Food and Agriculture: FAO, CGIAR, CFS

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO): FAO is a United Nations specialized agency which mandate is ti raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. ETC Group relates primarily to the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and the negotiations for a multilateral system of conservation and exchange of genetic resources for food and agriculture, known as the International Treaty on Plant and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Aside from responsibility for the International Treaty, the FAO Commission oversees the FAO-CGIAR Trust Agreement and provides policy oversight for the germplasm collections included in that agreement.

FAO Website: http://www.fao.org/index_en.htm

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is an informal network of 16 international agricultural research centres which manages aprroximately 600,000 agricultural seed samples. It is the most influential agricultural research body in the South, and thus affects food and agricultural development policies for resource-poor farmers worldwide. In 1994, most of the crop germplasm held in CGIAR gene banks was placed under the auspices of the FAO, to be held in trust by the world community. ETC is engaged in ongoing work related to the science, governance and patent policies of the CGIAR.

CGIAR Website: http://www.cgiar.org/

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS): Intense negotiations and strong pressure from ETC Group and many long-standing allies led, in October 2009, to the reorganization of the UN Committee on Food Security (CFS) to become the Rome-based acknowledged intergovernmental policy and program forum for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Program (WFP) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). In the new CFS structure, civil society organizations  now have a unique, formally-recognized role that allows us to participate with the same status as governments in all meetings and negotiations although we are not allowed to vote. 

CFS Website: http://www.fao.org/cfs/en/

News/Press Release

Coming in at over 200 pages, today’s National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, 'Gene Drives on the Horizon’ is weighty but disappointing. It fails to properly address three of the most pressing issues raised by the controversial new technology of CRISPR-CAS9 gene drives. Dubbed, the ‘mutagenic chain reaction’ by its inventors, RNA-guided gene drives are a high-leverage synthetic biology technology invented only last year.

News/Press Release

Paris, 27th November 2015 – Some of the world’s largest agro-industrial corporations will be flying the flag for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ at the upcoming Climate Summit. They will claim that hi-tech crops and intensive industrial agriculture are needed to rescue farmers (and the hungry) from a warming world – a claim widely dismissed by peasant movements and civil society groups.

Report

Many of the world's largest agro-industrial corporations are pushing forward the poorly-defined idea of "Climate-Smart Agriculture"(CSA) to re-market industrial agriculture as 'climate-ready'. This report uncovers how some advocates of CSA are embracing the extreme genetic engineering tools of synthetic biology ("Syn Bio") to develop a set of false solutions to the climate crisis.

The 20-page report includes:

Article

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas seems to be an apt place to launch a risky corporate gamble that could destroy the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers.