Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


15.02.2010 |

Five-Year Ban on GMOs in Bulgaria

Sofia, 12.02.2010

The Environment and Water Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament yesterday (February 11) agreed a five-year ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The final approval of the bill which will be voted by the Bulgarian National Assembly in a second reading is scheduled for next week.

The ban follows a wave of protests last two months in which farmers, NGOs, consumers' and mothers' initiative groups came together in five different cities of the country - Sofia, Ruse, Varna, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo. More than fifteen thousand signatures were collected supporting the petition "GM- free Bulgaria" and another five thousand demanding a ban on the maize hybrid MON810. The Prime Minister Boiko Borisov received two thousand postcards painted by children appealing to him to keep Bulgaria GMO free.

The Environment and Water Committee accepted new texts in the GMO act which were proposed by NGOs: the demand that owners and tenants of agricultural land located next to farms planting GM crops should expressly grant their permission; bigger distances for fields neighbouring with GM cultivated land, etc

With its adoption of this ban on the cultivation of GMOs in Bulgaria the National Assembly has shown that it listens to the demands of the Bulgarian people. The enormous interest demonstrated by the public and the media in Bulgaria has increased the level of knowledge in the country about genetically modified crops and from now on people will follow very carefully every political step made in the field of genetic engineering for agriculture. Yet the doubts for inconsistent politics remain with the refusal of the Ministry of Agriculture to support the organic farming" said Svetla Nikolova, chair of AGROLINK.

Contact: Svetla Nikolova

AGROLINK Association, +359 888 359 239


12.02.2010 |

Italian court overturns national GE crop ban

The highest appeals court in Italy has overturned a standing ban on the cultivation of genetically modified plants. The Ministry of Agriculture and a majority of the population seem otherwise inclined. According to London weekly Agra Europe, the highest court in Italy has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to allow the planting of genetically modified (GM) maize.

02.11.2009 |

Turkey bans imports of biotech products

Turkey, the 27th largest export market for all U.S. goods, issued a new regulation placing additional requirements on all food and feed products containing genetically enhanced components. This new regulation essentially came without warning, according to U.S. Grains Council Regional Director in the Middle East and Subcontinent Joe O’Brien. ”This ban came at us pretty much out of the blue,” he said.

11.09.2009 |

Seed company Monsanto plans deeper staff cuts

Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed maker, said Thursday it plans to make deeper work force cuts than previously announced, saying it will reduce its staff by about 8 percent to cut costs. The St. Louis-based company also said its 2009 earnings would come in at the low end of its previous forecast due in part to weaker than expected results from Roundup and other herbicides. Its shares tumbled $4.18, or 5 percent, to close at $79.30 Thursday.

11.09.2009 |

Poll: Anti-GMO sentiment could affect German parliamentary votes

With the election for the German parliament looming on September 27, a recent poll suggests that political parties that don’t support agribiotech have a better chance of pulling in the votes. According to a fresh poll, about 65% of Germans are opposed to genetic engineering in food plants. [...] 41% of the 1003 surveyed poeple said that they would not vote for a political party that supports agri-biotechnology.

10.09.2009 |

EU Commission considers to give more freedom in banning GE crops

The European Commission is considering allowing member states to ban EU-approved GM crops. Commission President José Manuel Barroso wants to ”look at whether we can give the member states more freedom on this issue,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel yesterday during the Agriculture Council in Brussels. She added that she would support these ideas, and also advocated speeding up market approval for new GM maize lines to lift trade barriers that have a emerged as a result of asynchronous approval of GMOs in the EU and in GMO export countries.

09.09.2009 |

Genetically modified food sold unlabelled in Israel

Do you know what you’re eating? You may well not. Agricultural products that underwent genetic engineering are sold in Israel without any marking to inform consumers, according to Milouda Quality Control Laboratories, which was testing food products containing soybeans. [...] Milouda commented that its main function is to test foodstuffs slated for export to Europe.

08.09.2009 |

Der alte und neue EU-Kommissionspräsident Barroso.

Nationale Anbauverbote für Gentechnik-Pflanzen rücken näher

Die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten können in Zukunft eventuell selbst über den Anbau von Gentechnik-Pflanzen entscheiden. Diese Aussicht unterstreichen Aussagen der EU-Agrar-Kommissarin Mariann Fischer Boel gestern in Brüssel. Bisher werden Gentechnik-Pflanzen auf EU-Ebene zugelassen. Die Mitgliedsstaaten müssen sich nach den Entscheidungen richten, egal ob es um den Anbau oder die Einfuhr von Gentechnik-Pflanzen geht. Laut Fischer Boel erwägt Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso nun, ob man den Mitgliedstaaten in dieser Frage mehr Freiheit geben kann. Aus den Mitgliedsstaaten kam in den letzten Jahren immer mehr Widerstand gegen die Anbauzulassung des MON 810. Bereits fünf europäische Staaten haben den Gentechnik-Mais u.a. mit Hilfe einer Schutzklausel in Eigenregie verboten. Seitdem sich im März dann der Ministerrat mehrheitlich gegen die Aufhebung der Verbote ausgesprochen hatte, rumort es in der EU. Die Kommission strebt nun offenbar eine Lösung an, die Kritiker wie Befürworter zufrieden stellen soll. Denn neben der Möglichkeit der nationalen Anbauverbote gibt es gleichzeitig Bestrebungen, die Zulassung von weiteren Gentechnik-Pflanzen, insbesondere für den Import von Futtermitteln, zu erleichtern.

Die SPD begrüßt die Überlegungen der EU-Kommission. Nur die Mitgliedsstaaten selbst könnten anhand der lokalen Gegebenheiten beurteilen und entscheiden, ob der Anbau Risiken birgt, so die stellvertretende verbraucherpolitische Sprecherin der SPD-Bundestagsfraktion Elvira Drobinski-Weiß.

07.08.2009 |

Survey to gauge public opinion on GMOs in Northern New Zealand

A telephone survey is set to gauge public opinion on genetically modified organisms. The survey will be asking whether ratepayers are satisfied with current national regulation by central government agencies, Environmental Risk Management Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries – under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. Or whether people would like local councils to regulate genetically modified organisms in some way.


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