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IPS Mourns the Passing of Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - 3 hours 8 min ago

Kofi Annan's outstanding leadership on the global scale has been in the pursuit of the very mission for which the United Nations was created. Courtesy: Kofi Annan Foundation

By IPS Correspondents
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 19 2018 (IPS)

Dear Nane Annan & Family,

The IPS family would like to express our deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of a husband, a father, a global statesman. As journalists, we find that few words can express our deep loss for a man who personalised and lived the vision and truth of a just and equal world.

IPS honours Kofi Annan’s outstanding leadership in the pursuit of the very mission for which the United Nations was created: a world seeking global peace, political stability, recognition of human dignity and the pursuit of human development.

Through some of the greatest global crises of our time, Mr. Annan stood steady and firm, championing global peace and equality, even long after his retirement.

No news agency has recognised more Mr. Annan’s commitment towards the advancement of the concerns of the world’s poorer nations in their fight against poverty and hunger, and their battle against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

His firm commitment to environmental sustainability, his consistently strong advocacy of human rights, his promotion of gender empowerment and the attainment of a larger freedom for all are values and missions that run through the heart and soul of our organisation. Just as it ran through him.

As this soul of matchless courage and integrity is laid to rest, we look to the stars and know, that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but merely changes form. And through this pain of a hard goodbye, we take up the energy and continue the services to humankind that Mr. Annan and IPS began at the same time.

Sincerely,

Inter Press Service Director General, Journalists
and Global Associates 

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The post IPS Mourns the Passing of Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

Nigeria's favourite leader won't become president - yet

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Kenya’s one-man band - Krackwhizz

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Kofi Annan death: World leaders honour former UN chief

BBC Africa - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 19:35
Leaders honour Kofi Annan, the first black African to become UN secretary-general, who died aged 80.
Categories: Africa

Statement by the Secretary-General on the passing of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 17:57

By António Guterres
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 18 2018 (IPS)

Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good.  It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing.  In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world.  In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.

My heartfelt condolences to Nane Annan, their beloved family, and all who mourn the loss of this proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.

New York, 18 August 2018

The post Statement by the Secretary-General on the passing of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

Nigeria defender Troost-Ekong moves to Udinese

BBC Africa - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 15:24
Nigeria's World Cup defender William Troost-Ekong describes his move to Italian club Udinese as the completion of 'a great summer.'
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Ancient Egypt: Cheese discovered in 3,200-year-old tomb

BBC Africa - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 15:19
A new study says a substance found in broken jars by archaeologists is 3,200-year-old cheese.
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Rwanda national team: Vincent Mashami named as new coach of Amavubi

BBC Africa - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 14:56
The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) names Vincent Mashami as the new coach of the national team.
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Kofi Annan, former UN chief, dies at 80

BBC Africa - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 12:12
Kofi Annan, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work, has died aged 80, diplomats say.
Categories: Africa

Use of Water for Electricity Generation Triggers Outcry in Mexico

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 03:46

Non-governmental organisations in Mexico are promoting a citizen water law to guarantee the human right to water. In the picture, social activists take part in a national workshop on watersheds on Aug. 11-12 in Tlalmanalco, a city in the south-central part of the country. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

By Emilio Godoy
MEXICO CITY, Aug 18 2018 (IPS)

One of the fears of the people of the Sierra Huasteca mountains in the state of San Luis Potosi in northeast Mexico is the construction of combined cycle power plants, which would threaten the availability of water.

“We have heard rumours about the installation of two more plants, but we have no information. They operate with very obscure mechanisms,” said Esther Peña, an advisor to the non-governmental Coordinator of Peasant and Indigenous Organisations of Huasteca Potosina, which was founded in 1994 and which brings together 12 organisations of indigenous people and small farmers in six municipalities.

Peña told IPS that the Tamazunchale combined cycle plant, which has been operating since 2007 with a capacity of 1,187 megawatts (MW), is polluting the environment and damaging coffee and citrus plantations, as well as cattle ranching.

The Spanish company Iberdrola, which owns the plant, plans to build two additional plants, Tamazunchale I and II, with a total capacity of 1,187 MW, which are still in the design phase.

The expansion of these natural gas-fired thermal power plants, whose waste gases are reused to produce more energy from steam, is a concern for defenders of water and enemies of fossil fuels because of the social and environmental impacts.

The threats identified by these groups also include the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons from shale and the use of water by mining companies, soft drink and brewery plants, and other industries.

They were all discussed this month by experts and community leaders in Tlamanalco, a city in the state of Mexico, in the south-central part of the country

During the National Workshop of Promoters of Water and Basin Councils, 121 representatives from 51 Mexican organisations analysed how to redress the impact of these activities on access to water, as well as how to promote solutions that put water management in the hands of citizens.

