Titel: Fair Trade Petition disproves UN claims about GM crops
Datum: 10 juli 2001
Bron: Persbericht
Via: Biotech Activists, biotech_activists@iatp.org, 10 juli '01

Fair Trade Petition disproves UN claims about GM crops

Full text of the petition below the press release.

10th July2001
For Immediate Release
Fair Trade Petition disproves UN claims about GM crops

The UK-based food and crop campaign Genetic Food Alert (GFA) have condemned a report, to be launched on Tuesday 10th July by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). They say that a petition, so far endorsed by 291 groups from 54 nations, clearly disproves the claims made in the UN's report1.

GFA claim that The Human Development Report 2001, entitled "Making New Technologies Work for Human Development" contains frightening echoes of recent biotechnology industry propaganda. The report sings the praises of GM crops as the way forward to 'feed the world', and is expected to claim that opposition to the crops comes only from western environmental groups who supposedly 'stand in the way of the technology' and are uncaring about the needs of the 'third world'2. It has already been condemned in a report by the hunger campaign Food First3 and a statement by leading Indian food rights campaigner Devinder Sharma.

GFA, in response to appeals from farmers groups in India, have compiled a petition (see below) addressed to 'Fair Trade' organisation in Europe, the USA and Japan calling for 'Fair Trade' products to remain free from GMOs for reasons of social justice. Crops such as GM cotton4 and GM coffee5 may soon threaten the livelihoods of tens of millions of smallholders and landless peasants in dozens of the poorest

Robert Vint, the GFA National Co-ordinator said:" The vast majority of signatories to our petition are 'third world' groups - farmers unions, welfare groups, development programmes, women's groups - we have generally excluded western environmental groups because fair trade is a separate issue. I now have a pile of letters from 50 Indian farmer and welfare groups, all headed 'Stop the Sale of Genetically Modified Crops'.
These come from the very people the biotech industry is claiming it wants to feed and here they are appealing to rich world organisations to represent their interests and help stop GMOs. The UNDP would do well to listen to them. The simple fact is that it is not just in affluent Europe that GM crops are being rejected4 "

"The problem faced by the hungry in the 'third world' is unfair distribution of land and other resources for food production." he continued. "If the poor lose their jobs and land because crops are introduced that favour total automation, 'prairie farming' and the needs of the largest farms then theycannot access food - however much is produced globally. Already food-grade crops from poor countries are fed to animals in rich nations because the poor cannot afford to buy them. This technology will only make the inequality worse. The UNDP ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is about time we had the courage to deal with the real problems of world hunger, and not take quick fix pseudo-solutions marketed by corporations out to make a fast buck."

"This is another shameless move by an industry that is seeing it's markets disappear in the face of global resistance. Well respected development organisations are having to divert valuable funds from their work in the 'third world' to counter these insidious claims."5, 6.

For more information contact:
Robert Vint 01803 868523 / coordinator@geneticfoodalert.org.uk

1 The petition (see below) is an invitation to fair trade certifying bodies "to support a worldwide appeal to avoid the use of genetically modified crops in the manufacture of Fair Trade products". The groups supporting it are overwhelmingly 'third world' groups. Very few of the environmental groups accused of 'hindering progress' for the poor are signatories.
2. The UNDP report has been criticised as a "yet another biotechnology industry sponsored study" by a leading Indian food rights campaigner, Devinder Sharma <dsharma@ndf.vsnl.net.in>
3. Food First report: "Genetic Engineering of Food Crops for the Third World: An Appropriate Response to Poverty, Hunger and Lagging Productivity?" by Dr. Peter Rosset
4. This petition comes hot on the heels of a successful campaign by Indian organisations to prevent the commercialisation of GM Cotton in India www.hindubusinessline.com/stories/142103s7.htm The decision to commercialise was postponed by a year. GMOs have been strongly resisted by farmers' groups, who have even taken to pulling up and burning trial plots to defend the livelihoods of 20 million workers.
5. ActionAid have recently launched a campaign against GM Coffee, fearful of the damage it could do to the livelihoods of 60 million small farmers. [www.actionaid.org ]
6. Christian Aid have produced a report "Selling Suicide" condemning the use of so called 'terminator' genes. [www.christian-aid.org.uk/indepth/9905suic/suicide1.htm ]

Genetically Modified Crops
should not be used in the manufacture of
Fair Trade Products

A Global Petition
to Fair Trade Certification Bodies
from 291 Organisations in 54 Nations


An introductory message from P.V. Satheesh,
General Secretary, Deccan Development Society, Andhra Pradesh, India....


