Tag Archive: Biosafety

Maíz transgénico de Sudáfrica: imposición en México y Zimbawe

BOLETÍN DE PRENSA Grupo ETC, Centro Africano para la Bioseguridad, FoodMattersZimbabwe y CTDT

  • Nuevas importaciones de maíz transgénico de Sudáfrica a México
  • Cargamentos no autorizados hacia Zimbawe
  • En peligro el centro de origen y las formas de vida campesinas del maíz en Mesoamérica y en África

El Centro Africano para la Bioseguridad (ACB, African Center for Biosafety) manifiesta su alarma ante el hecho de que las autoridades sudafricanas dieron luz verde a la exportación de más de 25 mil toneladas de maíz transgénico hacia Zimbawe. Es la primera vez que los granos de maíz transgénico provenientes de Sudáfrica seexportan con fines comerciales hacia ese país, lo que se suma a la creciente lista de naciones africanas que están recibiendo embarques de maíz transgénico de Sudáfrica, como Suazilandia, Mozambique, Kenia y Somalia.
Según el vocero de FoodMattersZimbabwe, los habitantes de Zimbawe pensaban que las importaciones provenían de Zambia y están alarmados al saber que son cargamentos de maíz transgénico de Sudáfrica. “El gobierno de Zimbawe promueve el uso de variedades de semillas con polinización abierta para fortalecer la autoconfianza de los agricultores. Esta importación de maíz genéticamente modificado constituye un riesgo muy serio de contaminación de nuestras variedades de polinización abierta.

South Africa exports ?unapproved? GM maize to Zimbabwe, continues to export to Mexico, contaminating both the region and centre of origin

African Centre for Biosafety, ETC Group, FoodMattersZimbabwe and CTDT

The ACB is deeply concerned by the news that the South African GMO authorities have permitted over 25,000 tons of GM maize to be exported to Zimbabwe. This is the first time that South African GM maize grains have been commercially exported to our neighbour north of the Limpopo, and adds to a growing list of African countries that have received bulk shipments of live GM grains from South Africa, including Swaziland, Mozambique, Kenya and Somalia.

Read the release in Spanish.

According to a spokesperson for the FoodMattersZimbabwe group ?Zimbabweans are under the impression that maize would be imported from Zambia and will be deeply upset by this news to import GM maize from South Africa. The government of Zimbabwe is currently promoting the use of open pollinated varieties (OPVs) of seed to strengthen our farmers? self-reliance. The importation of GM maize poses a serious risk of contaminating our OPV varieties; at the very least this GM maize must be milled before entering the country. ?

However, a cloud hangs over the legality of the shipments and whether the South African GMO authorities have indeed received an explicit written approval

NEW SEED LEGISLATION SPELLS DISASTER FOR SMALL FARMERS IN AFRICA

Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders? Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it?s too late.

According to the groups, the Protocol is inflexible, restrictive and imposes a ?one-size-fits-all? plant variety protection (PVP) system on all SADC countries irrespective of the nature of agricultural systems, social and economic development. It is modeled after the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991), an instrument which was developed by industrialized countries to address their own needs. UPOV 1991 grants extremely strong intellectual property right protection to plant breeders, and disallows farmers from continuing their customary practices of freely using, exchanging and selling farm-saved seeds.

According to Moses Shaha, regional chairman for the East and Southern African small-scale Farmers? Forum (ESAFF): ?The proposed legislation gives big-business breeders significant rights,

Feeding the Dragon: Durban conference to promote massive GM soya push in Africa

Durban will host the 9th World Soybean Research Conference 17-22nd February 2013, sponsored by the Ethekwini Municipality and agrochemical corporations Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont. The theme of the conference is ?From China to Africa ? Can research close the gap between soy production and increasing global demand.?

 

According to Mariam Mayet, Director of the African Centre for Biosafety, ?The World Soybean conference is really about the promotion of mono-cultures of genetically modified (GM) soya for global export markets. This is in keeping with the current trend of external investment in African agricultural land and resources for the production of commodities for other parts of the world, with the Chinese meat industry being a key driver.

In Africa, farms of less than 2 hectares account for 70-90% of farms in most African countries, and which produce the bulk of staple food crops1. The introduction of soya plantations will disrupt food production and supply systems and have serious implications for food security and livelihoods across the continent.?

China?s economic boom has profoundly impacted on the global food system. Its total meat consumption now stands at a whopping 71 million tons! Indeed, more than a quarter of all

African Civil Society Statement: Call for a ban on GMOs

Download the petition for a ban on GMOs to the African Union.

