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BIOSAFETY: International NGO biosafety appeal launched



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Cartagena/Colombia, Feb 16, 20:00

Dear GENET-news readers,
the NGO biosafety appeal which has been circulated within GENET will be launched tommorow morning. We could get 48 NGOs on board, including the Colombian NGOs which are very active to draw the attention of national and international Spanish speaking media on the biosafety negotiations.

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Appeal to the Delegates of BSWG VI and the Extraordinary COP

In February 1999, we hopefully will witness the completion of a strong Biosafety Protocol. The Biosafety Protocol was negotiated within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The core task of the Biosafety Protocol which regulates transboundary movement of organisms modified by means of modern biotechnology is to give precedence to the protection of biological diversity and human health. In the foreseeable struggle between commercial and trade interests on the one hand, and safety, health and biodiversity conservation on the other hand, the Biosafety Protocol must provide the possibility to its Parties to act in a timely and preventive manner.

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, urge the delegates present at the final meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Biosafety and the extraordinary Conference of the Parties taking place in Cartagena/Colombia from the 14th to the 23rd of February 1999 to consider the following points which we recommend as essential for the Biosafety Protocol:

- The PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE has to be the guiding principle of political 
  decision-making procedures and of risk assessments and evaluations.

- RISK ASSESSMENTS have to be based on best and most comprehensive available 
  methodology. Such comprehensive risk assessment includes both SCIENTIFIC 
  and SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSES.

- ACCESS TO INFORMATION and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION in decision-making 
  procedures must be guaranteed.

- The scope of the Biosafety Protocol and the ADVANCE INFORMED AGREEMENT 
  (AIA) procedure must INCLUDE ALL LIVING MODIFIED ORGANISMS (LMOS) AND 
  PRODUCTS THEREOF.

- Import of LMOs shall only be possible on the basis of EXPLICIT CONSENT.

- The Biosafety Protocol shall not confer legal rights without legally 
  binding responsibilities and give NO COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES TO NON-
  PARTIES.

- The Biosafety Protocol must include PROVISIONS ON STRICT LIABILITY thus 
  implementing the polluter-pays-principle and giving a precautionary 
  incentive to exporter by encouraging the internalisation of risks into 
  their investment and trade considerations.

- The Biosafety Protocol shall implement the CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY LABELLING AND 
  SEGREGATION of LMOs and products thereof as a precondition for the AIA 
  procedure and further as a necessary measure for risk monitoring and 
  management.

- The CALL FOR A WORLDWIDE moratorium on commercial releases of LMOs and 
  products thereof has been growing over the past few years. This is rapidly 
  intensifying even as this meeting is taking place and NEW EVIDENCE OF 
  HAZARDS IS EXPOSED. As the world watches, we urge on delegates to be 
  responsible and to establish a strong biosafety protocol applying the 
  precautionary principle ensuring the conservation of biological diversity, 
  its sustainable use and the protection of human health.



This appeal is supported by following 48 organisation:

A Cova da Terra - Spain
Amigos de la Tierra España - Spain
ANPED (The Northern Alliance for Sustainability) - The Netherlands
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) - Germany
Asociación Ecologista Costarricense - Friends of the Earth Costa Rica (AECO-AT) - Costa Rica
Asociación Vida Sana - Spain
Association for the Conservation of Cultivated Plants - Germany
Baseler Appell gegen Gentechnologie (Basel Appeal Against Gentechnology) - Switzerland
Basque Farmers' Union EHNE - Spain
CANOA - Colombia
Center for Environment and Sustainable Development "Eco-Accord" - Russia
Centre dÉstudis i Desenvolupament Rural (CEIDER) - Spain
Centro Internazionale Crocevia - Italy
Colombia Pereira Fundager - Colombia
Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO.) - Spain
Corporacion Madre Tierra - Colombia
Ecologistas en Accion - Spain
Ecoropa
European Coordination ²No Patents on Life²
Federal Association Against Animal Experiments - People for Animal Rights - Germany
Friends of the Earth International
Fundación Primero de Mayo - Spain
Fundacion Proteger - Colombia
Genetic Concern - Ireland
German NGO Forum Environment & Development - Germany
GLOBAL 2000 - Austria
Green Group in the European Parliament
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy - USA
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
Japan Offspring Fund - Japan
La Red Interamericana de Agriculturas y Democracia (RIAD) - Ecuador
Neotropico - Colombia
Organization Ambiental Okawa - Colombia
People's Forum 2001 - Japan
Programa Semillas - Colombia
Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology - India
Schweizer Arbeitsgruppe Gentechnologie (Swiss NGO Umbrella Organisation Genetechnology)	 - Switzerland
Swedish Association of Ecological Farmers - Sweden
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation - Sweden
The CornerHouse - UK
The Edmonds Institute - USA
The GAIA Foundation - UK
Third World Network
Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment - Ireland
Washington Biotechnology Action Council - USA
Women¹s Environmental Network - UK
Working Group Critical Veterinary Medicine - Germany
WWF Switzerland - Switzerland


===================================================
-| Hartmut Meyer
-| Co-ordinator
-| GENET
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
-|
-| Reinhaeuser Landstr. 51
-| D - 37083 Goettingen
-| Germany
-| 
-| phone: #49-551-7700027
-| fax  : #49-551-7701672
-| email: genet@agoranet.be
===================================================

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