1.New Food Sovereignty Report
2.SAARC People's Forum denounces GMOs

1.New Food Sovereignty Report

Hi Jonathan

You may like to know that our new publication on Food Sovereignty is now available online through
and you would be welcome to link to or mention this page, if you wish. A Spanish translation will also be posted on this page by the end of the month.

"FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: towards democracy in localized food systems" by Michael Windfuhr and Jennie Jonsen, FIAN. ITDG Publishing - working paper. 64pp. 2005.

This paper provides a comprehensive history, overview and analysis of the Food Sovereignty Policy Framework. Links to many key statements and documents produced over the past decade.

Best wishes
Patrick Mulvany

2. SAARC Peoples Forum denounce GMOs

Many thanks to Bhaskar Goswami for this.

SAARC is the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, which groups together countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Dear Jonathan,

I attended the 3-day Fourth SAARC People's Forum in Bangladesh where the participants denounced GMOs. Please see the section 'Technology & Population' below (points 30 onwards). While the event was widely reported in the vernacular Bangla media, please check out the following link of a report in English.


Hope you find it useful.

Warmly, B

...Technology and Population

30. We respect science and technology that is based on historical (traditional) knowledge and wisdom of communities and guided by both rational and creative faculties proper to scientific experiments and practice, aiming to promote the joy of life and wellbeing of people and their environment. However, we are against the so called science & technology that is promoted by the corporate sector for profit and controlled by the few in order to colonize biological and natural world, creating hunger, injustice, militarization, violence and war.

31. In the case of food production, technology was promoted with the promise of feeding people. But it has been seen that (a) there is ample evidence that there is surplus food at local, national, regional as well as global level but (b) a large number of people still go hungry despite surplus food production and. The problem lies with the distribution of food and can not be solved by trade but only through political will to eradicate hunger. Availability of food is not a technological issue, but economic in nature. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are unlikely to help feed the hungry in our region.

32. We condemn the notion of viewing human beings simply as ‘numbers’ and thus denying them dignity and right to determine the size of their own families. People are reduced as number in order to justify population control and termination policies.

33. We are concerned how modern contraceptives have caused infertility among women and sterility among men. Likewise, pesticides have also caused similar impacts such as infertility/sterility among women and men, and miscarriages among pregnant women.

34. Modern agricultural practices focus only on "some crops" as food instead of the traditional system of treating diverse resources and uncultivated spaces as food source. Similarly, technology has also been targeted at particular groups of people, specifically the poor and marginalized groups in the community.

35. Technology that has been discarded in the Northern countries, and proved to be harmful to human and environmental health, has been repeatedly dumped on developing countries. We condemn this practice.

36. The propaganda that corporate technology in food and agriculture is meant to feed people is also a fallacy and a lie. The corporate sector is rarely seen in sectors that are not profitable. Likewise, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are unlikely to help feed the hungry in our region.

37. Reports of adverse health implications due to GMOs have been viewed with consternation by the Forum. The adverse implications on the ecology and biological diversity are too serious, as is being done by some SAARC governments under pressure from the corporate sector dealing with GMOs.

38. GMOs failed to prove any value to agriculture or could be better or are desirable than the existing species and varieties in all the areas of application across the world. They are culturally of an invasive nature especially in the case of South Asia and it is integral to the patenting of life forms that we reject.

39. We are very concerned to see that United States States department is promoting GMOs and without being a signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity and Biosafety protocol are promoting GMOs commercially in the absence of biosafety regulations and teckical arrangements to adrees the 'precautionary principle' enshrined in CBD and Cartegena Protocol. We condemn this role of USA and concerned that USA is persuing a policy to deliberately pollute our environment and the biological world.

40. The Cartegena Protocol on Bio-safety provides seven guiding principles regarding GMOs, that has been severely undermined by the active promotion of GMOs particularly by the USA. We demand that SAARC members' who are also signatories to the Protocol, should invoke the precautionary principle and ban the cultivation, import and promotion of GMOs in the region.

41. Information is the key for resistance against harmful technologies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to disseminate information among the people and dispel myths of genetic engineering. Farmers need to be empowered to assess technologies beyond their apparent glamour and advanced nature of local and indigenous knowledge and technology are fully appreciated and further developed.

42. We will resist micro-credits and other credit programmers that force farmers to accept proprietary technologies that are detrimental to farming & harm human and environmental health. It is an irony that the promotion of corporate proprietary technology is promoted ithe name of 'poverty' programmes.

Of Fourth SAARC Peoples' Forum
South Asian Network for Food, Ecology and Culture (SANFEC)
Resistance Network against Trafficking in Women and Children
UBINIG - Policy Research for Development Alternative
In collaboration with
Odhikar, Dhaka
'Ridoypur' (UBINIG Tangail Center), Bishnupur, Delduar, Tangail, Bangladesh
Wednesday - Friday : 28 - 30 September 2005