"GMO – One of the Challenges of the XXI century". Recommendations of the Forum on the meeting of the heads of G8 countries in St. Petersburg in July 2006
Taking into account the urgency of solving problems caused by the untimely and widespread distribution of GMOs civil society representatives from 17 countries have gathered in Moscow to discuss the issue of GMOs and reached the following conclusions and recommendations, which we ask you to consider and address:
- wide-spread genetic contamination by Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), unregulated and sometimes even unnoticed by governments, is negatively affecting biodiversity, including protected areas and centers of crop origin.
- genetic contamination of traditional and organic crops is increasingly violating the right of farmers and consumers to choose crop and foods without GMOs. Genetic contamination is also negatively affecting farmer’s livelihoods.
- there is a growing number of scientific studies that indicate that Genetically Modified (GM) crops and GM foods are potentially dangerous for human health and the environment. Among scientific experts there is strong disagreement over the safety of GMOs. However, there is a lack of independent research on biotechnology.
- high levels of monopolization in the GMO industry and the fact that just a few corporations own the vast majority of patents on GMOs, pose a threat to the sovereignty of states in the field of agriculture and to the independency of farmers in both the developed and the developing world. .
- there is a lack of democratic decision making and transparency related to commercialization of GMOs.
- there is an unjustified and growing role of the WTO in the solution of issues related to GMOs , food sovereignty and genetic safety.
We urge you:
1. To include the GMO issue into the agenda of the next G8 summit.
2. To declare a moratorium on the release of GMOs into the environment and the food chain, as long as the safety questions hanging over GMOs are not resolved. Most urgently a moratorium on baby food should be established.
3. To take immediate measures at national and international level to ensure that GMOs are not contaminating neighboring fields, the food chain and the environment.
4. To ensure that consumers have the right to know if their food is produced from GMOs by providing systems of mandatory labeling and identification.
5. To ensure that the companies who produce GMOs will be held liable for any economic, environmental or health damage according to the polluter pays principle.
6. To make decision-making processes on GMOs open for the public at national and international levels.
7. To make the safety assessment procedure for GMOs completely transparent and to ensure that no data relating to GMOs will be classified as “confidential business information”
8. To ensure that conflicts between countries over GMOs are not subject to WTO dispute settlement but are resolved in international fora according to the principles laid down in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. To promote that more countries join and ratify the Cartagena Biosafety on Protocol.