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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / biotech_environment_first


friday 21 january 2000

environment first, trade second

un biosafety talks in montreal

Friends of the Earth will be present in Montreal next week at key talks on the international regulation of genetically modified organisms.  The talks, which aim to agree a 'Biosafety Protocol', follow the collapse of world trade talks in December last year where Friends of the Earth exposed attempts by the European Commission to negotiate with the USA on how to make the trade in GMOs freer and smoother through World Trade Organisation rules. Friends of the Earth will be in Montreal to press for an agreement based on the need to protect the environment and food security, not the trading interests of the USA or the profits of its large companies, like Monsanto.

Friends of the Earth says that countries should be allowed to take a precautionary approach to GMO policy and prevent imports if they so wish. FOE is also calling for protocol that will protect food security in developing countries. Tony Juniper, Policy and Campaigns Director at Friends of the Earth, said:

"If governments are to recover credibility after the fiasco in Seattle, then they need to come away from Montreal next week with a strong agreement that is up to the job of protecting the environment and food security from threats posed by GM crops. That will require British and other European ministers standing firm against US objections. They should remember that the USA is not even a member of the treaty being discussed in Montreal and the Americans have no right to block other nations wishes to protect their environment or consumer choice".

A briefing paper on the Montreal Biosafety Talks is available from FOE's Press Office.

Neil Verlander
Press Office
Friends of the Earth
0171 566 1649




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