The emphasis of this vision is on community management of water, the human right to water access, the care of water and water quality, as laid out in the proposed General Water Law, drafted since 2014 by civil society organisations, academics, local communities and indigenous peoples.

The organisations elected representatives from 28 basin councils, who will carry out the local work of disseminating the citizens’ initiative and mobilising support.

From this perspective, the link between water and energy becomes relevant, above and beyond the construction and modernisation of hydroelectric power plants and amidst the impacts of climate change caused by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

“Today, the vision of using water to produce energy, such as in hydropower plants, combined cycle power plants and natural gas, has taken hold. Water is being misused,” said Óscar Monroy, president of the non-governmental Amecameca and La Compañía River Basin Commission.


For two days, representatives of 51 Mexican non-governmental organisations debated measures to defend water at a meeting in the city of Tlalmanalco, in the state of Mexico, in the centre-south of the country. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

The activist told IPS that “the problem is getting worse, because the current law considers water a commodity. The government subsidises water for the big polluters.”

Monroy was one of the participants in the meeting in Tlalmanalco – which means “place of flat land” in the Nahuatl language – a city of 47,000 people about 50 km southeast of Mexico City.

Encouraged by the importation of natural gas from the United States, the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and private companies are working on the assembly of combined cycle power plants, favoured by the opening of the energy sector to private capital in 2014.

The 2017 report “Neoliberal threat to common goods: national outlook for electricity megaprojects,” prepared by the non-governmental company Geocomunes, indicates that the CFE currently operates at least 27 thermoelectric, combined cycle and turbo-gas power plants, while there are at least 22 others in private hands.

Another 16 plants of this type are currently in the project stage and the CFE is building at least six additional plants that will come into operation in the coming years, according to data from the state agency.

In the second electricity auction, in September 2016, the Mexican government awarded a CFE combined cycle project in the northern state of Sonora and another private project along the border with the United States, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, while in the 2017 electricity auction, two other private facilities were awarded.

By 2017, the autonomous public Energy Regulatory Commission had granted 645 permits for fossil fuel power generation – including combined cycle thermoelectric plants – equivalent to half of the authorised total.

In the first quarter of 2018, combined cycle plants, whose consumption of water for driving steam turbines is unknown, contributed 30,920 MW of the national total of 75,570 MW.

A future water crisis

Several studies predict a water crisis in Mexico by 2040, especially from the centre to the north of the country.

Of the 653 national aquifers, 105 are overexploited. Data from Oxfam Mexico indicate that almost 10 million people, out of the 130 million who live in this country, lack water in their homes, so that using water for generating energy conflicts with these needs.

The last straw for critics was the decision by the government of conservative Enrique Peña Nieto in June to lift the ban on water in 10 of the country’s watersheds to encourage its use for electricity generation, manufacturing, mining, brewing and other industrial uses, which would leave some 51 billion litres of water under concession for 50 years.

In response, communities of indigenous peoples and non-governmental organisations filed 36 applications for a writ of amparo – an action brought to enforce constitutional rights – against the decision: 12 were accepted by the courts, 12 were rejected and 12 are still pending.

In Tamaulipas, “we face the threat of energy projects,” such as hydraulic fracturing, said Ricardo Cruz, a member of that state’s Association of Environmental Lawyers.

This technique, also known as “fracking,” releases large volumes of oil or gas from deep rock by injecting massive amounts of water and chemical additives that pollute the air and water, according to environmentalists.

“We are very alarmed, because it could have a negative impact on health, agriculture and livestock farming,” Cruz told IPS.

For those who attended the workshop, the solution lies in the approval of the citizen-initiated bill on water. To comply with the constitutional reform of 2012 that guarantees the human right of appeal, the government was supposed to endorse new legislation in 2013, a deadline it failed to meet.

Therefore, its promoters will present the initiative next September, when the next Congress, elected in July, begins its session.

“The solution to the megaprojects is the citizen law, because it stipulates that water cannot be used for these megaprojects,” said Peña, in whose region people complain that the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos oil giant intends to exploit gas with fracking, at the expense of people in at least 12 municipalities.

The 2016 report “Territorialisation of energy reform: control of energy exploitation, transport and energy transformation in northeastern Mexico,” by Geocomunes, says the construction of combined cycle plants “weakens the traditional main activity, agriculture,” in San Luis Potosi.

The organisation dedicated to mapping social conflicts also says that state “is consolidating its position as an energy-producing region for the central industrial areas of the country.”

