COMESA Policy Aggressively Pushes GMOs on Africa

ImageThe Council of Ministers of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) issued a draft policy statement aggressively “promoting the wholesale proliferation of GMOs on the African continent by way of commercial plantings, commodity imports and food aid.”

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) expressed outrage over the COMESA Policy’s undermining of international, regional and national biosafety policies and legislation such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which all COMESA member states have ratified. According to AFSA, the COMESA policy is not a result of the national regulatory authorities responsible for biosafety in the COMESA countries. Rather, the policy is the “brainchild of the Regional Approach to Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa (RABESA), a US funded initiative that seeks to transform biosafety into a free trade agenda.”

COMESA’s policies are geared towards removing trade barriers, but they also would undermine national sovereignty.

AGRA Watch full-heartedly supports AFSA’s call upon Member States of COMESA to abandon the policy in its entirety and leave biosafety regulation and decision making to each Member State, not to the vested interests of biotech companies and their subsidiaries.

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