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WEEKLY WATCH number 171 (13/4/2006)

from Claire Robinson, WEEKLY WATCH editor
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Dear all:

This week we have a crop of superb articles from the French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique, still one of the very few newspapers in the world to carry sensible and informed reports on GM (EUROPE, AFRICA, FEEDING THE WORLD).

We also have reports on the global protests against GMOs held on 8 April and beyond (WORLDWIDE PROTESTS).

Don't miss the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee's thorough and revealing study on the dismal performance of Bt cotton in Maharashtra, India (ASIA), which we have published on our website.

If you need some light relief, then take a look at the activities of the Yes Men (YES MEN TAKE ON NANO, MONSANTO, DOW, ETC.), whose courageous satirical stunts at corporate conferences are as funny as they are educational.

Claire [email protected]
www.gmwatch.org / www.lobbywatch.org

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CONTENTS
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WORLDWIDE PROTESTS
EUROPE
THE AMERICAS
ASIA
AUSTRALASIA
AFRICA
FEEDING THE WORLD
YES MEN TAKE ON NANO, MONSANTO, DOW, ETC.
GM MEDICINES

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WORLDWIDE PROTESTS
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+ GM FOODS CONDEMNED IN GLOBAL MARCHES
Thousands of protesters in 70 countries demonstrated on 8 April against GMOs. This article notes that demonstrations were held in Australia, Bolivia, India, South Africa, France, and the US, among other countries.
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6426

+ 25,000 PROTEST AGAINST GM IN ANDHRA PRADESH
PV Satheesh of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) reports: On April 8, International GM Opposition Day, over 25,000 people, primarily farmers, went on protest marches, conducted public meetings, and held media meets all across the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh under the banner of AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity, of which the DDS is the Convenor. In Sangareddy the headquarters of Medak District, where the DDS is located, about 1000 peasant women marched across the streets of the city, shouting slogans, holding banners and placards. At the end of the protest march, they held a public meeting where they took an oath never to allow GM crops into their farms or GM foods into their homes. They took the oath to protect their farming systems and seed wealth.
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6427

+ EVENTS SUMMARY FOR DAY OF OPPOSITION
A summary of events worldwide held for JIGMOD (Joint International GM Opposition Day) on 8 April
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6424

+ MONSANTO SEED FACILITY OCCUPIED
Massive police presence on April 13 as Jose Bove from Faucheurs Volontaires and Confederation Paysanne and Greenpeace occupied Monsanto's seed facility in Trebes, France. Over 75 activists occupied the facility and held a citizens inspection in the search for GM maize seeds. They have demanded that Monsanto and the French authorities stop the import and distribution of GM maize seed into France.
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6452

+ COMING SOON - APRIL 17
April 17 is International Day of Peasant Struggle. La Via Campesina is calling on its members around the world, and also on other social movements, to mobilise and take action on the issues of: agrarian reform, the WTO, stopping GMOs and stopping attacks on peasant farmers and their organizations.

Among the events:

- India: KRRS are creating an International Seed Carnival on April 17, which will inaugurate the peasant managed seed bank. While on 18-19 of April there will be an International Symposium on Seeds and Biotechnolgy in Agriculture: "Self-Reliance in Seeds is the Goal" in - Mysore, India ([email protected] Ph:0091-80-28604737 and Fax:0091-80-28604640. See also www.amritabhoomi.org)

If you want to receive more information on what's happening on the 17th of April subscribe to Via Campesina's action list by sending a blank message to [email protected] If you need more information for an action in your country you can also write to [email protected]

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EUROPE
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+ EUROPEAN COMMISSION SLAPS ITS OWN FOOD SAFETY BODY AS AUSTRIA CONFIRMS NEW GMO BAN
The European Commission has given its support to an approach proposed by health and consumer protection commissioner Markos Kyprianou and environment commissioner Stavros Dimas on steps to improve the scientific consistency and transparency for decisions on GMOs, with a view to protecting human health and the environment.

Friends of the Earth Europe welcomed the statement by the European Commission, which called for major improvements to the workings of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on GM foods and crops.

In a separate move, Austria has confirmed a new ban on the import of Monsanto's GM oilseed rape, a product that was passed as safe by the EFSA. The Austrian government has banned the GM seeds on the basis that no long term safety tests have been done and that imports would likely lead to the accidental spillage of the seeds into the environment.
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