Titel: European Consumers oppose UNDP report on GMO
Bron: Press Info
Datum: 13 juli 2001

Via: Biotech Activists (07/14/2001,ngin@icsenglish.com)

From: aec@belgacom.net
Press info - European Consumers oppose UNDP report on GMO
AEC - Association of European Consumers, socially and environmentally aware


The Consumers oppose UNDP report about GMO food

AEC - Association of European Consumers, socially and environmentally
aware, today opposes the UNDP report "Making New Technologies Work For
Human Development".

We are surprised that UNDP in their report published 10 July, supports
genetic engineering, a technology that has not in any way proven to give
benefits to consumers or family farmers in countries were it has been
introduced, such as the U.S., Canada and Argentina. The report also
claims that concerns about GMO foods are a luxury for the industrialised
countries. However, from our many contacts within Consumers
International all over the World, we know that the concerns about GMO
foods are actually even bigger in poorer countries. In less developed
areas, consumers have much more to lose if their food turns out to be
dangerous or if the harvest is damaged.

Within the United Nation the GMO food issue has been much debated,
especially by Codex (FAO/WHO), and we have clearly seen how American
interests influence this debate. We have participated actively in Codex
meetings about GMO foods, where in spite of protests by delegates from
the developing countries, it is usually the GMO industry and the
American view that "wins". Some examples are the position against
labelling, traceability and producer liability. Developing countries,
who want to protect their agro-genetic resources have indeed reacted
strongly against the American position on other UN agreements, such as
the Rio agreements from 1992. We also note that Mark Malloch Brown, the
author of the report, previously was Vice President for External Affairs
at the World Bank. We do not want UNDP to become heavily influenced by
such commercial interests.

AEC - Association of European Consumers welcomes the conclusions in the
report about DNA patenting. UNDP's concern about intellectual property
rights in the WTO is similar to the arguments that consumer, environment
and development NGOs have been putting forward. In our view, patents
give the transnational corporations a tremendous power over the farmers
who will grow the World's food. Because the WTO agreement says countries
must have patent rules also for DNA, including plants and animals, the
developing countries will have enormous difficulties. We hope the UNDP
report will make it possible to renegotiate the WTO agreement to make it
possible to not award patents on life. AEC - Association of European
Consumers will also continue to oppose the researchers and corporations
that use developing countries and starving people to argue in favour of
controversial and unnecessary GMO foods.
Responsible for this info is

Bengt Ingerstam, president (tel. +46 495 49834) and
Martin Frid, Food and Trade Policy officer (tel. +46 479 10713)
Association of European Consumers - AEC - Association Européenne des
Consommateurs 70-72, rue du Commerce, B-1040 Bruxelles/ Brussels
Tel: 0032 (0)2 545 90 74, Fax: 0032 (0)2 545 90 76,
e-mail: aec@belgacom.net