AFRICA BATTLES THE GM LOBBY
+ TANZANIA MUST GUARD AGAINST GM LOBBY PRESSURE
An alliance of Tanzanian and international NGOs and businesses are urging government regulators to resist pressure to remove safety legislation protecting Tanzanian farmers and consumers. Previously officially free of GMOs, Tanzania is opening the door to GM biotechnology. Biosafety regulations and guidelines have been approved and GM research has started in preparation for commercialisation. But an important campaign of resistance is underway.
ActionAid Tanzania's Country Director, Aida Kiangi, commented, "We are one of many NGOs who have seen the fallout from this technology on small farmers and their families in other countries, and I urge my fellow Tanzanians to beware of the serious risks before it is too late."
Farmer Moses Shaha, the Regional Chairman of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum, warned that, "Big multinational companies are paying our scientists very well and imposing their agenda on what we should grow and eat." He also warned that GMOs will eventually destroy the country's traditional seeds, harm the environment and damage consumers' health.
Find out more about the Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity from their wesite: http://envaya.org/TABIO or on Facebook:
+ ARE GM CROPS BEING SNEAKED INTO KENYA?
Tests suggest GM contaminated seed from South Africa is being deliberately brought into Kenya so that farmers are planting GM seed without their knowledge and without any regulatory approval. There is also concern about the role of the Syngenta Foundation.
+ COMPETITION COMMISSION ASKED TO INVESTIGATE MONSANTO'S DOMINANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is the only African country to have enthusiastically embraced GM crops - something successive South African governments have done since the time of apartheid. Now groups in South Africa, including the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), the Surplus People Project (SPP), the Trust for Community Outreach (TCOE), the Food Sovereignty Campaign and Biowatch South Africa, have submitted a report to the Competition Commission in support of their requests that the Commission investigate Monsanto's extraordinary market power in the country. ACB director Mariam Mayet said, "Over the course of our investigation, we could only find one GM maize variety, of over 140 registered in South Africa, that contained GM technology not owned by Monsanto."
Finmd out more about the African Centre for Biosafety: http://www.biosafetyafrica.org.za/
+ HEAVY HANDS - MONSANTO'S CONTROL IN SOUTH AFRICA
This very readable report provides an excellent introduction to the Monsanto Corporation as well as explaining its extraordinary market power in South Africa. Highly recommended.
+ THE PLIGHT OF FARMERS IN THE EASTERN CAPE
The ugly truth about GM crops in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.
+ HYPING BT COTTON TO AFRICAN FARMERS
Reuters reports claims being made to farmers in Zimbabwe that Bt cotton will boost production by 400%!
By way of comparison, see the film A Disaster in Search of Success - Bt Cotton in the Global South which explains what has actually happened to Bt cotton farmers in neighbouring South Africa, as well as to farmers in Indonesia and India when they have grown Bt cotton.
+ GM CROPS ARE A FAILURE
Zimbabwean agricultural policy expert Roger Mpande warns that GM crops are not beneficial to farmers and warns about their health, environmental and social impacts.
+ GHANA: CONCERNS OVER GM CROPS
+ WEBSITES OF SOME OF THE GROUPS IN AFRICA CHALLENGING THE GM LOBBY
African Centre for Biosafety: http://www.biosafetyafrica.org.za/
Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity: http://envaya.org/TABIO
South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering: http://www.safeage.org/
Farmers' Legal Action Group: http://www.flag-sa.org/index.htm
Environmental Rights Action: http://www.eraction.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=23
Pelum Association: http://www.pelumrd.org/