Across the Third World farmers are protesting at the threat to their
livelihoods posed by Genetically Modified (GM) crops. From Brazil to India
farmers have been destroying GM crops. The majority of these crops are
designed to increase herbicide-dependence because they only yield well when
used in conjunction with a herbicide provided by the seed company, thus
trapping farmers yet more effectively in the 'agrochemical treadmill'.
'Terminator' crops are being developed that are designed to be sterile so
that farmers have to buy new seed each year, thus threatening farmers'
traditional right to save seeds. 'Traitor genes' are being added to
crops to prevent them yielding in the absence of a proprietary chemical. Most of
these crops are being designed specifically to benefit the most mechanised
and largest farms - so threatening to increase landlessness and rural
unemployment and to widen yet further the gap between rich and poor.

Genetically Engineered crops are far easier to patent and control than
conventional crops. This increases the control by transnational seed
companies over seed varieties and threatens local, traditional varieties and
biodiversity. Patent legislation enables biotech companies to impose
exploitative contracts on farmers and also encourages 'biopiracy' - the
plundering of the genetic wealth of Southern nations for the profit of
Northern companies.

The latest of many threatening crops is a GM Controlled-Ripening Coffee
being developed in the USA by Integrated Coffee Technologies Inc to enable
the mechanisation of coffee-picking. This utilises 'traitor genes' to
prevent ripening until a chemical is sprayed on the crop. This directly
threatens the livelihoods of up to 50% of the world's 60,000,000 coffee
workers and could ultimately replace millions of socially and ecologically
benevolent smallholdings with vast and lifeless corporately controlled

In the next few years the USA and biotech companies are likely to attempt to introduce Genetically Modified cacao, tea, bananas, sugar cane and other cash crops in order to cut dependence on labour and to maximise their control over the global seed and cash crop trade and the agricultural
economies of Southern nations.

The FairTrade Movement cannot effectively campaign against such exploitation
and oppose the development of such crops until the FairTrade Certification
bodies have made a clear commitment to avoid the use of GM raw materials in
their own products. Some national certifiers, such as Comercio Justo México,
have already taken this step whilst some others have yet to act. Meanwhile
the majority of FairTrade manufacturers are actively avoiding GM ingredients
(and many are going organic to help their farmers out of the 'agrochemical
treadmill'). Many of the wholesalers and shops that promote and sell
FairTrade products now refuse to sell anything containing GM ingredients.

The organisations listed below are calling upon FairTrade Certification
bodies around the world to support small farmers by saying NO to these GM
crops and by banning them from FairTrade products.
P.V. Satheesh



Bearing in mind that the vast majority of Genetically Modified crops are
designed to exploit farmers by forcing them to buy new seed each year, to
make then dependent upon purchases of specific agrochemicals or to tie them
in to inequitable and unjust commercial contracts,

Bearing in mind that any benefits of GM crops to farmers are likely to be
reaped disproportionately by the largest farmers, resulting in bankruptcy
for smaller competitors and the replacement of labour-intensive with
capital-intensive agriculture,

Bearing in mind the widespread opposition of peasant farmers unions, of NGOs
involved in development work and of the purchasers of FairTrade products not
only to Terminator and Traitor technologies but to patented crops and GM
technologies in general,

Bearing in mind that even biotechnology companies have admitted that GM
crops will not feed the world and that many organisations see these
crops as
a major threat to local food security in many nations,

And noting that most FairTrade certified products are currently GM-free
[because GM coffee, tea, cocoa or sugar cane have yet to be commercially
developed, because many FairTrade products are organic or are sold via
wholefood/health food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers who boycott
GM ingredients and because most consumers of FairTrade products wish to
avoid GM ingredients],

We, the undersigned, call upon FairTrade certifiers in each nation to
refrain from supporting the spread of exploitative genetically modified cash
crops by refusing to certify products containing GM ingredients.

