Help keep Paraguay GM free (6/12/2004)

1.Support the call to keep Paraguay GM free
2.And don't forget Mauritius!

1.Support the call to keep Paraguay GM free

On October 2004, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock issued a resolution authorizing the addition of four species of genetically modified soy for the purpose of commercial production to the Cultivation Registry of Paraguay of four species of transgenic soy in the Registry of Crops of Paraguay, despite the opposition of environmental, human rights and rural civil society organizations in Paraguay.

This resolution ignores the active opposition by organized peasant communities who have campaigned against GM soya and the use of toxics in agriculture, which have already caused serious problems, including deaths among members of peasant families affected by this type of cultivation. It is a threat to the practices of crop selection, the oldest in human history, which are still safe and efficient in producing food for the majority of the world's population

Civil society groups in Paraguay are outraged by the Ministry's decision and they have expressed their absolute opposition to the resolution. They are making a call on the Minister to listen to and to take into account their arguments against GMO crops in hopes that he will consequently override his decision.

Please take part of this action and support the "Transgenic-free Paraguay" campaign that SOBREVIVIENCIA, Friends of the Earth Paraguay, is undertaking in coordination with other civil society organizations to oppose genetically modified crops. This campaign is part of the Friends of the Earth International campaign against genetically modified organisms.

Please send a letter to the Minister of Agriculture of Paraguay to request an immediate reconsideration of his decision. Click here:
(or paste the entire link into your browser)

2.Help Mauritius!

Help stop Mauritius being dragged into a system that will damage its biodiversity and farmers rights.

Mauritius is about to sign up to the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV). UPOV does nothing to protect plant varieties - the basis of the world's food supply - but rather allows the corporate take-over of plant breeding.

UPOV gives plant breeders a legal monopoly over seeds and therefore allows them to collect bigger profits from farmers for genetic innovations. There are terrible problems associated with this kind of 'intellectual property' over plant varieties - threatening fundamental issues such as food security and human rights.

There is an alternative. The African Union, which represents all the countries in Africa, has developed its own model which avoids the problems of UPOV. In other words, if Mauritius adopts UPOV, it will not only be a disaster for the Mauritians but it will be bad for Africa as a whole.

Please give your support to this letter of protest to the Prime Minister of Mauritius about the proposed Plant Breeders' Rights Law being adopted in Mauritius. It will only take a minute. Click here or paste this link into your browser - make sure it's the whole link: http://www.gmwatch.org/proemail1.asp?id=6

Below the Mauritian activist Selva Appasawmy makes an appeal for help.

There is also an article by Selva explaining all the problems that will arise from Mauritius adopting the UPOV model law as opposed to the African Union model, which you can read here: http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=4573

Appeal for help for Mauritius

Dear friends,

As you are aware Mauritius is about to join UPOV and is adopting the UPOV model Plant Breeder's Right law instead of the African Union model.

This would be a disaster for the Mauritians and bad for Africa as a whole.

Below there is a URL link that leads you to a protest letter addressed to the PM of Mauritius. You just have to add your name and email address and click on send!

Please support the protest in Mauritius by circulating this letter as widely as possible. The more people we get to send this protest the more chance we have of success.

USE THIS LINK: http://www.gmwatch.org/proemail1.asp?id=6 (any problems, just copy the whole link and paste it in to your browser)

Thank you for your support
Selva Appasawmy

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