Tag Archive: Swaziland

The GMO crisis in Swaziland

The GMO crisis in Swaziland

By Tsakasile Dlamini
Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (Pelum) Swaziland Country Coordinator
October 2017
Swaziland is under enormous pressure to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the country’s farming system. This pressure is coming not only from Monsanto but also from farmers and some sections of the public who have been fed a great deal of misinformation and hype by the pro-biotech machinery. The farmers, acting on incomplete and often unsubstantiated information, are pushing for the adoption of genetically modified (GM) cotton, in the hope that it will give them greater yields, while reducing the costs of production.

Currently, according to Swaziland’s legislation, to import GM products or live GMOs (seeds) one needs to apply for a permit; a lengthy process that requires evidence that the GMO in question is safe. However, it is an open secret that farmers are bringing GM cotton and maize seed into the country illegally from South Africa because they have been informed that GM-based farming is more cost effective. It is unfortunate that a majority of our cotton farmers are told disingenuously about the “great yields and benefits” of GM cotton and not about the dangers associated with this technology. There is a serious

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,

Civil Society Statement on COMESA Seed Trade Laws

This submission was made by civil society groups at a COMESA meeting in Lusaka during March 2013, in which serious concerns were raised about the COMESA seed trade laws as negatively impacting on small farmers in the COMESA region.

Statement made by:
Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN); East and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) ? Zambia; Participatory Ecological Land-Use (PELUM) Association; Alliance for Agro-Ecology and Biological Diversity Conservation; Kasisi Agriculture Training Centre (KATC); Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT); Green Living Movement (GLM); African Centre for Biosafety (ACB)

 

 

The Regulations allow for the expedited registration of seeds to enable the creation of a seed free trade zone within the COMESA region. ?Seed trade? is not defined in the regulations as being restricted to only the commercial seed sector. In this regard, there are serious concerns that the Regulations do not provide any safeguards that small farmers will be allowed to freely use, save, sell, barter and exchange traditional varieties of seed.? Lack of these safeguards will open the door for the criminalising of the customary practises of small farmers to exchange, sell and

Alert to anti-GM activists in Egypt, India, Mexico and South Korea

South Africa’s GM maize flooding into your countries!!!

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has been monitoring the GMO landscape in South Africa since 2004. As recently as three years ago South Africa was importing millions of tons of GM maize from Argentina, used mainly in the animal feed industry. During 2010, South African maize farmers produced a 6 million ton maize surplus, which included a large percentage of GM maize. With the threat of financial ruin looming large, industry has been scouring the globe in search of new export markets. Last February, nearly 300,000 tons of GM maize was earmarked for export to Kenya. However, this evoked a huge scandal because the GM maize had not been approved in Kenya, resulting in many of the shipments being held up in Mombasa harbor, amid a flurry of contrary statements issued by the Kenyan and South African governments.

Further shipments that fell through regulatory cracks were dispatched to Swaziland, Mozambique and even Somalia. The really lucrative markets for commodity grains are found beyond Africa’s shores in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia (making a mockery of the idea that GM crops have been developed to alleviate global hunger).

A good neighbour? South Africa forcing GM maize onto African markets and policy makers

Since the beginning of 2010, South Africa’s Executive Council responsible for GMO permit approvals has granted export permits for almost 300,000 Metric Tons (MT) of GM maize to be exported to Kenya, Mozambique, and Swaziland collectively, and 35,000 MT of GM soybean to Mozambique.1 Despite South Africa being Africa’s largest producer of maize, and a regular exporter of non-GM maize or maize containing only adventitiousi GM maize to African countries, these export permits are the first cases of outright commodity exports of GM maize from South Africa to other African countries.

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Force-feeding South Africans: Monsanto’s Smartstax 8 gene GM maize coming to a store near you!

Johannesburg 21 April 2010. Monsanto has made an application to the South African GMO authorities for permission to import Smartstax maize, one of the most controversial and risky GMOs ever produced for commercial use.

The ACB recently published a report featuring Smartstax titled ‘The stacked gene revolution: A biosafety nightmare’. We pointed out that while the majority of commercially cultivated GM food crops contain 3 new genes at most, Smartstax contains 8! Several prominent scientists at the United Nations have expressed grave concerns about the biosafety implications of this, and also the lax safety assessments carried out. Smartstax has been approved in the US and Canada for commercial cultivation.

According to Mariam Mayet, Director of the ACB, ?Stacked GMOs represent the biotech industry’s blitzkrieg for increased control of the food chain. The more genes ‘stacked’ into their seeds, the higher their profits.? One and two trait GM seed varieties are being replaced by their more expensive multiple stacked varieties.

In November last year, Monsanto chairman Hugh Grant hubristically claimed that he expected the gene giant to triple its 2007 gross profits by 2012. Smartstax was to be one of the cornerstone’s of this expansion. However, Monsanto is

Swaziland – GMO Legislation

OVERVIEW

We have been approached by civil society groups in Swaziland to provide comments on the Draft National Policy Document, “Creating an enabling environment for the safe use of biotechnology and its products in Swaziland” and the Biosafety Bill, 2005.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)/World Food Programme (WFP) crop and food supply assessment mission to Swaziland, 20051, the country is gripped by yet another food crisis. They estimate the cereal import requirement for 2005/06 marketing year (March/April) to be 110 600 tonnes, of which 69 700 tonnes are expected to be commercially imported from South Africa, its main trading partner and producer and importer of genetically modified (GM) maize, Soybean and cotton. By March/April 2005, approximately 6 200 tonnes of food aid was on hand and in the pipeline, but a deficit of 34 700 tonnes remains to be provided by additional donor assistance.

Swaziland is a net food importing country. Maize is virtually the sole staple for the majority of the population and is the dominant crop grown by the majority of rural households in the communal Swazi Nation Land (SNL), which accounts for about 86% of the land area planted.

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

  • Bt-Cotton COT200-Cry1Ab / Syngenta
  • Bt-Cotton COT102-Cry1Ab / Syngenta
  • RoundupReady-Cotton / Syngenta
SUBMISSION OF OBJECTIONS BY THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY (ACB)
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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SYNOPSIS – AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY
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