Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

Major farmers' unions in India protest regulatory approval for GM Mustard

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___www.outlookindia.com_public_uploads_gallery_20160928_gm_mustard20160928_350_630.jpgIn a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, The Indian Coordination Committe of Farmers' Movements (ICCFM)one of India's largest network of farmers' unions, has rejected the regulatory approval given for GM Mustard in the country. 

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), a body that functions under the Environment Ministry, on Thursday (May 11) gave its recommendation to approve the long-pending application of the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at Delhi University which had developed a transgenic mustard called DMH-11. (Indian Express).

Once approved by the Minister's office, the commercial cultivation of GM Mustard would ensue and farmers' unions have warned that such an action would only benefit large agribusiness corporations at the cost of small farmers.

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The International Treaty of Seed - FAO refuses to collaborate in biopiracy: INRA and CIRAD must do the same!

2017-02-10 Divseek.pngThe ITPGRFA (1) has decided to withdraw from its partnership with DivSeek, a consortium of agricultural research centers that organizes biopiracy at global level. This is the first victory of Via Campesina, which in 2014 denounced this planning of the flight of all the seeds of the world, before being supported in 2015 by many "southern" governments and NGOs.  

DivSeek was set up with money from the World Bank to carry out the genetic sequencing of all the seeds held in the genebanks of the various countries of the planet.

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170 Global Groups Call for Moratorium on New Genetic Extinction Technology at UN Convention

b_350_0_16777215_00_.._fr_images_stories_biodiversty_gene-drives.pngAt the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity held in Cancun Mexico this month, international conservation and environmental leaders called upon governments to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called gene drives.

Gene drives, developed through new gene-editing techniques- are designed to force a particular genetically engineered trait to spread through an entire wild population – potentially changing entire species or even causing deliberate extinctions. The statement urges governments to put in place an urgent, global moratorium on the development and release of the new technology, which poses serious and potentially irreversible threats to biodiversity, as well as national sovereignty, peace and food security. 

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UPOV must respect farmers’ rights

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_riztinekescaled.jpg(November 30, 2016) Many years of advocacy on the part of the Via Campesina and its NGO allies have resulted in a first public encounter between the ITPGRFA and UPOV concerning the rights of farmers to save, use, exchange, and sell their farm seeds and to participate in decision-making. This meeting took place in Geneva on October 28th in the presence of observers from the Via Campesina and speakers from allied NGOs.

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The European Commission clarifies the intention of the legislator around the patent issue on plants and animals

logo-eurovia.pngPress Release 

Brussels, November 4th, 2016

The European Coordination Via Campesina welcomes the opposition of the European Commission to patents on plants and animals obtained by essentially biological processes of selection. In a notice published on November 3rd  "on certain articles of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions"[1], the Commission concluded in fact that the recent decisions of the European Patent Office (EPO) to grant such brevets[2] are contrary to the intention of the European legislator.

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Haiti - Neither hybrids, nor GMO’s, but farm saved seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-10-19-Haiti-floods.pngFirst published by inf'OGM (14/10/16) 

Interview with Jean-Baptise Chavannes, spokesperson of Mouvement Paysan de Papaye, Haïti (Farmer Papaya Movement), by Frédéric Guérin and Claire Chauvet, Inf’OGM administrators, about Haiti’s situation in general after the devastating hurricane Matthew, and about agriculture, farmers and international aid.

Inf’OGM – What is the farmers’ situation after cyclone Matthew ripped through Haiti ? The western media mention the risk of famine.

JBC - Before cyclone Matthew, the situation of peasants families was difficult because last years’ draught destroyed 80 % of the crops. The farmers were thus in a severe food insecurity even before cyclone Matthew. The NFSC (National Food Security Council), a state institution which usually underestimates the reality, said four million people were in a state of heavy food insecurity in July 2015. We do estimate that eight million people – the majority of which paradoxically lives in a rural area – suffered from hunger last year. The cyclone has thus worsened an already critical situation. 

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"Our rights, our needs, our identities have been defined on behalf of us, but not by us", Tanmay Joshi, a young farmer from India

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-10-06_Tanmay.JPGAt the recently concluded Global Consultation on Farmers' Rights in Bali, organsied by the Ministry of Indonesia with the support of the Ministry of Norway and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), Tanmay Joshi, a young farmer from the state of Maharshtra in India spoke passionately. Here is the full text of this speech. 

I am Tanmay from India. I'm here as a representative of La Via Campesina and the Indian Farmers' Movements.

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