SIGNATORIES AS OF 5th July 2001.
[291 Organisations from 54 Nations]

* EFTA - European Fair Trade Association
* Fair Trade Federation (North America)

* Action for World Development

* ARGE Weltläden (World Shops)

* Aranya Crafts Ltd. (IFAT)
* Bangladesh Krishok Federation (Peasant Federation)
* DEW - Development Wheel (IFAT)
* Nayakrishi Andolan (New Agriculture Movement)
* NRDS - Noakhali Rural Development Society (IFAT)
* The Swallows Association for Social Voluntary Service (IFAT)
* SHISUK- CARAM Bangladesh
* UBINIG (Policy Research Centre for Development Alternatives)

* AEFJN - Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network
* OXFAM Wereldwinkels Vzw (OXFAM World Shops) (IFAT)

* OBEPAB (Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l'Agriculture

* Toledo Cacao Growers Association (fair trade)
On behalf of the TOLEDO CACAO GROWERS ASSOCIATION and all cacao farmers in
Toledo, we wish to strongly oppose and completely reject the production or
use of GM cacao or any other crops.
Biotech companies who also produce chemicals are NOT concerned about the
development of our poor and marginalized farmers in third world countries;
their only aim is huge profits and they don't care if they are destroying
our planet and mankind. This in fact is widening a huge gap between the rich
and the poor. Its time that all good men and women join in the fight
against such injustices.
We stand firm in our support for the petition 'Fairtrade product should
remain GM-FREE'. We say 'NO to GM'
>From the staff and management of TCGA
and all the cacao farmers in Toledo BELIZE, 28th May, 2001"

* AGRUCO - Agroecología Universidad Cochabamba
* ASARBOLSEM - Asociación Artesanal Boliviana Señor de Mayo (fair trade)
* Asociación de Organizaciones Campesinas Económicas"Moto Méndez"
* Centro De Investigacion Y Promocion Del Campesinado, Regional Santa Cruz
(Centre for the Study & Furtherance of the Peasantry)
* CIOEC - Bolivia (Networking Committee of Peasant Economic
Organisations of
* Foundation of Our Lady of La Paz
* FOBOMADE (Bolivian Forum for Environment & Development)

* Associação de Estudos Orientação e Assistência Rural (Assoc for Studies
Directed to Rural Assistance)
* AS-PTA - Assessoria e Serveços a Projetos em Agricultura Alternativa
* CAPA - Centro de Apoio ao Pequeno Agricultor - Santa Cruz (Centre for the
Support of Small Farmers)
* CETAP (Centro De Tecnologias Alternativas Populares) (Peoples' Centre for
Alternative Technology)
* CTA-ZM (Centre for Alternative Technology of Zona da Mata)

* INADES/Formation (an agriculture & development training group)

* Alternative Grounds (fair trade coffee)
* La Siembra Co-operative Inc (fair trade chocolate - FTF member)

* Ad hoc Group on Biodiversity of Colombia
* Centro de Debate y Acción Ambiental (centre for Environmental Debate &
* ECOSUR -Asociación de Productores Ecológicos del Suroccidente Colombiano
* ILSA (Latin American Institute for Alternative Legal Services)
* Swissaid Foundation Seeds Programme - Colombia

* COOCAFE - Consorciode Cooperativas de Caficultores (IFAT)
* Mesa Nacional Campesina
* Programa CAMBIOS-UNA

* Fundacion Agricultura y Medio Ambiente Inc. (Environment & Agriculture
Foundation Inc)

* Friends of the Earth International
* Voluntariado ecologico-UCA

* ALLPA JANPIRINA - Instituto de Regeneración Ecológica
* CEAS - Corporacion Ecuatoriana Amazonia Sustentable
* Cooperacion Belga (Belgian Cooperation)
* Red por una America Latina Libre de Transgenicos
* RELACC (Red Latinoamericana de Comercializacion Comunitaria)

