Two World Bank projects, with funding from the GEF (Global Environmental Facility), propose to introduce genetically modified crops such as maize, potatoes, cassava, rice and cotton into African and Latin American countries that are centres of origin or diversity for these and other major food crops. Civil society organisations warn that DNA contamination from genetically modified crops poses an unacceptable risk to staple crops that are the basis of peasant economies in these regions.
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
Submission To Chairpersons Of Portfolio Committees Of:
Agriculture And Land Affairs, Environmental Affairs And Tourism, Science And Technology, Health, Trade And Industry, Water Affairs And Forestry, Labour
Mariam Mayet, April 2006
Supported by South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering, Earthlife Africa, Safe Food Coalition, Ekogaia Foundation, Farmers Legal Action Group-South Africa, Noordhoek Environmental Action Group, Merlin Business Services (Theo Schuurmans), Earth 52 (Harald Witt), Permacore, The Permaculture Foundation of the Western Cape (Noel Marten), Biophile Magazine.
Comments On The Genetically Modified Organsims Amendment Bill (revised Version), 2005
Mariam Mayet, September 2005
A Glimpse Through The Cracks In The Door: South Africa‘s Permitting System For Gmos
Mariam Mayet, January 2005
Submissions On South Africa’s Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Bill Published 8 October 2004
Mariam Mayet, Nov 2004
Critical Analysis Of Pertinent Legislation Regulating Genetic Modification In Food And Agriculture In South Africa
Mariam Mayet, May 2001
Analysis Of South Africa’s Gmo Act Of 1997
Mariam Mayet, Spring 2000
Regulations No. 1420
Genetically Modified Organisms Act 15 Of 1997
26 November 1999
Regulations Relating To The Labelling Of Foodstuffs Obtained Through Certain Techniques Of Genetic Modification
Earthlife Africa (ELA) and the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) are joining an international day of action on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on Saturday the 8th of April, in demanding that GM food for sale in South Africa is labeled as such. Currently, South Africa‘s labeling regulations do not require the mandatory labeling of GM foodstuff, thereby denying consumers the right to know what they are eating and to avoid GM food if they so wish.
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
Comment on Zimbabwe’s National Biotechnology Authority Bill, 2005
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