martes, octubre 11, 2005

Biosafety co-opted

Biosafety laws: co-opted by corporations


October 2005

Biosafety laws: co-opted by corporations:

Read the report here:

Across the world processes to draw-up national biosafety laws are increasingly disconnected from the people they are supposed to serve. Drafting typically takes place behind closed doors, between local elites and foreign "experts" of the GM lobby, with corporations close at hand to steer the discussion. Meanwhile, those with the most at stake from any introduction of GM crops, the rural communities, are completely marginalised from the processes.

In their latest short report [*], GRAIN provides a global overview of how biosafety laws are being all-too-easily co-opted into tools for corporations hell-bent on imposing GM crops on the planet. In Africa, relentless pressure from USAID is breaking down the common commitment to precaution, as several governments, foolishly vying to become the continent's GM showcases, try to impress the GM industry with regulatory frameworks that open their countries up to GM crops. Ditto for Asia, where, despite strong public opposition to the introduction of GM crops, governments are caving-in to external pressure and opting for weak biosafety laws. In Latin America, people are so appalled by the biosafety laws that their governments are putting in place that they've started calling them "Monsanto Laws".

Yet if governmental biosafety processes are generally doom and gloom these days, there is plenty of reason for optimism at the grassroots. Not only is resistance to GMOs increasing, but social movements are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to oppose GM crops. Where national governments refuse to listen, people are localizing their struggles where they can exert more democratic control, such as GM-free zones. Communities are also taking "risk assessment" into their own hands, conducting research, organising peoples' tribunals, and challenging the "experts". For example, had it not been for the documentation of the failure of Bt cotton in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh by grassroots organisations, the state authorities would never have withdrawn the approval for Monsanto's Bt cotton varieties.

This GRAIN report argues that the fundamental problem here is that biosafety laws are being created behind closed doors, far from grassroots realities. These processes need to come down to the fields and the streets, where the issues matter most.


[*] GRAIN, 2005, "Whither Biosafety? In these days of Monsanto Laws, hope for real biosafety lies at the grassroots", Against the grain, October 2005,

2 Comentarios:

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7:25 a. m.  
Blogger darrylant dijo...

Blogger Ban Lifted In China?
Clearly we'll need a little more confirmation on this, but Shak has an early report that the ban on blogspot blogs has been lifted in China .
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7:26 a. m.  

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