* Environmental Protection Agency
* Institute for Sustainable Development (Dr Tewolde Egzhiabher)
"Small farmers will be squeezed out of the market with GM coffee. It is a
shift from a labour-intensive to a capital-intensive system, from small
farmers to large farmers," [Financial Times (UK) 16th May 2000]
Dr Tewolde Egziabher
Ethiopia's spokesperson at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation
(Coffee exports account for nearly 70 per cent of Ethiopia's foreign

* Tampereen Kehitysmaakauppa (IFAT)

* AlterEco (IFAT)
* Ecoropa - France
* IHEAL - Instituto de Altos Estudios de America Latina

* TopQualiTea (IFAT)

* GOAN - Ghana Organic Agriculture Network

* Manos Campesinas

* Via Campesina

* ACTION (Association for Rural & Tribal Development)
* All Backward Classes Welfare Association
* Amar Educational Academy
* Ambedkar Rural Development Society
* Andhra Pradesh Rytu Sangham (AP Farmers Union)
* ANTHRA (serving small farmers and promoting sustainable development)
* Andhra Pradesh Coalition in Defence of Diversity [120 NGOs]
* ARISE (Agricultural Renewal in India for a Sustainable Environment)
* ARTIC (Appropriate Reconstruction Training & Information Centre)
* Arundhati Mahila Mandali
* Bharathi Devi Harijana Mahila Mandali
* CAMP (Christian Association for Medical Mission and People's Development)
* Creative Action for Necessitous Development from Living Environment
* Deccan Development Society
* Deena, Christava, Sarvodaya Seva Sangham
* Development of Peace Church of Christ
* Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security
* Girijana Deepika (mass-member organization working for the Adivasi
indigenous peoples)
* Harijana Mahila Mandali
* Harijana Seva Mahila Mandali
* Indira Priyadarshini Girijana Backward Class Mahila
* Indira Memorial Weaker Section Development Society
* International Group for Grassroots Initiatives
* Integrated Rural Development Organisation
* Jana Kalyan
* Kalabharathi Mahila Mandali
* Kamla Nehru Youth Association
* KRRS (Karnataka State Farmer's Association) [10 million small/landless
* Mahila Action
* Needful Education & Welfare Society
* People's Action for Social Service
* People's Action In Development
* People's Organisation for Woman Raising
* Prajwala (charity serving the 'untouchable' castes of India)
* Prakasam Social Welfare Association
* Priyadarshini Mahila Mandali
* Research & Action in Natural Wealth Administration
* Rural Awareness Society
* Rural Development Society
* Samanvaya (a knowledge support organisation for agriculture groups)
* SANFEC (South Asian Network for Food, Ecology and Culture) [200 NGOs]
"As India embraces free trade, foreign companies are taking control of its
land, seeds and agricultural research --the vital tools which farmers have
depended on to produce the nation's food stocks. As farming becomes the
target of big business -- aided and abetted by the unsound biotechnology
industry -- crop fields are being switched over to growing cash crops for
export. The environmental and social effects of this are potentially
Free trade in genetically modified food products and agricultural
commodities does nothing to further the survival of farming communities in
India, where they form the basis of the economy. The corporate-driven GM
technology, as part of the new trade regime, will eliminate only the hungry
and not hunger; the small and marginal farmers and not unsustainable
agriculture. And therein lies a grave danger." (31 May 2001)
Devinder Sharma, Food and Trade Policy Analyst
Chair, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security, New Delhi, India
* Sarvodaya Youth Organisation
* Society for Environment & Eco Development
* Society of Science Students
* Sravanti Association
* SRED (Society for Rural Education and Development)
* Sri Chaitanya Mandali
* Sri Sai Yuvathi Mandali
* The Harijana Development Service Society
* Tara Projects Association (IFAT)
* TNWF (Tamil Nadu Women's Forum)
* Village Reconstruction Service Society
* YAKSHI (resource group for community initiatives and peoples movements)

* Consumers Organization of South Sulawesi
* ELSPPAT (Institute of Development Study and Technology Service)
* JAKER PO - Indonesian Organic Agriculture Network
* LATIN - Indonesian Tropical Institute
* Organic Farmers Network
* OXFAM (Great Britain) Indonesia Office
* PAN Indonesia (Pesticide Action Network)
* World Food Day Farmers Movement

