Tag Archive: Biosafety Protocol


Friends of the Earth International


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 23 February, 2015 ? US agencies, funders such as the Gates Foundation, and agribusiness giant Monsanto are trying to force unwilling African nations to accept expensive and insufficiently tested Genetically Modified (GM) foods and crops, according to a new report released today. [1]

?The US, the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa. The US administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops,? said Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety, which authored the report commissioned by Friends of the Earth International.

The new report also exposes how agribusiness giant Monsanto influences biosafety legislation in African countries, gains regulatory approval for its product, and clears the path for products such as GM maize (corn).

Only four African countries -South Africa, Egypt, Burkina Faso and Sudan- have released GM crops commercially but the issue of genetically modified maize is deeply controversial, given that maize is the staple food of millions of Africans.

Unlike Europe and other regions where strong biosafety laws have been

ACB submission to the Secretariat of the Biosafety Protocol – discussions on socio-economic assessment (Article 26)

28 May 2011

The Secretariat of the Biosafety Protocol is engaging in discussions on socio-economic provisions related to decision-making and GMOs (Article 26). The ACB has submitted several studies from South Africa to enrich this discussion and has applied to participate in online discussions. These documents highlight South African experiences regarding the rejection of GM SpuntaG2 potato for commercial release, GM yeast and grapes for wine production and the failure of the governments Massive Food Production Programme in the Eastern Cape which promotes the use of GM maize for small scale farmers.

The following documents have been submitted:

– Covering letter/summary

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Executive summaries of two socio-economic studies carried out by the ARC on the impact of GM tubermoth-resistant potato entitled:

– Potential economic benefits of a genetically modified (GM) tubermoth-resistant potato variety in South Africa: an ex-ante socio-economic evaluation for commercial producers
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– Smallholder potato production activities in South Africa: a socio-economic and technical assessment of five cases in three provinces
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A study carried out by the Trust for Community Outreach and education on the Massive Food Production Programme in the Eastern Cape entitled: Threats to the Food Security and Food

Case Study: S A’s Traceability and Segregation systems for GM Grains

During 13-17 March 2006, the Parties to the Cartage Protocol Biosafety (?Biosafety Protocol?) will try, after several previous unsuccessful attempts, to craft minimum standards for a global segregation, traceability and accountability system to apply to the cross border movement of bulk shipments of genetically modified (GM) grain. The mechanisms of such a system will depend on the manner in which the Parties will ultimately resolve the provisions relating to Article 18(2)(a) of the Biosafety Protocol. Article 18(2)(a) deals with the detailed requirements and documentation that must accompany bulk shipments of GMOs, also known in Bio safety Protocol parlance as ?living modified organisms that are exported/imported for direct use as food, feed and processing.? (LMO FFPs).

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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

Lesotho – GMO Legislation


Evidently influenced by the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Project, the Biosafety Bill has been drafted principally to implement the Biosafety Protocol verbatim, and in so doing, perpetuates some of the weaknesses and deficiencies of the Biosafety Protocol. For instance, the scope of the Biosafety Bill is predicated on the scope of the Biosafety Protocol where the risks to human health are not central to the biosafety enquiry, but are ancillary to the protection of biological diversity in the use of the terms “taking also into account risks to human health.” (Section 2(1) of the Biosafety Bill; Article 4 of the Biosafety Protocol). The Biosafety Bill also excludes as does the Biosafety Protocol, the transboundary movement of GMOs that are pharmaceuticals for humans that are addressed by relevant international agreements and organisations.

In fact the entire Biosafety Bill is littered with examples of the extent to which the sole imperative underpinning the drafting of the Bill appears to be to implement the basic minimum standards of the Biosafety Protocol. This is dealt with in more detail below, but a striking further example to this effect, is the way in which the documentation to accompany bulk shipments of GMOs has been dealt

BT-Maize MON863 and MON863 X MON810 / Monsanto

  • Objections to the Application Made by Monsanto South Africa for a Commodity Import Permit of Grain for Feed and Food Purposes that may Contain Maize Grains Derived From Insect-Protected Maize Line Mon863 and Maize Hybrids Mon863 X Mon810
    Mariam Mayet and Shenaz Moola, August 2004
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  • CoverLetter_Mon830X810.pdf Cover Letter to the Registrar
    August 2004
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A scientific assessment was made of the available information. The main findings of this assessment, which are discussed in greater detail later in the document, are:

  • A full assessment of the scientific data could not be made because of the designation of large sections of this data as Confidential Business Information
  • The molecular characterisation information provided by the notifier indicates several irregularities including open reading frames, a missing stop codon and truncated constructs which could give rise to unintended gene effects
  • There is evidence of structural instability arising out of the use of the 35S CaMV promoter and there is a call for the discontinuation of the use of this genetic element in the development of transgenic plants
  • The protocols for assessing gene expression in transgenic plants are

BT-Cotton COT200-Cry1Ab, RRCotton, (Syngenta)

  • Bt-Cotton COT200-Cry1Ab / Syngenta
  • Bt-Cotton COT102-Cry1Ab / Syngenta
  • RoundupReady-Cotton / Syngenta
Objections to the Application made by Syngenta South Africa in Respect of the Following Events to the National Department of Agriculture, South Africa.

Mariam Mayet and Shenaz Moola, July 2004

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1. Provision of false and misleading information material to the approvals sought

The notifier claims that there are no wild relatives of cotton in South Africa (5.5 of the application). It has come to our attention that this is not the case and we have a concern that we have been misled by the notifier’s claims in this regard. There are about 39 species of Gossypium. They are found worldwide in the tropics and warm temperate regions with several species cultivated. There are three species in southern Africa, occurring in northern Namibia, Northern Botswana, Northern Province, Mpumulanga, Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal. These three species of Gossypium are Gossypium anomalum subsp. anomalum which occurs in Namibia, Gossypium herbaceum subsp africanum which occurs in Namibia, Botswana, Limpopo, Mocambique, Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal and Gossypium triphyllum which occurs in Namibia and Botswana. According to Cotton

Roundup Ready Wheat / Monsanto


Objection to Public Notice by Monsanto SA (Pty) Ltd, Published in BUSINESS DAY, Monday, 19th January 2004: Application for commodity clearance permit for genetically modified wheat
African Centre for Biosafety, February 2004
Endorsed by Safe Food Coalition; Ekogia Foundation; Steering Committee, South African Freeze Alliance On Genetic Engineering (Safeage); Earthlife Africa Ethekwini; Earth Women; African Rainbow Circle; Ukudla Kwethu; Mdumiseni Ndlela; Freedom Extravaganza Group; Khuzwayo; Wray White & Riaz Tayob

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We, the undersigned organisations, groups and individuals, hereby lodge our objections to the above application. We ask that the decision-making authority, the Executive Council established in terms of the Genetically Modified Organisms Act (No. 15 of 1997) (“GMO Act”) either on its own, or in consultation with the Advisory Committee reject Monsanto‘s application. We are of the firm belief that ample grounds exist for Monsanto’s application to be rejected out of hand, alternatively, that Monsanto’s application is rejected on the basis of the precautionary principle, which is well established in the body of environmental law and policy in South Africa.

Our objections are principally based on the following, which is fully canvassed