GENET archive


9-Misc: International Conference on Hunger, Food Aid and GMOsrejects GMOs

Dear GENET-news readers,

this conference must have frightened the international GE supporter scene
well in advance. They launched several press releases in support of GMOs
and GE food aid which I post today.

Hartmut Meyer

                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  No New Technologies Without Sustainability
SOURCE: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique
DATE:   16 Jul 2004

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No New Technologies Without Sustainability

Mozambique's Minister of Industry and Trade, Carlos Morgado, has warned
that new technological processes should not be introduced into Mozambican
society without guaranteeing their sustainability.

Speaking in Maputo on Thursday, at an international conference on hunger
and genetically modified crops, Morgado said that, if one day Mozambique
were to cultivate such crops, it could only be with a clear vision of how
to sustain this technology - otherwise the country would merely initiate
a new cycle of dependence.

Morgado wanted to approach the entire question of hunger, food aid, and
genetically modified crops from a perspective of reducing vulnerability.
This had to involve upgrading the capacity and know-how of Mozambican
producers and institutions, so that they could take decisions in line
with the national interest, that would lead to sustainable development.

Food insecurity made the country cyclically dependent on food aid, he
said. The way forward must therefore involve reducing the country's
vulnerability to natural disasters.

He stressed that an increase in agricultural production would stimulate
local agro-industries, which in turn would increase the income of
producers. Without this chain of added value, the country was condemned
to remain a supplier of raw materials, and the eradication of poverty
would be postponed. "Sustainability involves the transfer and
transformation of technology, the transfer and acquisition of knowledge",
said Morgado. "This entire mechanism has to correspond to an integrated
advance of all of society".

For his part, the Coordinator of the National Union of Peasants (UNAC),
Ismael Ossemane, said courageous measures are needed to take Mozambican
peasants out of the cycle of dependency - but this did not mean
sacrificing Mozambique's own genetic heritage in favour of imported
technologies that would merely perpetuate poverty.

Ossemane warned that not only are genetically modified seeds patented,
but once introduced into Mozambique they might interfere with the genetic
characteristics of native crops, altering their productivity and their
capacity to germinate.

"Peasants will not be independent", he said. "They will always have to
buy the genetically modifies seeds. Perhaps these seeds might increase
production, but they will create dependence".

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  International Conference on Hunger, Food Aid and GMOs 14-17 July
SOURCE: Consumers International
DATE:   Jul 2004

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International Conference on Hunger, Food Aid and GMOs 14-17 July

More than 100 delegates from 24 countries have attended a CI co-sponsored
international conference on `Hunger, food aid and GMOs' Maputo,
Mozambique. Advocates for farmers, researchers, consumers,
environmentalists and scientists will discuss and exchange factual
information and strategise on a holistic response to the prevailing
situation in Africa and elsewhere.

The concept of food aid to curb hunger is now controversial. The timing,
the motives of the sponsors and even the content of the food aid, are
being questioned from all corners. The manner in which the WFP operates
in some countries has also prompted calls for accountability and an audit
of the way the humanitarian operations are conducted. This conference
brings together key activists and experts to discuss ways of enhancing
the capacity of developing countries to cope with these challenges.

This international conference is jointly organized by eight major players
at the forefront of the GMO debate in the continent, namely: Consumers
International Africa Office (CI-ROAF), União Nacional de Camponeses -
UNAC (Mozambique), Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria), Food First,
(United States), Accion Ecologica (Ecuador), Oxfam Solidarity (Belgium &
worldwide), Third World Network (Malaysia & worldwide), Friends of the
Earth International (The Netherlands & worldwide).

Further material

You can download the full conference programme get background information
regarding  related events, read delegate presentations and recieve
updates from the conference floor.

Find out more about the Food & Nutrition Programme being conducted by
CI's Africa office.

Summary: No food security is possible when farmers and consumers are
denied the basic right to choose their models of production and
consumption says Amadou Kanoute, director of Consumers International
Regional Office for Africa (CI-ROAF). More...


                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  GMOs will not solve hunger, but will make it worse
SOURCE: Via Campesina, Consumers International, The Oakland Institute,
        Friends of the Earth, Third World Network
DATE:   16 Jul 2004

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GMOs will not solve hunger, but will make it worse

A coalition of international mainstream environmental, consumer and
farmer groups today condemned the aggressive promotion of GMOs as a
solution to hunger in the world. The condemnation was made public
following an international conference held from 15 to 16 July in Maputo,
Mozambique on the topic of hunger, food aid and GMOs. The Conference
gathered over 100 representatives from more than 20 countries from
Europe, America, Asia and Africa. The coalition was particularly critical
of the UN body on Food and Agriculture (FAO) for its lenient report
biased towards the multinationals as opposed to farmers and consumers
interests. The report presents GMOs as a key mechanism to ending hunger
and to improving food security in Africa and the rest of the world. "Not
only GMOs will not solve the problem of hunger, but they will worsen and
complicate the hunger issue even further", said the coalition. "FAO,
through the publication of its biased report, has betrayed the interest
of farmers and consumers worldwide". The safety of Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMOs) has not been established beyond doubt and experience
shows that the production of GMOs only satisfies the interest of a
minority of big biotech corporations.

For more information:
Diamantino Niamposa, Via Campesina (+258) 820 238 844
Amadou Kanoute, Consumers International, (+263-4) 302 283
Anuradha Mittal, The Oakland Institute, (+1 510) 530 5126
Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth, (+234) 803 727 4395
Lim Li Lin, Third World Network, (+603) 230 025 85


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

P: +49-531-5168746
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