African Centre for Biosafety
AFSA Statement Condemning COMESA Approval of GMO Policy PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:25

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa[1] is alarmed at the approval during September 2013, by the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) of the COMESA ‘Draft Policy Statements and Guidelines for commercial planting of GMOs, Trade in GMOs and Emergency Food aid with GMO content.’ The COMESA Policy aggressively promotes the wholesale proliferation of GMOs on the African continent by way of commercial plantings, commodity imports and food aid and flouts international biosafety law.

The Policy is intent on creating a clumsy, confusing, cumbersome and prohibitively exorbitant centralised regional decision making system that is utterly at odds with the provisions as set out in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and national biosafety frameworks. All of the COMESA member states have ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Almost all COMESA member states have developed their own National Biosafety Frameworks (NBFs), indicating that decision- making concerning GMOs is to be made at the national level.

Why then the need for this harmonised Policy? If not to by pass international and national biosafety regulations requiring case by case biosafety assessments, because the biotechnology industry, agribusiness, free trade proponents and the food aid industry are extremely frustrated by their inability to penetrate the markets in Africa.

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[1] The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) represents as a continental voice against the ongoing imposition of industrial agriculture in Africa and for food sovereignty through ecological agriculture. AFSA is a broad based alliance of African regional farmers' networks and African NGO networks along with various other allies. The aim is to bring greater continental cohesion to an already developing food sovereignty movement in Africa.

 
Civil Society Calls for PUBLIC Parliamentary Hearings on Genetically Modified Food PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 09 September 2013 12:32

On the 6th of August 2012, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), supported by 18 health professionals, more than 7000 individuals, 22 organisations and the Honourable Cheryllyn Dudley of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), submitted a petition to the National Assembly. The petition called for a review of the government decision to allow the import of "agent orange" maize, a review of GMO risk assessment procedures and an open, public hearing on GMOs.

Over the past year, those who signed this petition have repeatedly called on the ACB for progress on this issue. Since we have had no response from government we opened up the signatures again and prepared this follow-up text to be handed in to Parliament on the 13th September 2013, together with new signatures, now totaling 10 000.

We have noted with great concern that the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' briefing on the 13th September 2013 on GM food in South Africa only includes presentations from government departments and excludes representatives from civil society, health professionals and scientists.

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Open letter to the National Chamber of Milling on GMO labelling and the development of a GM-Free market PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 20 July 2013 10:46

In July 2012 the National Chamber of Milling (NCM) posted a ‘position on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on its website, in which it supports the principle of consumer choice and pledges to ‘encourage identity preservation within the grain supply chain to enable clear labelling of our product to the consumer market’.

However, the biotech industry lobby group AfricaBio, who have lobbied vociferously against the labelling of GM food in South Africa, has also claimed to have ‘forged a strategic partnership with the NCM’ to engage with government on the GM labelling issues. That being the case, the ACB has written an open letter to the NCM asking for clarification of its relationship with AfricaBio, to push for a stringent and accurate labelling and identity preservation system (including establishing GM free maize and soya chains) and supporting the independent, long term and transparent risk assessment of GMOs in South Africa.

 

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2012 Tests

2013 Tests

FutureLife:

100% GM Maize, 37% GM Soya

Purity's Cream of Maize: 56% GM maize

Purity Baby First: 71% GM maize

Bokomo Wheat free Pronutro:

90% GM maize, 71% GM soya

Ace supermaize meal: 78% GM maize
Ace maize rice: 70% GM maize
Ace instant porridge: 68% GM maize
Nestle Cerelac Infant Cereal: 76% GM maize Lion Samp and beans: 48% GM maize
Impala maize meal: 66% GM maize Jungle Breakfast: 41% GM maize
 
Do African Farmers Need CAADP? PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 12 July 2013 09:15

TCOE-CAADPThe Peoples' Dialogue and the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) have written a short booklet on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the  African Union's framework for agricultural development for Africa, titled “Do African Farmers Need CAADP?”

The objective is to summarise and simplify information on CAADP so as to, collectively, create awareness and discussion among small-scale/peasant farmers and the organisations that work with them, on the potential threats and implications for our various food sovereignty campaigns, as multinationals aim to penetrate and control agricultural policies and food and other agricultural production in Africa.  

The direct link to the publication is:  http://www.tcoe.org.za/downloads/general/80-tcoe-caadp.html

 
Africa demands Tiger Brands to Go GM Free PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 05 July 2013 09:53

Letter from ACB to Tiger Brands supported by 39 African organisations working at grass-roots on issues of agriculture, consumer concerns and primary health care calling upon Tiger Brands to go GM free. Tiger Brands operates in 25 African countries and has ownership of a number of food manufacturers on the continent including Chococam (Cameroon), Deli Foods (Nigeria), EATBI (Ethiopia), Haco Tiger Brands (Kenya), National Foods (Zimbabwe), UAC Foods (Nigeria), Dangote Flour Mills (Nigeria).

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