Take Action! Write to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry demanding access to information on GMOs On 14th January 2009 the African Centre for Biosafety wrote to the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Lulama Xingwama, alerting her to the fact that South Africa is not complying to an important provision in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This provision obliges governments who are a Party to the Protocol to share their information and decisions on GMOs by posting to an international website called the Biosafety Clearing House. South Africa is just not posting decisions and information, despite being a Party to the Protocol since 2003. We asked that the Minister ensure compliance within 30 days of receiving our letter, failing which we would lay a complaint with the Compliance Committee set up under the Protocol. This has not happened, but as there is now a new Minister in place, we decided to write again before going to the International body. In the meantime, the Constitutional Court has handed down judgement in the case between Biowatch South Africa and the GMO Registrar, which further strengthens our request. The 11 judges agreed unanimously that the State is duty bound to facilitate access to information that should be in the public domain. We pointed this out in our new letter, faxed to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheris and Forestry, Tina Joemat Pieterse, on 5 June 2009. Without access to information there is no way that we can engage meaningfully in decision-making on GMOs or assert our rights! Please read our two letters and fax Minister Pieterse supporting ACB’s position and your own feelings on the matter. To show your support for our call to government, please send a fax to: Minister Tina Joemat Pieterse Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Private Bag X250 PRETORIA 0001 Fax: (012) 321 8558.

Download and view the letters sent by ACB.