On the 8th and 9th May 2012 COMESA held a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, to review a draft policy on the regulation and trade of GMOs for the region. While the Biotech Industry was very well represented at the meeting, civil society was completely left out of the process. This policy is being drafted behind closed doors to suit the trade interests of the major sponsor of the Policy - the United States government. Rather than ensure the most effective biosafety procedures for the Region, this policy is crafted to create an enabling environment for the free trade of GMOs with few checks and balances. The policy poses a threat to the national sovereignty of Member States, all but excludes public participation in the decision making process on GMOs and lowers the bar when it comes to risk assessments.
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This document is endorsed by:
- The African Biodiversity Network (ABN) - comprising of 36 members in 12 countries (Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
- Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN)
- The National Organic Produce Initiative (NOPI) (South Africa)
- The Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Southern Africa (BDAASA)
- Abalimi Bezekhaya (South Africa) ?