foei works to keep africa gm free

In the African region, Friends of the Earth International’s campaign against genetically modified (GM) organisms has been built around biosafety policy issues. Here are some of the main campaign highlights in the region for 2007.


keep africa gm freeregional policy push: In January 2007, an Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) ministerial conference on Biotechnology and Biosafety took place in Ghana, with the aim of adopting a regional policy on these matters.  FoE groups held a parallel conference in Ghana; there the ECOWAS draft policy was roundly rejected by the alliance of NGOs and Consumer groups, led by FoE Africa groups.

foei report’s african success: FoEI also released a100-page report “Who benefits from GM crops?" The report concludes that the increase in GM crops in a limited number of countries is largely a result of aggressive biotech industry strategies, rather than any stated benefit from GM technology. The launch of this report was very successful in the region.

liberty link threat exposed: Another of our key activities was monitoring long grain rice imports from the USA, to check for the presence of Bayer’s genetically modified LibertyLink Rice 601. Though illegal in the region, the GM rice was found in Ghana and in Sierra Leone. The campaign generated by this monitoring exercise was massive and created deeper public awareness on GMOs in the African region.

food sovereignty forum:
African FoE groups also participated in the Food Sovereignty Forum, Nyeleni 2007, held in Mali in February. More than 600 fisherfolk, farmers, consumers, environmentalists, workers and pastoralists from seven regions attended the conference. The aim was to deepen and strengthen the understanding of and movement toward food sovereignty. FoE Mali was part of the local organizing committee, while FoE Nigeria’s Nnimmo Bassey and Edith Abigolo served on the international steering committee.

with thanks to our funders: hivos, the sigrid rausing trust, and oxfam novib



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