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9-Misc: Forces of opposition to GMOs in CIS getting stronger and united



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TITLE:  Forces of opposition to GMOs in CIS getting stronger and united
SOURCE: CIS Alliance for Biosafety, Russia
DATE:   29 Mar 2006

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Meeting of the CIS Alliance for Biosafety: Forces of opposition to GMOs
in CIS getting stronger and united

This Monday the second meeting "Biosafety Strategy and Joint Actions in
CIS" of the CIS Alliance for Biosafety ended in Moscow, Russian Federation.

CIS Alliance for Biosafety is the only association uniting antiGMO NGOs
of Commonwealth of Independent States. It was decided to maximally join
efforts of activists and experts to prevent genetic contamination and to
defend CIS civil society's interests at international level.

Meeting took place on the 24-27th of March in Moscow and was organized by
Eremurus Club and International Socio-Ecological Union (ISEU) and
supported by Grassroots Foundation (Germany). Leaders of 12 NGOs from
Armenia, Moldova and Transnistria, Tajikistan, Ukraine and of 4 regions
of Russia participated in the workshop: Tapan Ecoclub (Armenia); Eco-
Tiras, Ecospectrum and Berg Educational Foundation (Moldova and
Transnistria); For Earth (Tajikistan); Zelenyi Svit/FoE Ukraine; Ural
EcoUnion, For the Sake of Life, Green Ray, Ryazan branch of ISEU,
Eremurus Club and Moscow office of ISEU (Russia).

Movement against uncontrolled distribution of GMOs in agriculture and
food products has been growing in CIS rapidly, especially during the last
5 years. Almost in each CIS country there are NGOs focused on GMO issue.
It was highlighted at the meeting that further consolidation of these
NGOs is essential for citizens' rights defense and ecological safety of
former USSR region.

CIS food market has been already invaded by GMOs, but only few countries
have certified labs for GMO detection (e.g. in Russia). Even having
advanced legislation in place (e.g. in Moldova) it is not possible yet to
trace illegal spreading of GMOs in agriculture. Position of CIS civil
society is also very insufficiently presented at international level
bearing in mind significance of the region for entire Eurasia biosafety.
High level of corruption and lack of state control make CIS countries in
fact unprotected against genetic contamination.

Alliance members set up the following priorities for the next two years:
- Creation and promotion of GMO free zones in the region;
- Assistance to the creation of the efficient biosafety systems;
- Assistance to the introduction of organic farming;
- Lobbying to ban GMOs in babyfood;
- Protection of consumer right to choose (labeling);
- Lobbying of CIS civil society?s interests at both national and
international levels.

Alliance members believe that biosafety of CIS region can be only reached
if the following conditions are met:

Further elaboration of national laws for regulation of trade of GMOs and
GM food products using positive experience of EU;

Ratifying (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and
implementation on national levels of Cartagena Biosafety Protocol;

Ratifying (Russia and Uzbekistan) of Aarhus Convention and of annexes
(all CIS countries) which regulate public participation in decision
making process for GMO related matters;

Introduction to national laws of the provisions about GMO free zones and
rights of administrative bodies to declare such zones;

Cooperation among ministries and institutions responsible for different
biosafety related matters (ecological, agricultural, sanitary, custom
bodies) and involvement of NGOs;

Creation on national levels of efficient system of state control over
GMOs and their processed products independent from producer;

Applying of GEF/UNEP projects facilities for providing efficient
biosafety measures but not for propaganda of GMOs; transparency of those
projects and public participation in them;

Raising of level of social responsibility of business in relation to GMO
issue;

Interstate cooperation on governmental and non-governmental levels for
the sake of biosafety;

Expression by delegations of CIS countries of a clear and tough position
during negotiations related to biosafety (Aarhus convention, Cartagena
Protocol, Codex Alimentarius, etc.) aimed to strengthen the efficiency of
those documents and protection of citizens? rights to know and
participate in GMO related decision making processes.

A resolution of the workshop will be widely published this week and
distributed to governmental bodies, NGOs and all stakeholders. Greens
Movement of Georgia/FoE-Georgia (member of the Alliance) also jointed to
it by e-mail.


For further information:
Victoria Kopeykina
Secretary of the CIS Alliance for Biosafety
Tel. +7-495-308-89-33
e-mail: eremurus@mtu-net.ru,
biosafety_ru@yahoo.com
http://biosafety.ru (Russian language)




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