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Parliamentary Experience with IKS Bill

Ronald Gibson in Parliament

 

My Parliamentary Experience with the IKS Bill

 

FB 20.02.2017:
Our government caught lying, AGAIN. As you know, I have taken interest in the IKS Bill now passing through parliament, as I am in opposition to it in my private capacity, as well as a member of the Traditional and Natural health Alliance. In this regard I submitted a letter in opposition of this Bill to parliament which I also posted online, and attended the hearings on 26 January 2017 in support of the TNHA. As no written or audio feedback is available on the parliamentary website of those in opposition, I downloaded the audio of the DTS response to the submissions.

I was gobsmacked to hear that apparently they assessed that no opposition to the Bill was tabled, despite myself and other witnessing parties sitting there in the Old Assembly, listening to people voice their opposition. Apparently I had smoked something that did not agree with my senses, or the information contained in the documents sent to the Parliamentary secretary had magically changed its own contents. It now makes sense why no transcript or audio of day 3 is available for the record.

Now I also understand the puzzling episode that took place at the end of the day where the honorable Mr Koornhof requested a summary of the opinion of those stakeholders that had made presentations throughout the day as to their level of support. Dr Anthony Rees was pointedly ignored despite repeated attempts at drawing the Chair's attention, this after having his presentation slashed from 50 minutes to 25, whereas those in the previous 2 days had their full allotted time. Mr Koornhof made a point of it to ignore the representative of the TNHA, as this would have been the only coherent opposition that rejected the Bill in full. This I would expect from an ANC representative on the Committee, but did not expect the DA and other parties to stay silent on the matter, or not correct the record as to the opposition presented. It must take a special kind of psychopath to pull the wool over the eyes of the people on a daily basis, get paid handsomely to do so, and then still sleep at night.

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The reason we have been to Parliament

 
 the ownership rights to own patents on natural occurring molecules.
As I have indicated before, the South African government and its sponsors have created a brilliantly devious tool in the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill to circumvent restrictive patent laws in order to gain full and exclusive rights to indigenous knowledge on our plant species, but not restricted to plants.
The rest of Africa is also being threatened through the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), and its 25 member countries, and the Arusha Protocol for the protection of new variety of plants. This has already placed Tanzanian farmers in the position of being jailed for 3 years and/or fined €225,000 for selling or trading unregistered(traditional wild type) seeds. At present only GMO seed companies could afford registering their seed in Tanzania.
The jump from registered food crop seeds to registered medicinal GMO plant seeds is but a pen stroke away. What is notable in the wording of many of these protocols, is that they insist that their rules and regulations should supersede the constitution of member countries. Lekker, ne?
This Forbes article indicates the push to relax patent law in the USA, and the funding to lobbyists. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisversace/2015/08/18/patent-reform-should-not-bailout-big-drug-companies/#45208b2941a5
 
 

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FB 30.01.2017

#Boererate#TraditionalHealers#Natural Healing Oil Products in Parliament on 26 January 2017, assisting and supporting the TNHA to fight for YOUR rights.
Full article regarding natural medicine and traditional modalities and healers:

 

TNHA PARLIAMENTARY UPDATE - The TNHA participated in the Public Hearings on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill (IKS Bill) in Parliament this past Thursday. The IKS Bill, tabled by the National Department of Science and Technology last year is now in its second draft. The TNHA and its alliance partners have all reject this Bill, which nationalizes indigenous medicinal plants proven to be used traditionally for medicine, by allowing a new agency called the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office (NIKSO) to become the sole trustee and licence holder (Section 14) to them and their potential commercial exploitation.

The Bill does not clearly elaborate what criteria will be used to prove traditional ownership by communities. The knowledge of plants used as medicine in African traditional medicine, unlike other forms of traditional medicine around the world, were passed down by oral tradition and not in the written form. This makes it virtually impossible for communities to prove long-term use in order to make claim to this knowledge.

In terms of Section 33 of the Bill, indigenous communities have only 12 months to lodge their IKS claims, failing which they will not have a historical claim and enjoy benefit sharing if they are commercially exploited.

In terms of the Bill (Sections 14 and 15), traditional healers will be forced to obtain a licence to practice their ancient science and art of traditional medicine, by forcing them to register with the NIKSO. If they don't they may face hefty fines, or serve up to three years of imprisonment. Individual healers will also have to obtain permission (a licence) to utilise any medicinal plants licensed by the NIKSO or face similar fines and criminal sanction.

This is despite government already establishing a Traditional Health Practitioners Council in terms of Act 22 of 2007 which accredits, registers and regulates the practice of healers.

We see this Bill in its current form as a major threat to the ongoing practice of African traditional medicine by over 200 000 traditional healers and the creation of mechanisms for Pharmaceutical and BioTech companies to expropriate our rich botanical and indigenous knowledge resources with little to no acknowledgement or benefit to the our indigenous communities.

To read our written submission, click on this link: http://www.naturalhealthalliance.co.za/TNHA%20Submission-IKSBILLfinal.pdf

http://www.parliament.gov.za/content/b%206%20-%202016%20(protection,%20promotion,%20development%20and%20managment%20of%20indigenous%20knowledge%20systems).pdf

 

 

 

 

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