first item via people's caravan 2000:
1. MAORI DECLARE WAR ON GE
2. ETC group launch new web site
3. US threaten Croatia with WTO
4. What to e-mail to Croatian government
1. Maori declare war on GE
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 08:15:30 +1300
8 DECEMBER 2001
"We are going to war against GE protagonists" declared the first National Maori Hui on GE at Te Ao Hou Marae at Wanganui today.
"These GE protagonists are Life Sciences Network, Multi and Trans National Chemical and Fertiliser companies, and scientists at Universities and Research Institutes experimenting with GE on Agricultural, Horticulture, Aquaculture, Flora and Fauna" proclaimed the Hui.
"These GE protagonist's threaten our whakapapa, threaten our plant whakapapa and threaten our animal whakapapa" went on the Hui. "We have a responsibility to protect the existing environment for the future of our mokopuna."
"Every Maori has the exclusive right under the Treaty to their whakapapa and every Maori is asked to protest against GE" added the Hui.
"Our strategies are being developed to mount a political campaign which is wide ranging targeting for instance all political parties, all scientists at universities and scientific research institutions, involved in experimenting and researching GE" stated the Hui.
"A strong voice at the Hui called for immediate direct action," concluded the Hui.
All communications to Cheryl Smith (021) 162 4059
2. ETC group launch new web site
ETC group (formerly RAFI) is pleased to announce the launch of our new web site: www.etcgroup.org. Visitors to our old site (www.rafi.org) will be automatically forwarded to the new ETC group web site.
Our new site allows you to search for ETC group publications by type (Communiqué, Genotype, News Release, Occasional Papers and Others) as you always have. And now you will also be able to find news and information organized by 16 key topics:
Biodiversity & Genetic Resources
Human Rights / Farmers' Rights
Terminator & Traitor
Other new technologies
Intellectual Property & Patents
"New Enclosures" and
Public / Private Relations.
Our SEARCH function is also faster and more robust to help you get the exact information you are looking for as quickly as possible.
A new addition to our site, "Take Action", identifies action steps that can be taken to influence policy and promote changes on specific issues.
We are also expanding our Spanish language resources. We now have a large number of publications or resources available in Spanish, and that number will be constantly increasing. Keep checking back!
Our site is designed to be more compatible with a wider range of browsers and Internet connections. The site offers faster download times and always provides the size in kilobytes of all PDF files.
3. Croatia GMO Law & US Govt Response
Fri, 07 Dec 2001
Subject: [geactivists] Croatia GMO Law & US Govt Response
Embassy of the United States of America - Zagreb
Date: November 29, 2001
To: Ms. Ivana Jelenicc and Ms. Jasminka Radovic, Department of Biodiversity and Leadership Protection Ministry for Environmental Protection and Physical Planning
From: Jill F. Byrnoa, First Secretary, Political-Economic Section
Dear Ms. Jelenic and Ms. Radovic:
Attached please find a non paper outlining the concerns of the U.S. Government about Croatia's draft interim legislation on genetically modified organisms and products. As you will recall, this was the subject of a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture on September 19.
I have sent the non paper to Ms. Bozica Rukavina at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with the request that she contact you and representatives of other ministries to organize a meeting so that I can learn the reactions of the Croatian government tot he non paper.
I am looking forward to hearing from Ms. Rukavina so that we can continue the dialogue on this important subject. I am also grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Ministry's upcoming Roundtable (December 10) as a chance to learn more about the Croatian Government's vies.
Jill F. Byrnoa
U.S. Embassy Zagreb
November 28, 2001
United States Views on Croatian Interim Legislation On Genetically Modified Organisms and Products
We understand that Croatia is proposing to ban or restrict the importation, marketing, use, and production of genetically modified organisms and products until such time as specific legislation regulating the use of biotechnology has been finalized and adopted. Has Croatia notified this proposed action to the WTO?
When establishing any measure related to biotechnology, countries need to take into consideration the range of disciplines under existing agreements, including the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement, to ensure compliance with WTO measures. The United States Government is concerned that a ban will undermine the science-based, rules-based approach to food safety as agreed to under the WTO, as well as unfairly restrict trade.
Further, under Annex B of the SPS Agreement, members are obligated to notify the WTO if an SPS regulation is proposed that could affect trade of other members, and to consider comments submitted in response to the notification. Regulations related to food safety must also be based on science.
We wish to emphasize that the approach to the safety evaluation of biotech foods has been and continues to be examined by a number of international fora and scientific bodies. The FAO/WHO, OECD, the National Academies of Science of several countries (including the United States), and the American Medical Association have determined that there is no scientific evidence indicating that biotech products currently being marketed pose any threat to human or animal health.
We also wish to not that the U.S. Government has a well-coordinated interagency system to ensure that new agricultural biotechnology products are safe for human and animal consumption. All of the food products that are exported by the U.S. are the same as those present in the U.S. food supply.
"Roundup ready" soybeans and some varieties of biotech corn have been approved in several countries including the European Union. Biotech corn and soy ingredients are present in a wide range of food and feed products originating in the United States, Canada, and Argentina; as well as processed products from most other exporting countries.
With regard to trade, we would caution against implementing a ban without first considering the practical aspects that such a ban would severely disrupt Croatia's importation of food and feed, from all sources.
We would suggest that you use caution in implementing EU biotech directives, which require substantial infrastructure and institutional capacity to carry out. The EU's approval process has not been operational since 1999, and no new products have been approved since that time.
The United States is interested in working with Croatia to develop policies for biotech products, which would include both technical and trade considerations.
In conclusion, we formally request that the Government of Croatia not ban biotech food products that have been demonstrated to be as safe as conventional food products in the United States and elsewhere, unless Croatia can provide evidence indicating otherwise. If such a ban is implemented, the U.S. must consider its rights under the WTO.
4. Please e-mail the Croation premier your response
We are very pleased to hear that your Government has elaborated a draft law on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products thereof which would ban their import, market introduction, production and use, until comprehensive legislation and the capacity to implement it is in force.
We strongly support this policy reflecting the concern of the Croatian Government about the potential risks that GMOs pose to human and animal health and the environment.
Taking into account the unpredictable impacts of GMOs on the environment and health, we strongly advise you to implement the GMO ban as a matter of urgency.
We applaud your courage in standing up to the strong pressure from the Government of the U.S. that is threatening your country with trade sanctions under the WTO.