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07.09.2007 |

Philippine court curbs genetically modified rice

Environmentalists have won a legal skirmish in their campaign to stop the propagation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last week Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court granted an application filed by Greenpeace and other groups for a temporary restraining order against the genetically modified rice Bayer LL62. [...] The injunction petition, which Greenpeace filed August 23, questions the lack of public voice and public consultation on GMO approvals by DA and BPI, particularly in the case of Bayer LL62’s application.

”Greenpeace believes that the pending application of a genetically-altered rice to be used for food, feed, and processing in our country is a very serious issue of public concern,” said Daniel Ocampo, the environment group’s genetic engineering campaigner in Southeast Asia. ”If the application is approved, the entry of GMO rice in our country will irrevocably alter the future of our most important staple food.”

07.09.2007 |

U.S. biotech crop rules get rewrite

A process aimed at revising the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been launched by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). But critics fear the changes will not go far enough to protect the environment and public health. The USDA is one of three US agencies responsible for regulating GMOs, along with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. A draft environmental-impact statement released in July gives the first glimpses of how the USDA rules might change. It proposes to expand its authority from plants that might endanger other plants to "the full range of potential agricultural and environmental risks posed by these organisms, including risks to public health".

07.09.2007 |

Romania‘s Agriculture Ministry denies Greenpeace accusations on GMOs

The Agriculture Ministry announced on Thursday that all allegations of Greenpeace officials regarding the growth of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the Braila Great Island (Insula Mare a Brailei). Greenpeace militants announced that the ministry ignores the GMO soy and corn crops and refuses to destroy the cultures. After first responding that destroying the cultures is a responsibility of the Environment Guard, the Agriculture Ministry returned and added that their official tests revealed the absence of any GMO crops on Insula Mare a Brailei. Even more, the officials accused Greenpeace of damaging Romania’s image.

05.09.2007 |

Swiss authorities give GM wheat trials the green light

The Federal Environment Office has given Swiss scientists the go-ahead to carry out crop trials involving genetically modified (GM) wheat. It said on Tuesday that two teams could carry out three GM field experiments near Zurich and Lausanne, including observations of potential crossbreeding between wheat and wild grass, but only under ”very strict conditions”. [...] The researchers say they will not be developing a product for the market and want to find out if GM wheat plants that have already been tested in laboratories, which show resistance to fungal diseases, behave similarly in normal agricultural conditions.

04.09.2007 |

National GMO law: Greenpeace defends Poland against challenge by European Commission

Greenpeace yesterday made a legal submission to the European Commission arguing that Poland’s draft national legislation on the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is consistent with the relevant EU law. Greenpeace made its submission in the context of a formal European Commission notification procedure on the draft Polish law. This procedure could represent the first step of a challenge by the EU Executive of the Polish national GMO law.

28.08.2007 |

Chile transparency law just a fig-leaf, says critic

Government spokesman Ricardo Lagos Weber announced Wednesday that Chile will soon have a new law guaranteeing citizen access to information. [...] ”Chile is pushing for the new transparency law as part of its bid to join the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” said critic Miguel Fredes, an environmental attorney who is suing Chile’s government to get access to public papers. [...] Fredes first became interested in Chile’s transparency and public access policies when he requested the names of the companies producing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the locations where the GMOs were growing. ”The government refused to give me the information, saying that the names could harm the interest and the secret business policies of the GMO companies,” said Fredes.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: News from Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia

The Tasmanian Greens today called on the State Government to release any research it had done into the national and international marketing benefits to the State’s Brand and economy of the current moratorium on genetically engineered food crops, following assertions by pro-GE advocates that the moratorium has not benefited farmers.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: Two farmer groups supporting the GE canola moratoria

The BFA group, Australia’s largest representative body of more than 1700 certified organic farmers, has lodged a submission today to the SA, NSW & Victorian Governments reviewing the moratoriums prohibiting planting of genetically engineered (GE) canola. ”The BFA submission comprehensively makes the case for continuing the moratoria on the planting of GE crops in Australia”, said Scott Kinnear spokesperson.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: Critical voices on the pro-GMO campaign

Most Australian states have started reviews of their 2004 GM Acts which carry a de facto moratorium on growing genetically modified (GM) crops. The pro-GM lobby has responded with an orchestrated campaign. [...] Australian State governments been caught up in a religious type rapture over biotech promises of silver bullets. They have become naïve investors seemingly unaware of biotech economic strategies. Industry lobbyists such the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and its PR arm the Australian Environment Foundation have egged them on.

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