The citizens’ initiative promotes the elimination of the state-owned National Water Commission and its replacement by a National Water Council made up of Regional Basin Councils.

In addition, it creates the Office for the Defence of Water, which has the power to punish anyone who wastes or pollutes water, or uses the resource for agricultural and environmental activities.

“A balance is needed for there to be water for all. Other types of projects are possible, with citizen organisations,” Monroy said.

Cruz concurred with Monroy, saying that “it is important to prioritise and water is not for profit. The goal must be to protect the human right” to water, he said.

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The post Use of Water for Electricity Generation Triggers Outcry in Mexico appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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Eddie Kadi: As a comedian, I can change people's lives

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The cycling start-up company turning trash into cash

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Chairman of the Geneva Centre highlights the need to protect civilians in armed conflicts

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 22:56

Syrian boy brings bread back from underground bakery in severly damaged area of Aleppo. Credit Shelly KittlesonIPS

By Geneva Centre
GENEVA, Aug 17 2018 (Geneva Centre)

On the occasion of the 2018 World Humanitarian Day – observed annually on 19 August -, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim calls for increased solidarity with civilians who are indiscriminately targeted by belligerents in armed conflicts.

In this connection, Dr. Al Qassim referred to the humanitarian situation in Syria that has resulted in immense human suffering. “In Syria, there are more than 5 million and 6 million internally displaced persons and refugees respectively. It is estimated that more than 500.000 civilians have perished as a result of the war. The humanitarian situation in Syria has become the 21st century greatest humanitarian tragedy,” the Geneva Centre’s Chairman said.

Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim

Other countries in the Arab region, such as Yemen, Iraq and Libya, bear witness of the suffering and injustice that is being inflicted on the civilian populations. Armed conflict and violence – Dr. Al Qassim said – is the main cause of the humanitarian suffering and the massive abuses on civilians in times of war. The Geneva Centre’s Chairman stated:

The Arab region is witnessing one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the 21st century. Invasions and the rise of extremist violence have kept peace in jeopardy. Non-violence and lasting peace are key to securing the long-term stability of the Arab region and to promoting a sustainable future.”

To enhance the protection of civilian population, Dr. Al Qassim appealed to decision-makers to meet “funding requirements identified by the UN in relation to addressing the acute humanitarian needs of refugees and people suffering from conflict worldwide.” Providing aid and humanitarian assistance to people in need contributes to alleviate their vulnerability and to become more self-reliant.

The Geneva Centre’s Chairman concluded his statement by saying: “I appeal to the international community to ensure that all parties to a conflict comply with provisions to protect the lives of civilians in line with the provisions set forth in the Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War commonly known as the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“Respect for international law must guide the actions of belligerents in armed conflicts. Widespread crimes against humanity affecting civilians must be condemned uniformly by world leaders regardless of where they take place. Civilians should not bear the burden of the devastating consequences of military conflicts.”

 

The post Chairman of the Geneva Centre highlights the need to protect civilians in armed conflicts appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

SLIDESHOW: Planet Earth, The Only Home We Have

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 19:11

The melting polar ice cap in July 2018, at 80 degrees North, inside the Arctic Circle between Svalbard, Norway and Greenland. Climate change is warming polar regions twice as fast as other parts of the world. Credit: Trevor Page

By Trevor Page
ROME, Aug 17 2018 (IPS)

Climate change is on us. Parts of the planet are burning up. Heatwaves across the northern hemisphere have dried vegetation and withered crops. Forests are ablaze in North America, Europe and Asia – even as far north as the Arctic Circle. The polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Massive storms and floods have devastated communities. Deserts continue relentlessly to encroach. And the extraordinarily hot spells this summer followed on from the extraordinarily cold spells of last winter. In 2018, extreme weather is the order of the day.

It’s not that we haven’t had adequate warning. Climate scientists, the United Nations and its intergovernmental panel on climate change, the IPCC, have been predicting this for decades. But it’s hard to get people to accept something remote in space and time, and whose very livelihood depends on maintaining the status quo. And for many still in denial, climate change is a natural phenomenon that we can’t influence anyway.

Be that as it may, Planet Earth is the only home we have – at least for the present. We must do everything we can to preserve it, lest the natural environment that spawned us be gone forever.

