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[SANET-MG] world conservation congress moratorium on GM crops
22 November 2004
Members of the IUCN 2004 World Conservation Congress
voted today to
approve a moratorium on the further release of
organisms (GMOs) until such time that they can be
reasonable doubt, to be safe for biodiversity, human
health, and the
health of livestock. Nearly seventy percent of the
non-governmental organizations voted for the
moratorium, even after
several days of intensive behind-the-scenes lobbying
"This is a great day for biodiversity, human health,
and food security
world-wide," said Mr. Antonio Claparols of the
Ecological Society of
the Philippines, the sponsor of the resolution.
"Until it can be shown
that GMOs pose no near- or long-term threat to life
on Earth, we must
invoke the Precautionary Principle."
The resolution provides a clear mechanism for
state-of-the-science report, to be delivered within
presenting current knowledge on the development,
dispersal, and impacts
Responding to suggestions for amending the
resolution during the
Plenary debate, Mr. Tashi Tsering, delegation head
of Tibet Justice
Center and a co-sponsor of the resolution, said "We
amendments proposed by our friends from Senegal.
There is an especially
strong need for disseminating information about GMOs
"The Senegalese amendment sent a clear signal," said
Mr.Alec Marr, of
the Australian Wilderness Society and a co-sponsor
of the bill. "IUCN
must not only promote and share sound science, it
must also use
transparent, participatory governance in bringing
this knowledge to the
rest of the world."
The unregulated rise of GMOs world-wide in recent
years has led to
concern among scientists and government officials
alike. Scientists are
learning that GMOs know no boundaries, degrading
genetic diversity of
crop seeds and then expanding beyond farmscapes into
adjacent areas of
biodiversity. In the process, they degrade complex
soil ecology and
habitat for beneficial insects, thus affecting
mammals and birds and
killing the very biodiversity that GMO proponents
claim to care about.
Bangkok Contacts: Mr. Tashi Tsering: +66 02 123
IUCN is the world's largest environmental
organization. It is composed
of governments, NGOs, and individuals.
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