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06.05.2009 |

More GM maize planted in SA according to Monsanto

Plantings of genetically modified (GM) maize in South Africa have increased dramatically, agriculture company Monsanto said on Tuesday. Of the white maize planted in the Delmas, Nigel and Leandra in Mpumalanga 74 percent was GM and of the yellow maize 67 percent, Kobus Steenekamp, biotechnology and chemical products manager said a statement on Tuesday. While unable to give comparative figures, he said they had been ”substantially” lower in the previous year.

06.05.2009 |

News on the Vatican‘ GE crop conference

”There is a lot of propaganda being used by the two sides,” Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the academy’s chancellor, told [...] The majority of the 41 speakers listed on the academy’s Web site support the use of modified crops for boosting food production and the creation of new sources of energy from nonfood crops. The bishop said that’s because there are very few scientists who oppose the use of genetically modified organisms.

06.05.2009 |

NAFTA harming Mexico corn industry

Several interviews were broadcast on U.S. television news services that highlighted the fact that Mexican farmers cannot compete with subsidized corn imported from the U.S. These farmers were forced to move into makeshift dwellings in the shadows of Mexico City. As advocates for family farmers, in the U.S. and abroad, the American Agriculture Movement has worked to make this catastrophe known and has worked with Congress in an attempt to correct the injustice for many years.

06.05.2009 |

Pakistan to focus on GE crops to increase output

Pakistan would have to focus on genetically modified and hybrid crops to tap true potential of agricultural productivity in the country in the shortest possible time. This was the upshot of speeches made at a seminar on Challenges and Opportunities in Agbiotec in Pakistan. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Ahmad Ali Aulakh, LCCI President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and former LCCI Vice President Shahzad Ali Malik threw light on the issues being faced by the agricultural sector in Pakistan.

06.05.2009 |

Monsanto sues DuPont for Roundup patent infringement

US biotech firm Monsanto announced Tuesday it filed suit against chemical giant DuPont alleging infringement of its patents for ”Roundup Ready” herbicide-resistant crops. The suit filed in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, names EI du Pont de Nemours and Company and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International for ”unlawful use of Monsanto’s proprietary Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant technologies in soybeans and corn.”

05.05.2009 |

Mais im September 2
Maiskolben (Photo:Simone Knorr)

Gericht bestätigt MON 810-Verbot

Der Gentechnik-Mais MON 810 bleibt verboten. Das Verwaltungsgericht Braunschweig hat gestern den Eilantrag von Monsanto abgelehnt. Die Richter begründen das Urteil folgendermaßen: "Nach vorläufiger Prüfung bestehe eine Gefahrenlage, wie sie das Gentechnikgesetz für ein solches Verbot verlange. Es genüge, wenn sich aus neuen oder zusätzlichen Informationen Anhaltspunkte dafür ergeben, dass Menschen oder Tiere geschädigt werden können. Es gebe zwar keine gesicherten Erkenntnisse darüber, dass der Genmais zu erhöhten Gefahren für die Umwelt führe. Neuere Untersuchungen könnten jedoch darauf hindeuten, dass der im Genmais produzierte Giftstoff nicht nur gegen den Schädling wirke, der damit bekämpft werden solle, sondern auch gegen weitere Insekten. Außerdem sei nach aktuellen Studien davon auszugehen, dass sich die Genmais-Pollen deutlich weiter verbreiten können, als dies bisher angenommen wurde." Monsanto ist enttäuscht und will den Einsatz von weiteren Rechtsmitteln prüfen, bestätigte Ursula Lüttmer-Ouazane, Geschäftsführerin Monsanto Agrar Deutschland. Da Monsanto ein Eilverfahren wegen der baldigen Aussaat von Mais beantragt hatte, ist diese Entscheidung vorläufig. Monsanto kann beim Niedersächsischen Oberverwaltungsgericht in Lüneburg Beschwerde einreichen. Die endgültige Entscheidung wird im Hauptsacheverfahren getroffen.

In Frankreich, wo der Anbau des MON 810 auch verboten ist, hatte Monsanto letztes Jahr ebenso versucht, das Verbot im Eilverfahren zu kippen. Die Richter bestätigten jedoch auch dort die Rechtmäßigkeit des Verbots.

29.04.2009 |

Indian non-hybrid Bt cotton seeds ready for distribution in four states

After ten long years of research punctuated with technical delays, the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) in Nagpur is ready with 20,000 packets of desi Bt cotton seeds for distribution to farmers starting next month. The Bikaneri Narma (BN Bt), as it is called, is a variety and not a hybrid which was the only option available to farmers till date. [...] The seeds will be available for Rs 200 per 2 kg bag as against Rs 750 per 450 gm bag of hybrids currently sold by national and multinational companies like Mahyco, Rasi, Ankur and Nuziveedu.

29.04.2009 |

Is the UK ready to rethink its stance on GM?

Faced with climate change and a global population pushing seven billion, we need serious solutions, says ecologist Rosie Hails. And like it or not, she thinks scientists, politicians and the public need to reconsider GM. [...] we need a change in legislation. Current environmental laws have many strengths but focus on risks and do not consider benefits.

29.04.2009 |

Transgenic seeds in developing countries – experience, challenges, perspectives

Due to insufficient data, it is currently impossible to carry out a final evaluation of the size and distribution of profits in terms of business and economics which have been achieved by cultivating transgenic plants in developing and emerging countries. Studies which claim to be able to do this are not backed up scientifically and are based on unstable projections. Even the case studies from China and Brazil could not improve this situation: The studies published to date on the economic results of Bt cotton cultivation in China are, for instance, based on the data from just a few years and just a few hundred hectares (out of an overall acreage of 5.5 million hectares) and demonstrate enormous fluctuations; for Brazil, no publications at all exist on the cultivation results, only estimations.

14.04.2009 |

Germany bans GM maize Mon 810

German Agricultural Minister Ilse Aigner today announced an immediate ban on the cultivation of "Mon 810" the only GM maize variety presently approved for cultivation in the EU. The ban, only days before sowing season starts, follows five other EU member states bans.

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