 

All along the Gerlach Strait in Antarctica, snow and ice is melting much faster than in earlier years, and glaciers are receding further. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Glacier in Paradise Bay, Antarctica. Whalers operating in the area in the 1920s named the bay likely for the abundance of whales rather than the natural beauty. Credit: Trevor Page

 

The face of the glacier in Antarctica’s Paradise Bay. The glacier periodically calves huge chunks of ice into the sea. Blue ice in Antarctica can be up to 1 million years old. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Iceberg in Hope Bay, Antarctica. Over 90% of an iceberg’s volume (and mass) is underwater. Icebergs that calve from glaciers on land cause sea levels to rise. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Gullfoss waterfall on the Hvita river in southwest Iceland. Although most of Iceland’s electricity comes from hydropower, the country has been able to strike a balance between renewable energy for industrial use and the conservation of nature. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Wildfire damage in Glacier National Park, USA. The summer heatwave across the globe has helped the spread of wildfires from Canada and the USA to Sweden as far north as the Arctic Circle, to Greece and Japan. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Ranching in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.Still small, growing numbers are favouring organically grown food and sustainable agricultural practices over factory farming. Credit: Trevor Page

 

Huangshan or the Yellow Mountain in China’s Anhui Province. The natural beauty of rock formations, lush green pine trees and a sea of cloud has inspired countless painters and poets over the ages. Credit: Trevor Page

 

The post SLIDESHOW: Planet Earth, The Only Home We Have appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Trevor Page is a writer and photographer living in Alberta, Canada. His op-eds and articles, often illustrated by his own photographs, have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic on-line and in numerous books. Mr. Page is a former director of emergency humanitarian assistance for the World Food Programme and WFP Country Director is several African, Asian and Caribbean countries.

The post SLIDESHOW: Planet Earth, The Only Home We Have appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

Gervinho: Parma sign Ivory Coast forward for Serie A return

BBC Africa - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:49
Italian side Parma have signed Gervinho on a three-year contract after Hebei China Fortune agreed to release the former Arsenal forward.
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Morocco World Cup youngster Hamza Mendyl joins Schalke

BBC Africa - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:32
Young Morocco World Cup defender Hamza Mendyl joins German club Schalke from French side Lille on a five-year deal.
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UN Agencies, Government Distribute LPG Stoves to Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Villagers to Save Remaining Forests

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:09

UN agencies and Bangladesh government launch alternative fuel project in Cox’s Bazar to help reduce deforestation linked to Rohingya crisis. Photos: Patrick Shepherd FAO/IOM

By International Organization for Migration
Cox’s Bazar, Aug 17 2018 (IOM)

A major environmental project to provide around 250,000 families with liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and gas cylinders has been launched by UN agencies and the government in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to help prevent further deforestation linked to the Rohingya refugee crisis.

At the official launch of phase one of the project yesterday (16/08), over 300 local villagers identified by local officials as extremely vulnerable and in need of support were the first to receive stove and gas sets. Thousands more will be distributed to Rohingya refugees and other host community families over the coming months.

The alternative fuel initiative is being organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), working closely with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MODMR) and Commissioner for Refugee Repatriation and Relief (RRRC).

The launch was attended by senior Bangladeshi officials including Commissioner for Refugee Repatriation and Relief Mohammad Abul Kalam, Divisional Commissioner for Chittagong Mohammad Abdul Mannan, and Deputy Commissioner for Cox’s Bazar Mohammad Kamal Hossain.

Cox’s Bazar was home to significant areas of protected forest and an important wildlife habitat. But the arrival of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar over the past year led to massive deforestation as desperate families cut down trees and cleared land to make space for makeshift shelters.

With refugees and many local villagers almost entirely reliant on firewood for cooking, that damage has continued, and forest is being cleared at a rate of 700 metric tonnes – the equivalent of around four football fields of trees – each day. If cutting continues at the current rate, the area’s forest will be completely destroyed by the end of 2019, according to UN estimates.

“This is a vitally important project which will not only help mitigate and redress deforestation and environmental damage but will also play an important role in improving health and safety in the local and refugee communities,” said Sanjukta Sahany, head of IOM’s transition and recovery team in Cox’s Bazar.

Smoke from firewood being burned in homes and shelters without proper ventilation is a significant cause of health problems, particularly among women and young children, who spend much of their time indoors.

The reliance on firewood has also raised protection concerns, with most wood collection being carried out by children, who have had to venture further from homes to find wood, as the forest has been cut back. Competition for this increasingly rare resource is also a growing source of conflict between the refugees and local communities.

“By curbing the extraction of firewood from the remaining forests, it allows us to protect, re-enter and replant,” explained Peter Agnew, FAO’s emergency response coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. He noted that the alternative fuel project is part of the wider SAFE Plus project, which is designed to improve economic livelihoods for host communities, and in turn overall food security, as well as the resilience of the refugees, by empowering them through skills development.