* A SEED Japan
* Association to Preserve the Earth
* The Association for Eliminating Food Pollution and Seeking Safe Food
* Consumers Union of Japan
* Global Village - Fair Trade Company (IFAT)
* Nepali Bazaro (IFAT)
* Polan Hiroba (fair trade)
* Organic Agriculture Network - Chiba
* Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union
* Stop GM Seeds Network Japan
* US Greens Abroad - Japan
* Vision 21
* Wakachiai Project

* Bombolulu Workshops for the Handicapped (IFAT)
* Intermediate Technology Development Group - Eastern Africa
* Machakos District Cooperative Union Ltd (IFAT)

* CACPK (Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection of Korea)

* Smallholder Coffee Farmers Trust
"We have had enough of the exploitive nature of the Coffee Industry for over
Twenty years. Now that we manage and control the sector, and that we see a
ray of hope on the horizon, new exploitive mechanisms are being designed and
implemented to push us back into poverty through Genetically Modified
We urge you to continue fighting Multinational Companies to STOP the
exploitive GM programmes and save us from perpetual poverty. A World of a
Shared Responsibilities, Rights and Obligations is for sure a better World"
(29 May 2001)
The Smallholder Coffee Farmers Trust
represents 4000 Growers in the 5 Co-operatives in Northern Malawi.

* PAN-AP (Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific)
* SEA Council (Southeast Asian Council For Food Security and Fair Trade)
* Third World Network

* CIEPAC (Centre for Economic & Political Research for Community Action)
* Consultants for Alternative Planning
* Despertar de Un Pueblo Maya, S.C, Chiapas
* Ecotianguis Viva la Tierra! Coop (Long Live the Earth! Coop)
* Espacio de Salud, A.C. (Space for Health)
* ERA - Estudios Rurales y Asesoría Campesina A.C.
* Gaia Gastronomica Natural
* Institute for Social Research, National Autonomous University Mexico
* Proyecto Gestión de Saberes (Project for the Management of Knowledge)
* Red de Permacultura México (Permaculture Network Mexico)
* Red de Consumidores de Café AC (Coffee Consumers Network)
* Revolucion accion
* Xochipilli A.C. y Xochiquetzal, SA de CV (IFAT)

* Economic Justice Coalition

* Mud Hut Trading (IFAT)

* RRN - Rural Reconstruction Nepal
* USC Canada - Nepal

* AKB - Alternative Consumers Association (fair trade)
* ASEED Europe
* EFTA - European Fair Trade Association (IFAT)
* Fair Trade Organisatie (IFAT)

* Fair NZ (Campaigning for Sustainability, Human Rights and the Environment)
* GE Free New Zealand

* ADAR (Association for Agroecological Regional Development)
* Centro de Derechos Constitucionales (Centre for Constitutional Rights)
* Friends of the Earth - Nicaragua
* GVC-Italia (Civilian Volunteer Group - Italy)
* RAPAL-NIC (Pesticide Action Network - Nicaragua)

* ATNN - Alternative Trade Network of Nigeria (IFAT)

* Caritas-Pakistan
* Sungi Development Foundation

* Programa de Conocimiento Indígena (Indigenous Knowledge Program)

* www.pngcoffee.com (fair trade)

* Candela Peru (IFAT)
* RAAA (Network for Action on Alternatives to the use of Agrochemicals)
* RAP-AL Peru (Pesticide Action Network - Peru)

