by | 2 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
by Tewolde Egziabher | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
As the world's attention was focusing firmly on the Cancun World Trade Organisation summit in September, an important international agreement quietly made its entry on the world stage, one which holds immense implications for developing countries. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety1, which aims to regulate trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), came into force on 11 September. The Protocol arrived after five long years of negotiations over intractable North-South issues that are set to continue to bedevil implementation. The tension around trade issues is highlighted most forcefully by the US move to take the European Union to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism over the EUs insistence that US exporters clearly label all GM food sold to Europe. One of the US main complaints is that Europes stance forces Africa to reject GM foods and crops.
by Duncan Brack, Robert Falkner and Judith Goll | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
The US-EU dispute over the EU's de facto moratorium on GM crops and products has generated much heat on both sides of the Atlantic. The verdict of the WTOs dispute panel will have significant implications for other countries thinking about rejecting GM crops. It may also be an important case to test the political muscle of the newly adopted Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which the EU may use in its defence.
by GRAIN | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
For three years, a new international patent treaty has been under negotiation at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. This treaty would pave the way for a future world patent granted directly by WIPO. This is bad news for developing countries and their citizens, who would lose even the limited freedom they have left to adjust patent systems to national development goals. However, it is not too late for the developing world to say no thanks' and stop the negotiating process.
by Aziz Choudry | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
Conservation International's corporate sponsor list reads like a list of the US top fifty transnational corporations. Biodiversity conservation is at the top of CIs list of goals. But as the list of CIs dubious ventures and questionable partners around the world grows, Aziz Choudry is starting to wonder if it is time to out this multinational conservation corporation and show its true colours.
by Elijah Rusike | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
As Zimbabwe struggles with economic hard times and land reform problems, its farming sector is in disarray. A citizen's jury was held in a bid to improve the quality and relevance of policies that affect smallholder farmers. At a time when GM crops are being billed as the road to food security for Africa, Zimbabwes citizens jury showed that for many farmers, seed of any kind is only one of a large number of factors that affect their ability to feed their families.
by | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
Francisca Rodriguez is part of the international coordination commission of Via Campesina, an international movement which coordinates peasant organisations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
by Fulvio Grandin | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
The World Food Summit of June 2002 was a catalytic event the Africa Biodiversity Network (ABN). Our frustrations with government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's support for the genetic manipulation of agriculture inspired the ABN to get organised to represent and support sustainable practices for food security. ABNs position was clear: seed and food security are inseparable for small-scale farmers throughout Africa, as the informal agricultural sector is largely dependant on an informal seed sector for its genetic resources.
by Roger Gbegnonvi | 1 Oct 2003 Seedling - October 2003
As soon as he was out of prison for his crimes' of uprooting GM crops, the Frenchman José Bové went to Larzac. There he advocated civil disobedience to French farmers, in the face of continuing imposition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the fields of agricultural globalisation. For José Bové and friends to sound the alarm in this way throughout the world, it means that the situation is serious. Do Africans who have been promised happiness at last through the use of GMOs know their fate?