In a totally unexpected move, the newly appointed Tanzania Agricultural Minister, Prof Adolf Mkenda, in mid-January 2021 announced the cancellation of research trials involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country and the decision to put in place extra biosafety scrutiny of imported genetically modified (GM) seed. The decision was taken by the Minister in order to conserve the country’s genetic resources and local seed.
In recent weeks, a wave of solidarity from many parts of Brazil and from several countries around the world has reached southern Minas Gerais, in support of the resistance of the 450 farming families, who have organised and lived at camp “Quilombo Campo Grande” over the past 22 years. The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) joins this wave of solidarity and sends its support to the evicted families and all those who resist in Minas Gerais and in all parts of Brazil.
An unproven genetically modified (GM) RNAi cassava variety is yet another staple food crop, after maize and banana, on the biotech industry’s agenda for commercial cultivation in Kenya. The brazen lack of safety tests contained in the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation’s (KARLO's) application for cultivation, and disregard for adherence to biosafety best practise and disease resistance, has galvanised civil society and farmer organisations to demand reinstatement of the ban on GMOs.