* Alter Trade Corporation (IFAT)
* Asia Gender and Trade Network
* Farmgrid Credit and Marketing Cooperative
* Justice and Peace Desk - Social Action Center
* KMP (Peasant Movement of the Philippines)
* MASIPAG (Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development)
* PhilNet-RDI, Inc
* SEARICE- SouthEast Asia Regional Institute for Community Education
"Warm Greetings of Solidarity!
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (The Peasant Movement of the
Philippines) wishes to express its support and solidarity to the GM Coffee
Campaign & Genetic Food Alert and your petition "Fair Trade Products Should
Remain GM-free". KMP has long and strongly opposed the promotion and
implementation of genetically modified crops here in the Philippines and
throughout the world. The Philippine peasantry knows first-hand the dangers
and threats GM crops pose to farmers and local food security. Instead of
reaping the so-called benefits of food security and bountiful harvests of
these monster crops touted by Agrochemical Transnational Corporations (TNCs)
and their cohorts, farmers in the Philippines and other countries have only
reaped further exploitation, dependency on pesticides and herbicides,
poverty, and dangers to health and livelihood.
Moreover, we stand firm on our analysis that the use of poison seeds &
chemicals will only increase Philippine agriculture's dependence from
Agrochem TNCs and imperialist control. This will also worsen the Filipino
peasantry's fundamental problems of landlessness and monopoly control of
landlords and foreign agro-corporations over our vast tract of lands. It is
through the continued struggle of peasants, farmers, and their supporters
that we will raise awareness and fight GM crops and the Agrochemical TNCs
who benefit from its use
In Solidarity,"
RAFAEL MARIANO, Chair, KMP (Peasant Movement of the Philippines)
& Spokesperson, International Alliance Against Agrochem TNCs

* PAN-Africa (Pesticide Action Network)

* Alternativa3, S.Coop. (IFAT)
* Amics de la Terra Eivissa
* Ecologists in Action
* Friends of the Earth - Spain
* La Aldea Del Sur (Comercio Justo) [The Village of the South (Fair Trade)]
* Marisatsa Ecological Consumers Association
* Platforma Rural (Rural Platform)
* Sección Sindical de CCOO-Euskadi (main workers union in Spain - Basque
* SOPEÑA (Cantabria)

* SAFeAGE (South African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering)
* Safe Food Coalition

* Central Council of Disabled Persons (IFAT)
* Gospel House Handicrafts (IFAT)
* MONLAR (Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform)
* People's Organisation for Development Import & Export (IFAT)
* Siyath Foundation (IFAT)

* Swedish Consumer Coalition
* Swedish Worldshops' Association for Fair Trade

* CARITAS Schweiz Fairness Handel (IFAT)

* AMKA Trust

* Alternatives to Consumerism (Sulak Sivaraksa)
* Catholic Commission for Human Development
* GE SEA Campaign Project (Genetic Engineering - SouthEast Asia)
* Pesticide Legal Action Network Thailand

* NAWOU - National Association of Womens' Organisations of Uganda (IFAT)

* AgroFair UK (fair trade)
* Arches Hotel
* Bishopston Trading company (BAFTS Member)
* Body and Soul Organic Foods (wholefood retailer)
* Centre for Alternative Technology
* Chiapaslink Collective
* Christian Aid (fair trade)
* Clearspring Ltd (wholefood manufacturer / importer)
* Cooks Delight (wholefood retailer)
* Community Foods (wholefood wholesaler)
* Daily Bread Workers Coop (wholefood wholesaler)
* Equal Exchange (IFAT)
* Essential Trading Workers Coop (wholefood wholesaler)
* Five Year Freeze Alliance (representing 120 NGOs)
* Food For All, London (wholefood retailer)
* Gaia Foundation
* Genetic Food Alert
* Genetics Forum
* Green & Black's Chocolate Ltd (fair trade)
* Green City Wholefoods (workers coop, wholesaler)
* Greenlife Wholefoods, Totnes (retailer)
* Guatemala Solidarity Network
* Highlands and Islands GM Concern
* India Development Group (UK) Ltd
* just fairtrade, Leicester
* Marigold Healthfoods Ltd (wholefood wholesaler)
* NAHS (National Association of Health Stores) (representing 300 shops)
* NEAD - Norfolk Education & Action for Development
* New Economics Foundation
* One World Shop, Edinburgh (BAFTS Member)
* Out Of This World (retailer / fair trade)
* PAN-UK (Pesticide Action Network UK)
* Planet Organic (wholefood supermarket)
* Salisbury Healthfoods (wholefood retailer)
* Suma Wholefoods (workers coop, wholesaler)
* The Green Shop, Berwick (BAFTS Member)
* The Tea and Coffee Plant, London (fair trade)
* The Village Bakery Melmerby Ltd (manufacturer / fair trade)
* The Cocoa Tree (fair trade chocolate)
* Totnes Genetics Group
* Tropical Wholefoods (fair trade)
* Twin Trading Ltd (IFAT)
* Uhuru Wholefoods, Oxford (wholefood retailer / fair trade)
* Unicorn Grocery (wholefood retailer)
* Wistbray Limited (fair trade)