 

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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_tour interval=”0″][vc_tab title=”English” tab_id=”2e3d9241-4a0f-cl”] Introduction
We, the undersigned, members of civil society organisations from across the African continent, hereby call for an immediate and complete ban on the growing, importing and exporting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the African continent.

We call upon the governments of Africa to take the necessary steps to protect the health of their populations by supporting this call and commit to conducting independent and authoritative long-term food safety studies.

We also call upon the governments of Africa to take note of our additional strong objections to GMOs. These concern the patenting of life forms and privatisation of agriculture, which has led to the dependence by farmers, rural communities and indigenous people on external private and monopolistic seeds suppliers. We are also extremely concerned about the adverse impact of industrial and GM based agriculture on biodiversity and climate change. We cannot ignore the suicide epidemic of farmers in India- a direct result of farmers’ dependence on GM cotton- and the resultant increased costs and unmanageable debt.
Scientific uncertainty about food safety
During September 2012, Professor Gilles-Eric S?ralini,

Setting the record straight on the Seralini GM maize rat study: why the SA government must urgently intervene

In this briefing we respond to the main criticisms of the Seralini GM maize rat study (which have been appearing ad nauseum in the world’s mainstream media); provide some background as to the importance of the NK603 GM maize to the biotechnology industry (and hence the scale of their reaction); and place the attacks on Seralini in the context of previous experiences of those whose research has uncovered some inconvenient truths about the nature and risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We also reiterate our calls for urgent intervention by the SA government to inter alia, ban the said GM variety.

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Open Letter to AGRI SA: Response to its unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of GM maize in SA

Snippet from the letter below.

The ACB read with interest an article published in the Business Day (2nd October, ‘AgriSA backs gene-modified maize’), in which you argue that the curtailment of cultivating GM maize in South Africa would lead to lower yields, higher maize prices, and an increase in the use of agricultural pesticides. You then further go on to claim that GM crops are less susceptible to pests and drought. We find these claims to be spurious, unsubstantiated and completely detached from the day to day realities of our agricultural system.

 

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South Africans call for immediate ban on GM maize after shocking cancer study

Explosive results from a new French study conducted on the long-term health impacts of genetically modified (GM) foods published in the peer reviewed journal ‘Food and Toxicology’ last week, suggest that consumers in South Africa face a very serious threat from one of their staple foods.

The results have the biotechnology industry spin doctors, and those of Monsanto in particular, on high alert to refute evidence that GMOs could cause cancer and have serious impacts on liver and kidney functioning. The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) supported by several organisations and members of the South African public are calling for an immediate ban on the import and cultivation of the maize in question: Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready Maize NK603. The South African government stands alone in the international community in allowing its populations’ staple food to be genetically modified, placing South African consumers at particular risk from this GM maize.

Typically, studies to test the impact of consuming GM foods are carried out over a very short period of time-a mere 90 day period-by the developers of GMOs, on laboratory animals. These industry tests always show that GMOs are safe. What is different about this new French study is that

Letter to Minister of Health requesting investigation into GM maize and associated pesticides as a result of French study.

South Africa is the only country that has allowed the genetic modification (GM) of its staple food – maize.

 

Elsewhere in the world this crop is grown primarily for the global livestock sector. However, in South Africa some 77% of our maize production is genetically modified and provides the nation with their daily intake of carbohydrates. The debate on the long term health impacts of GM foods has raged around the globe for almost 2 decades now and to date there is no scientific agreement on their safety. The United Nation’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is based on the Precautionary Principle in recognition of this lack of scientific knowledge and agreement. Our own GMO regulations, paraphrasing the Precautionary Principle set out in the 1992 Rio Declaration on the environment and development, stipulate that a lack of scientific knowledge or scientific consensus shall not be indicative of an absence of risk. Our GMO Act also allows the Executive Council to revise any decisions made in the light of new scientific evidence.

 

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Download the letter to the SA Minister of Agriculture to ban Monsanto’s Roundup and the French scientific study that found tumors and more health effects

Open letter to Minister of Agriculture, SA for Immediate banning of all Roundup Ready maize from cultivation and import in South Africa

The ACB and several organisations and individuals have sent an open letter to
Ms. Tina Joemat-Pettersson Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for
the immediate banning of all RR maize in SA following the release of the
Seralini NK603 study (“French Study of GMOs on rats”)

Open Letter

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French Study

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