PRESS RELEASE: East African Farmer & Civil Society Organisations Criticise EAC Seed Bill – demand transparency, participation and inclusion of farmers’ rights

Press release

Arusha, Tanzania, 11th March 2019

We, East African farmer and civil society organisations, met in Arusha on 5th – 6th March 2019, to deliberate on the East African Community (EAC) Seed and Plant Varieties Bill 2018 and its implications for smallholder farmers and their seed systems. The rationale given for the Bill is that this will create a conducive environment for improving regional availability of seed and planting materials. However, we are convinced that this proposed law will displace local seed systems, further entrench inequalities and corporate capture of food and seed systems, and marginalise the rural poor, especially women. We therefore demand that policymakers ensure transparency, public consultation and the inclusion of farmers’ rights to save, reuse, share, exchange and sell all seed in their seed and farming systems.

South Africa targeted for testing of risky new gene silencing technology for benefit of corporate maize seed producers

Press release

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has lodged an objection against Pioneer Hi-Bred’s application for field trials of RNAi /gene silencing (DP-566113-9) GM maize, since the risks to the health of the environment and humans is, as yet, unknown.

Just as most people were going on holiday, on 21 December 2018, Pioneer Hi-Bred advertised in the Citizen newspaper its intention to make application to our GMO authorities for permission to conduct open field trials of a genetically modified (GM) maize variety, DP-056113-9, involving gene silencing techniques.

Mark Lynas slammed for exploiting African farmers’ images to promote GMOs

Press release

African farmers are demanding that Lynas cease using their images in his GMO promotionals; Lynas’s mischief-making may have triggered Tanzania’s ending of GMO field trials. Report: Claire Robinson, GMWatch and Mariam Mayet, African Centre for Biodiversity

The British pro-GMO activist Mark Lynas has angered African farmers over his mis-use of their images on the internet to promote his pro-GMO agenda. The farmers have demanded that Lynas remove their images and names from all online platforms.