* 8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago
* Africa Faith & Justice Network
* Artisans' World Marketplace (FTF member)
* Austral Imports, IL / Ginger Blossom (FTF member)
* Cafe Campesino & Cooperative Coffees (FTF member)
* Center for Environmental Citizenship - Northwest Office
* Dagoba Chocolate (fair trade)
* Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Coffee (IFAT)
* Fair Trade Federation
* Food First
* Friends of the Third World, Inc., Cooperative Trading
* Gifts That Make A Difference (FTF member)
* Global Exchange (FTF member)
* IATP (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)
* Made By Hand International Cooperative (FTF member)
* Marin Interfaith Task Force on Central America
* Meridian Arts, Inc., ME
* Mexico Solidarity Network
* Nicaragua Center for Community Action, CA
* Nicaragua Network of Washington, DC
* Organic Consumers Association
* Peace Coffee (FTF member)
* Peacecraft fair trade retail, NM (FTF member)
* Royal Gardens Tea Company (fair trade)
* Taylor Maid Farms (fair trade)
* Thanksgiving Coffee Company (fair trade)
* The Human Bean Company (fair trade)
* WorldFinds (FTF member)

* RAPAL-Venezuela (Pesticide Action Network)

* Organic Products Inc

"GM crops are taking us down a dangerous farm track creating classic preconditions for hunger and famine: ownership of resources concentrated in too few hands - inherent in farming based on patented proprietary products - and a food supply based on too few varieties of crops widely planted, are the worst option for food security. The new techniques also leave untouched growing gaps between rich and poor"
Christian Aid Report:
"Selling Suicide: farming, false promises and genetic engineering in developing countries"


Background information 1.

Statement from delegates for all African nations (except South Africa) to UN FAO negotiations on the International Undertaking for Plant Genetic Resources, June 1998

During the past few weeks European citizens have been exposed to an
aggressive publicity campaign in major European newspapers trying to
convince the reader that the world needs genetic engineering to feed the
hungry. Organised and financed by Monsanto, one of the world's biggest
chemical companies, and titled "Let the Harvest Begin", this campaign gives
a totally distorted and misleading picture of the potential of genetic
engineering to feed developing countries.

We, the undersigned delegates of African countries participating in the 5th
Extraordinary Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources, 8 - 12 June
1998, Rome, strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our
countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a
technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor economically
beneficial to us.

It is time to look at some of the facts about the company behind this
campaign: Monsanto is one of the world's largest pesticide companies. During
the past two years only it spent over US$6,000 million to take control over
other seed and biotechnology companies and is now the major industrial
player in this field. Its major focus is not to protect the environment, but
to develop crops that can resist higher doses of its best-selling chemical
weedkiller "Roundup".

Rather than stretching a helping hand to farmers, Monsanto threatens them
with lawsuits and jail. In the USA, the company employs detectives to find
and bring to court those farmers that save Monsanto soybean seeds for next
year's planting. Backed by patent law, the company demands the rights to
inspect the farmers' fields to check whether they practise agriculture
according to Monsanto conditions and with Monsanto chemicals.

Rather than developing technology that feeds the world, Monsanto uses
genetic engineering to stop farmers from replanting seed and further develop
their agricultural systems. It has spent US$18,000 million to buy a company
owning a patent on what has become known as Terminator Technology: seed that
can be planted only once and dies in the second generation. The only aim of
this technology is to force farmers back to the Monsanto shop every year,
and to destroy an age old practice of local seed saving that forms the basis
of food security in our countries.

In "Let the Harvest Begin" the Europeans are asked to give an unconditional
green light to gene technology so that chemical corporations such as
Monsanto can start harvesting their profits from it. We do not believe that
such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the
food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will
destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural
systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus
undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.

In particular, we will not accept the use of Terminator or other gene
technologies that kill the capacity of our farmers to grow the food we need.
We invite European citizens to stand in solidarity with Africa in resisting
these gene technologies so that our diverse and natural harvests can
continue and grow.

