African Centre for Biosafety
ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN AFRICA: MEDIA BRIEFING AFSA APPEALS TO ARIPO, AU AND UNECA FOR PROTECTION OF FARMERS’ RIGHTS & RIGHT TO FOOD PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 15:17
Addis Ababa
afsa-logoThe Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a Pan African platform comprising civil society networks and farmer organisations working towards food sovereignty in Africa, has today lodged an urgent appeal to the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to urgently revise the draft ARIPO Plant Variety Protection Protocol, recognise farmers’ rights and facilitate the right to food. AFSA is requesting that such revision be based on a broader consultation process with farmer organisations and experts from outside of the plant breeders’ rights sector.

African civil society organisations, many of them members of AFSA, made submissions to ARIPO on its draft Plant Variety Protection (PVP) law and policies in November 2012. AFSA has itself submitted comments on ARIPO’s Response to Civil Society: Draft Legal Framework for Plant Variety Protection, March 2014. In both submissions, several serious concerns were raised about the law, which later was titled “the draft ARIPO Plant Variety Protection Protocol”, being based on UPOV 1991 (the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants), a restrictive and inflexible legal regime focused solely on promoting and protecting the rights of commercial breeders that develop genetically uniform seeds/plant varieties suited to mechanised large-scale mono-cropping agriculture systems. Of particular concern, is that the draft ARIPO PVP Protocol renders the centuries-old African farmers’ practices of freely using, exchanging and selling seeds/propagating material illegal and undermines the right to food.
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Below the belt, below the breadline – South Africa’s inequitable and GM contaminated bread industry PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 18:55

acbio-petitionThe African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has today brought into sharp focus the white bread industry in South Africa with the release of its new report ‘GM Contamination, Cartels and Collusion in South Africa’s Bread Industry.’ The report shows that the white bread tested contains high levels of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soya in the soya flour used in the bread and that most companies are unashamedly flouting GM labelling laws and undermining the consumer’s right to know. The nation consumes about 2.8 billion loaves of bread a year, handing over more than R28 billion of their hard-earned cash to a cartel comprising Tiger Brands, Premier Foods, Pioneer Foods and Foodcorp, that controls the wheat-to-bread value chain. Roughly a quarter of South Africans live below the bread line and price fluctuations in bread – our second most important staple food after maize – has hit the poor the hardest.

 

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GM Contamination, Cartels and Collusion in South Africa’s Bread Industry PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 18:48

GM-Bread-201405This briefing paper exposes the high levels of GM soya in South Africa's popular white bread brands and reveals how just four companies – Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Premier Foods and Foodcorp control the Wheat-to-Bread value chain. This value chain feeds into another concentrated retail food market controlled by Shoprite/Checkers, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Spar. With this report the ACB has now highlighted that South Africa's top two staples – Maize and Bread – are both controlled by the same cartel.

 

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AFSA STRONGLY CONDEMNS SLEIGHT OF HAND MOVES BY ARIPO TO JOIN UPOV 1991, BYPASS NATIONAL LAWS AND OUTLAW FARMERS RIGHTS PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:41

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN AFRICA

Addis Ababa, Accra 3 April 2014

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)1 strongly condemns the move by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) to join UPOV 1991, which will effectively outlaw the centuries-old African farmers’ practice of freely using, exchanging and selling seeds/propagating material. These practices underpin 90% of the agricultural system within the ARIPO region.2

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MONSANTO FORCED TO WITHDRAW UNSUBSTANTIATED ADVERTISING CLAIMS ON BENEFITS OF GM CROPS-ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 17 March 2014 13:30

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa has today ordered Monsanto to withdraw its advertisement on Radio 702 with immediate effect, wherein Monsanto claims the benefits of GM crops. According to ASA, Monsanto’s claims were found to be unsubstantiated.

 

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) lodged a complaint to the ASA following an advertisement on Radio 702 by Monsanto wherein Monsanto claims that GM crops “enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially.” The ACB was supported in its complaint by Ms Judith Taylor from Earthlife Africa.

 

Monsanto was given an opportunity by ASA to respond to the ACB’s complaint but was according to the ASA, only able to provide the ASA with links to documents on its website but was unable to provide, as it is required to in terms of South African law governing advertising, inputs from an independent and credible expert confirming the various studies that Monsanto relied upon showing the ostensible benefits of GM crops.

 

“We are elated with this decision. Monsanto has already been warned by the ASA as far back as 2007, that it needs to substantiate its claims from an independent and credible expert in the matter of GM Food/M Wells/ 8739 (18 June 2007) regarding its claims of the so called benefits of GM crops. However, it appears Monsanto does not have much regard for South African law as it is hell bent on disseminating false information to the South African public, “ said Mariam Mayet, Executive Director of the ACB.

 

The ASA has warned Monsanto that “it should ensure that it holds proper substantiation for its advertising claims” or risk attracting further sanctions.

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