Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

Accra to March Against Monsanto this Saturday

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-18-March_Against_Monsanto.jpgFood Sovereignty Ghana

May 16, 2016

This year's international March Against Monsanto falls on Saturday, 21st March, 2016.

Food Sovereignty Ghana and March Against Monsanto - Accra, have the pleasure to invite you to a silent march through some of the principal streets of Accra to highlight our desire for public awareness and participation in decisions regarding biotechnology in agriculture.

We believe that such decisions must not be left in the hands of multi-national corporations and their diplomatic enablers using their GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, and seed monopoly lobby to influence the outcome of government policy.

We shall be assembling in front of TV3 at 7.30 am.

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ECVC pushes for a united front in defense of Seeds

ECVC pushes for a European united front to prohibit patents on living organisms and to promote farmers’ rights to seeds and peasant resilient seed systems

logo-eurovia.png(Brussels, May 13, 2016) The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) Seed Group organized a meeting on April 22th to 24th at the Farm in Dottenfelder Hof in the periphery of Frankfort (Germany), in order to intensify information exchanges on the breeding, exchange and use of seeds. During this meeting, different proposals and concrete practices have been discussed to strengthen peasants’ rights regarding seeds and their protection against GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism).

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Industry benefits but does not pay its dues. Patents are an assault on genetic resources

First published in Farming Matters |  May 2016 

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-05-09_Guy_Kastler.jpgPatents increasingly undermine the strong legal edifice patiently constructed by UPOV (1). However, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture guarantees free access to the main industrial resource of plant breeders - peasants’ seeds collected from farms across the world.

This article argues that broadening the reach of patents over genetic resources is increasingly replacing benefit sharing, which undermines the multilateral governance of our common heritage.

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NFU Calls for Immediate Action to Stop GM alfalfa seed sales in Canada

Media Release

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-15_NFU.png(Canada, March 24, 2016) - The National Farmers Union (NFU) has written to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay asking him to take immediate action to stop Monsanto licensee, Forage Genetics International, (FGI) from selling genetically modified (GM) alfalfa seed in Canada this spring. The NFU also asked the Minister to put border controls in place to prevent importation of contaminated conventional alfalfa seed from the USA.

“The NFU has seen a letter from FGI which says the company may start selling genetically modified alfalfa seed in Eastern Canada for spring planting,” said Jan Slomp, NFU President. “This would be a disaster for farmers because, once it has been planted, there would be no way to stop the GM trait from spreading to organic and conventional farms and crops. There are many domestic and export markets that completely reject alfalfa seeds, hay or pellets with any GM content. Clearly, the Minister needs to take action to protect the interests of Canadian farmers before it is too late.”

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UAWC distributes 88,000 thyme and Sagebrush seedlings and 15,000 meters of irrigation networks in the Gaza strip

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-03-07-seeds_thyme.jpg(Gaza strip, March 2016)- the Union of Agricultural Work Committees distributed 88,000 thyme and Sagebrush seedlings, and 15,000 meters of irrigation networks in order to replace and rehabilitate irrigation systems that were destroyed by the 2014 war on Gaza strip.

 "The Economic Recovery in the Gaza Strip" (Phase II), project targeted 25 farmers by the cultivation of 3,500 seedlings per dunom. On the other hand, the UAWC distributed 15,000 meters of irrigation networks to replace and rehabilitate the irrigation system that was destroyed by the 2014 war and to strengthen the steadfastness of Palestinian farmers on their lands.

Read more: UAWC distributes 88,000 thyme and Sagebrush...

UAWC distributes 100 tons of drought tolerant seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_20106-03-07-seeds-uawc.jpg(Ramallah,  March 6, 2016) the Union of Agricultural Work Committees distributed 100 tons of drought tolerant seeds for 11 villages and Bedouins communities in the governorates of Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, as part of the project "Emergency assistance to small scale farmers in the West Bank", which is funded by the United Nations / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs," OCHA"

UAWC's project coordinator, Omar Titi, pointed out that the project targeted eight rural communities in the governorate of Bethlehem, and three Bedouin communities in East Jerusalem, who depends on sheep breeding as the only source of incomes, noting that the distribution of feed seeds aimed at cultivating pastoral land in areas classified as "c" with feed crops. Thus, reducing production costs, and strengthening the Palestinian farmers' steadfastness on their lands especially in the face of settlers' daily attacks.

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The surreptitious arrival of the new “Living Modified Organisms” at the FAO

Press Release – LA VIA CAMPESINA and MAELA (the Agroecological Movement of Latin America and the Caribbean)

(Rome, Monday, February 17th, 2016) Industry has chosen to use the FAO as a smoke screen behind which to conceal its new Living Modified Organisms. Participants in the FAO’s International Symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition”, which took place in Rome from February 15th to 17th, listened to nearly 80 speakers coming from industry, from research centres, and from some government delegations. There was only one invited representative from civil society among the panelists.  

The new propaganda line supported by a handful of governments is startlingly simple: biotechnology cannot be reduced to Living Modified Organisms; peasant knowledge is also part of biotechnology. Therefore, the new Living Modified Organisms are like peasant knowledge, and thus they are not living modified organisms.

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