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Stevia-Derived Sweeteners Violate Indigenous Rights

A new report, published by a coalition of NGOs and scientific institutions (1), shows that the current hype around Stevia results in the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, misleading marketing, and controversial synthetic biology. The basis for all the current commercialization of Stevia-derived sweeteners comes from the traditional knowledge of the impoverished Guaraní people in Paraguay and Brazil. In spite of this, the Guaraní have neither given their consent for the use of their knowledge, nor have they received any benefit-sharing as stipulated by the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol. 

Switzerland Must Seize Opportunity for Commodity Trading Transparency

 — Switzerland, the world’s leading commodity trading hub, must pave the way for more transparency in natural resource payments. The Swiss government should alter its course and include commodity trading in a pending transparency law. Furthermore, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) must improve its requirements around commodity trading at its Berne meetings, which starts today. 

H&M Fails to Honor Commitment to Make Fire and Building Safety Repairs in Bangladesh

 — H&M is dramatically behind schedule in correcting the dangers faced by the Bangladeshi workers who produce its clothing, according to a report published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), and Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). 

Analysis of How UPOV and WIPO Affect Farmers Rights

 — “Farmers’ rights” is a core component of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (hereafter referred to as “the Treaty”), and as such its
full implementation is a prerequisite for achieving the Treaty’s objectives. It is enshrined in the Treaty’s Article 9. However, there is much concern that the activities of UPOV and WIPO are not supportive of farmers’ 

Largest Swiss refinery purchases gold extracted by children

 — How can it be that every year Switzerland imports tonnes of gold from Togo, a non-producer country? The report “A Golden Racket”, published today by the Berne Declaration, reveals that this gold comes from artisanal mines in Burkina Faso, where it is extracted under abysmal conditions, by adults and children alike. It is then smuggled over the border to Togo, imported into Switzerland by a 

The listing of a highly hazardous Paraquat formulation blocked

 — At the 7th Conference of Parties of the Rotterdam Convention, being held in Geneva from May 12th to 15th, once again India and Guatemala now with Indonesia blocked the listing of Paraquat (20%). The 

Paraquat in India: Untenable risk for farmer and workers

 — A new report published today shows that the herbicide paraquat is widely used under high–risk conditions in India. Rules and recommendations are often ignored, and users have no means to protect 

Global Business? Global Responsibility!

 — Swiss companies that threaten human rights and the environment through their economic activities abroad must take responsibility. This is the message with which a broad coalition launches the 

Conservative backlash blocks increased corporate accountability

 — Following a turbulent debate, the Swiss lower chamber of parliament initially accepted a motion yesterday for increased corporate accountability only to repeat the vote and ultimately dismiss the 

Abacha funds: catastrophic repatriation by Swiss authorities

 — A secret agreement reported yesterday by the Swiss news outlet L’Hebdo sheds light on the more than problematic restitution of the blocked funds of former Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha. The agreement 

Congolese oil wealth squandered in Geneva

 — An investigation conducted by the Berne Declaration (BD) reveals how Philia, a Swiss trader, has been profiting at the expense of the Congolese state-owned oil refinery, Coraf. Coraf is managed by the