INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Mozambique: Update On Biosafety Developments

Published: Thu 16 Dec 2004 02:18 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MAPUTO 001624
SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/S - HTREGER, OES/ETC - HLEE, EB/TPP/ABT -
RSINGH
USDA FOR FAS/BIG - JPPASSINO
USDOC FOR RTELCHIN
PRETORIA FOR AG ATTACHE - SREYNOLDS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ETRD EAGR EAID MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE: UPDATE ON BIOSAFETY DEVELOPMENTS
REF: A. STATE 259661
B. MAPUTO 01174
1. On December 13 emboff and econ/commercial assistant met
with Calisto Bias, Director of Plant Development, National
Institute of Agronomic Investigation (INIA) to learn about
Mozambique's recent biosafety developments. INIA is a key
participant in an inter-ministerial commission that addresses
biosafety concerns and formulates legislation regarding the
protection of biodiversity. Biosafety regulations have been
drafted, which are expected to be approved in mid-late 2005,
according to Bias. He was reluctant to disclose specific
information, but emphasized that the new rules would, in
contrast to the total ban currently in effect, allow for the
import of some living modified organisms (LMOs) and
genetically modified organisms (GMOs). (Note: At present the
distribution within Mozambique of LMOs and GMOs is not
permitted. Import of LMO food aid is allowed for transit to
neighboring countries or, in the case of wheat, provided that
it is milled prior to being distributed locally.) Bias added
that biosafety legislation is being developed in accordance
with the spirit of the Cartagena Protocol.
2. In January 2005 commission members will participate in a
closed seminar on the harmonization of biosafety regulations
among Lusophone countries. In May the Ministry of
Agriculture will send someone to the Second Meeting of the
Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Several INIA
representatives will also attend.
3. Comment: Mozambique currently has very little agricultural
trade with the US. Rather than closing the door tighter, the
GRM is now in the process of easing the entry of certain LMO
and GMO products. One factor in the GRM's acceptance of GMOs
is its interest in using GMO cotton seeds to improve local
cotton production. Mozambique welcomes Title I - Food for
Progress commodity donations. If a Title I program is
granted to Mozambique in 2005, we expect no GMO-related
conflicts (Ref B).
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