“Over the next three years, several thousand people from the local and refugee communities will have livelihood opportunities working on forest rehabilitation with the SAFE Plus project, in coordination with the forestry department,” he said.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int

The post UN Agencies, Government Distribute LPG Stoves to Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Villagers to Save Remaining Forests appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

Fifa rejects Nigeria call for talks as Giwa stands firm

BBC Africa - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:58
Fifa rejects calls from the Nigerian government for a meeting to discuss questions over who runs the football federation with Chris Giwa refusing to give up his claims.
Categories: Africa

Take Charge of Your Food: Your Health is Your Business

Africa - INTER PRESS SERVICE - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:22

Credit: IPS

By Sunita Narain
NEW DELHI, Aug 17 2018 (IPS)

The minimum we expect from the government is to differentiate between right and wrong. But when it comes to regulating our food, it’s like asking for too much. Our latest investigation vouches for this. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)’s pollution monitoring laboratory tested 65 samples of processed food for presence of genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

The results are both bad and somewhat good. Of the food samples tested, some 32 per cent were positive for GM markers. That’s bad. What’s even worse is that we found GM in infant food, which is sold by US pharma firm, Abbott Laboratories, for toddlers with ailments; in one case it was for lactose intolerant infants and the other hypoallergenic—for minimising possibility of allergic reaction.

Sunita Narain. Credit: Center for Science and Education

In both cases, there was no warning label on GM ingredients. One of the health concerns of GM food is that it could lead to allergic reactions. In 2008 (updated in 2012), the Indian Council of Medical Research issued guidelines for determining safety of such food, as it cautioned that “there is a possibility of introducing unintended changes, along with intended changes which may in turn have an impact on the nutritional status or health of the consumer”.

This is why Australia, Brazil, the European Union and others regulate GM in food. People are concerned about the possible toxicity of eating this food. They want to err on the side of caution. Governments ensure they have the right to choose.

The partial good news is that majority of the food that tested GM positive was imported. India is still more or less GM-free. The one food that did test positive is cottonseed edible oil. This is because Bt-cotton is the only GM crop that has been allowed for cultivation in India.

This should worry us. First, no permission has ever been given for the use of GM cottonseed oil for human consumption. Second, cottonseed oil is also mixed in other edible oils, particularly in vanaspati.

Under whose watch is GM food being imported? The law is clear on this. The Environment Protection Act strictly prohibits import, export, transport, manufacture, process, use or sale of any genetically engineered organisms except with the approval of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

In fact, they will say, there is no GM food in India. But that’s the hypocrisy of our regulators–make a law, but then don’t enforce it. On paper it exists; we are told, don’t worry. But worry we must.

The 2006 Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) reiterates this and puts the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in charge of regulating use. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011 mandate that GM must be declared on the food package and the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act 1992 says that GM food cannot be imported without the permission of GEAC. The importer is liable to be prosecuted under the Act for violation.

Laws are not the problem, but the regulatory agencies are. Till 2016, GEAC was in charge–the FSSAI said it did not have the capacity to regulate this food. Now the ball is back in FSSAI’s court. They will all tell you that no permission has been given to import GM food.

In fact, they will say, there is no GM food in India. But that’s the hypocrisy of our regulators–make a law, but then don’t enforce it. On paper it exists; we are told, don’t worry. But worry we must.

So, everything we found is illegal with respect to GM ingredients. The law is clear about this. Our regulators are clueless. So, worry. Get angry. It’s your food. It’s about your health.

What next? In 2018, FSSAI has issued a draft notification on labelling, which includes genetically modified food. It says that any food that has total GM ingredients 5 per cent or more should be labelled and that this GM ingredient shall be the top three ingredients in terms of percentage in the product.

But there is no way that government can quantify the percentage of GM ingredients in the food—this next level of tests is prohibitively expensive. We barely have the facilities. So, it is a clean chit to companies to “self-declare”. They can say what they want. And get away.

The same FSSAI has issued another notification (not draft anymore) on organic food. In this case, it says that it will have to be mandatorily “certified” that it does not contain residues of insecticides. So, what is good needs to be certified that it is safe.

What is bad, gets a clean bill of health. Am I wrong in asking: whose interests are being protected? So, take charge of your food. Your health is your business.

The post Take Charge of Your Food: Your Health is Your Business appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Sunita Narain is Director-General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) & Editor of Down to Earth magazine in New Delhi

The post Take Charge of Your Food: Your Health is Your Business appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Categories: Africa

Liberia call up Newcastle under-23 player Mohammed Sangare

BBC Africa - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:00
Liberia call-up Newcastle United's under-23 player Mohammed Sangare for next month's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against DR Congo.
Categories: Africa

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