We agree and accept that mutual help is needed to further improve
agricultural production in our countries. We also believe that Western
science can contribute to this. But it should be done on the basis of
understanding and respect for what is already there. It should be building
on local knowledge, rather than replacing and destroying it. And most
importantly: it should address the real needs of our people, rather than
serving only to swell the pockets and control of giant industrial

Signed by the following United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation
delegates for African nations:

Jean Marie Fodoun, Cameroun; George A. Agbahungba, Benin; Paul Therence
Senghor, Senegal; Koffi Goti, Cote d'Ivoire; Mokosa Madende, Congo Democ;
Jean Jacques Rakotonalala, Madagascar; Juvent Baramburiye, Burundi; Worku
Damena, Ethiopia; Gietaturn Mulat, Ethiopia; M.S. Harbi, Sudan; Eltahir
Ibrahim Mohamed, Sudan; Maria A. Calane da Silva, Mozambique; Kohna Nganara
Ngawara, Tchad; Nkeoua Gregoire, Congo; Mugorewera Drocella, Rwanda; H.
Yahia-Cafrif, Algeria; Abebe Demissie, Ethiopia; G.P. Mwila, Zambia; Dr S..H.
Raljtsogle, Lesotho; Naceu Hamza, Tunisia; Hambourne Mellas, Morocco;
Elizabeth Matos, Angola; Tewolde Berhane Gebre Egziabher, Ethiopia

[ www.oneworld.org/panos/news/biodoc5.htm ]


Background information 2.


THIRD WORLD NETWORK www.twnside.org.sg/bio.htm

PEOPLES CARAVAN 2000 www.poptel.org.uk/panap/caravan.htm

GRAINS OF DELUSION: Golden Rice Seen From the Ground: Joint report by
BIOTHAI (Thailand), CEDAC (Cambodia), DRCSC (India), GRAIN, MASIPAG
(Philippines), PAN-Indonesia and UBINIG (Bangladesh) February
[Also available as a PDF File: Adobe Acrobat needed to read it]

KMP Peasant Movement of the Philippines www.geocities.com/kmp_ph/


GM Third World Warning (BBC News)

Third World rejects GM (Independent) www.connectotel.com/gmfood/gm990228.txt


USDA PUSHING GENE FOODS ON THIRD WORLD By Devinder Sharma, Pakistan Observer


Selling suicide - farming, false promises and genetic engineering in
developing countries
Biotechnology and genetically modified organisms
The Biosafety Protocol - controlling trade in GMOs

WORLD DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT www.wdm.org.uk/campaign/GMOs.htm
GMOs and the WTO: Overruling the right to say no
The Biosafety Protocol: Agreed in Montreal
The Battle for International Rules on GMOs: The biotech industry versus the
world's poor www.wdm.org.uk/cambriefs/GMOs/battle.htm
Genetically modified seeds: Corporate control over farmers in the Third
World www.wdm.org.uk/cambriefs/GMOs/farmers.htm

GRAIN: Genetics Resources Action International www.grain.org/latestnews.htm

Rural Advancement Foundation International

Food First www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/biotech/

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy www.iatp.org/

Corner House Briefing 10 on Genetic Engineering & World Hunger

Genetic Engineering: Can it Feed the World? GeneWatch Briefing

Feeding the World? Jules Pretty examines the myths and realities of
sustainable farming's quiet revolution www.geneticsforum.org.uk/feeding.htm

Suspend GM Crops For 5 Years demand Scientists from South & North

Corner House Briefing 10 on Genetic Engineering and World Hunger


Genetic Food Alert
Genetic Food Alert is a campaign started by the UK wholefood trade in 1998.
Its members, who now include all the wholesalers for the trade, the National
Association of Health Stores and many manufacturers and retailers, have for
many years promoted fair trade, ecological agriculture and healthy food
through the products they manufacture and sell. The campaigns of Genetic
Food Alert are relevant to all these concerns. Members sell a large
proportion of the Fair trade products sold in the UK and, for reasons of
justice, ecology and health, refuse to sell products containing GM
ingredients. This petition is an integral part of our work.

Genetic Food Alert
4, Bertram House, Ticklemore Street, Totnes Devon TQ9 5EJ UK
Tel: +44 1803 868523