriculture under genetic engineering onslaught

Genetic engineering has made rapid entry into agriculture in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Brazil and South Africa, with these countries accounting for 99% of genetically modified (GM) crops grown globally. Now we are witnessing aggressive attempts, especially by the United States through its agency for international development (USAID) and its genetic engineering industry, to impose GM crops upon Africa under the guise of addressing food security, environmental stress and fighting poverty.

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Explanation And Comments On The Cameroon Biosafety Law Mariam Mayet, April 2004

OVERVIEW

The Cameroon Biosafety Law No 2003/006 titled “Law No 2003/006 of 21 April 2003 To Lay Down Safety Regulations Governing Biotechnology in Cameroon” (“Biosafety Law”) was signed by the President of Cameroon on the 21 April 2003, and passed by the Cameroon Parliament during November 2003. Cameroon is a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (“Biosafety Protocol“) The Biosafety Law was probably written in French and translated into English. It is entirely possible that in the course of such translation, the meaning of important concepts and principles have been lost or altered. Detailed explanations and comments are provided in a Table below. The analysis provided in the Table has been grouped around key issues, namely:

Risk Assessment; Authorisations; Safety Measures; Destruction of GMOs that pose risks; Products of GMOs; GMOs that are pharmaceuticals; Prohibition of hazardous substances connected with GMOs; Contained Use, Field Trials; General/environmental release; Waste and gas treatment; Risk Management; Import/Export of GMOs; Decision-making; Accidental releases and emergency responses; Transit; Liability and redress; Labelling,(identification), packaging and marketing; Transport, handling and packaging; Public Awareness , participation and consultation, Confidential information and access to Information, Offences and penalties; and Enforcement.

Having regard to the critical