Stevia: a case of biopiracy

The Guaraní people demand a fair share of this sweet business

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Yesterday‘s meeting convened by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Abuja, Nigeria, saw major steps towards the improvement of fuel quality in West Africa. Following Ghana’s announcement in November, Nigeria, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo also announced to lower sulphur limits for imported diesel to 50 ppm (parts per million). The controversy caused by Public Eye‘s «Dirty Diesel» report has led to yet another important step towards cleaner air in African cities. In the Netherlands, the city council of Amsterdam has called for a ban on the production and export of fuels containing harmful substances. 

Media

 — "Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast to block imports from oil companies and traders of diesel with sulphur levels many times European limit", The Guardian writes. 

Public Eye

 — For around fifty years, the non-governmental organisation Public Eye has offered a critical analysis of the impact that Switzerland, and its companies, has on poorer countries. 

 — The Swiss Federal Council does not want to make the commodities trade more transparent and exempts it from new provisions on payments to governments adopted today as part of the revision of Swiss company law, thereby completely misreading the signs of the times. In other countries, meanwhile, the broadening of transparency laws is already well underway. 

 — The Guarani that discovered stevia's sweetening properties do not receive any share of the benefits arising from of its commercial use, in clear breach of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol. While the indigenous peoples are reclaiming their rights, the Basel-based company Evolva indicated its willingness to negotiate an agreement with the Guarani. Nestlé, meanwhile, 

 — Flanked by a container full of dirty air from Ghana's capital Accra, Public Eye in Geneva today handed Trafigura a petition signed by almost 20'000 people asking the commodities giant to stop selling 

 — The container filled with dirty air that Public Eye is returning to the sender Trafigura has arrived in Antwerp. The “Return to Sender” campaign has drawn attention to the illegitimate business 

 — The Swiss Responsible Business Initiative has be presented to the Swiss authorities. The 80 civil society organizations supporting the initiative share one common goal: Swiss quality must incorporate 

 — Today, the “Irenes Rainbow” leaves the Port of Accra and sets course for Antwerp. On board is a container labelled “Return to Sender” which Public Eye and its African partner organizations plan to 

 — "Dirty Diesel", a report published by Public Eye today, reveals how Swiss commodity trading firms exploit lax regulatory standards to sell African customers fuel with high sulfur content. Produced by 

 — After our 2013 investigations in Russia, Ukraine, India and Argentina, Public Eye (formerly the Berne Declaration) investigated in 2016 into the clinical trial offshoring in Egypt. Our research work