A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a living organism that has had its genetic material artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This science results in the creation of rather unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and virus genes that do not occur in nature through natural cross-pollination or traditional crossbreeding methods.
TABIO contends that GMOs pose unnecessary risks to human health, destroy biodiversity, lead to increased costs for farmers, increase corporate control of the food chain, and fail to combat global hunger.
TABIO calls for the proposed field trials of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize to be scrapped. See TABIO's objection to the application by COSTECH and Monsanto for the WEMA test: Download here
The multinational seed corporations are promoting GMOs as a panacea to food insecurity and poverty in Africa. TABIO sees that the corporate promotion of GMOs has little to do with ending hunger and poverty in Africa. This is more a means to advance their agenda of enslaving African farmers into a system that will require them to purchase seeds from the corporations every year rather than save and reuse them.
TABIO is working with its members to create awareness on GMOs among farmers, consumers and policy-makers.
A scientific evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops found that GM crops:
- Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
- Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
- Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
- Do not increase yield potential
- Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
- Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”
- Have mixed economic effects
- Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
- Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
- Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
- Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.
Based on the evidence presented they conclude there is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology is claimed to address already exist. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs. http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3a.pdf
Tanzanian decision-makers are exposed to the loud claims of corporate agribusiness investors / seed companies, yet unable to hear the measured voice of the African Union, the UN, and the World Agriculture Report (IAASTD – 400 scientists, 60 countries incl Tz, 5 years) who are all calling for a shift to agro-ecological approaches. The core message of the final IAASTD report is the urgent need to move away from destructive and chemical-dependent industrial agriculture and to adopt environmental modern farming methods that champion biodiversity and benefit local communities. More and better food can be produced without destroying rural livelihoods or our natural resources. Local, socially and environmentally responsible methods are the solution. The IAASTD also concluded that such techniques as genetic engineering are no solution for soaring food prices, hunger and poverty. http://www.agassessment.org/
TABIO has prepared the policy briefs to inform policy decision makers:
Effects of GMOs on Society (KISWAHILI): Access here
Maintaining the Integrity of the National Biosafety Regulations (ENGLISH): Access here