Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


09.12.2008 |

European starch industry demands swift approval of GE potatoes

The leading European potato starch companies AVEBE, Emsland-Stärke, and Lyckeby Industrial demand the use of innovative technologies in agriculture. According to the starch producers, genetically optimized starch potatoes like Amflora from BASF Plant Science are good examples for such innovations. Their request has been prompted by the recent EU Commission decision from November 20, 2008 to cut the subsidies for the production of starch potatoes

08.12.2008 |

Neue gentechnikfreie Region Klützer Winkel

Die Gemeinschaft der gentechnikfrei wirtschaftenden Bauern in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern wächst. Im Klützer Winkel in Nordwestmecklenburg wurde jetzt die zwölfte gentechnikfreie Region im Land gegründet, wie die Umweltorganisation BUND mitteilte. Dazu hätten sich neun Landwirte mit rund 5870 Hektar Land zusammengeschlossen. Ein Teil wirtschafte konventionell, ein Teil ökologisch. Insgesamt umfassen die zwölf gentechnikfreien Regionen im Land jetzt mehr als 14 500 Hektar Fläche, sagte Burkhard Roloff, der Koordinator im BUND.

17.11.2008 |

Tomatoes with added Viagra: how to get consumers to love GM crops

Should our response to these challenges include genetically modified (GM) crops? Most agricultural scientists say yes. So far the European consumer has said no. For the scientist, GM is an extension of the past 10,000 years of genetic modification by agricultural selection. It is precision engineering as opposed to the blunderbuss of conventional breeding, and has the potential to transform agriculture in regions left out of the green revolution, such as sub-Saharan Africa, by creating crops that are more nutritious, resistant to disease or drought, and can grow without chemical fertilisers. In other words GM could help to produce more and better food with less environmental damage.

13.11.2008 |

Gentechnisch veränderter Weizen darf angebaut werden

Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht hat dem dreijährigen Feldversuch mit gentechnisch verändertem Weizen in Pully VD grünes Licht gegeben. Laut dem Urteil sind die Sicherheitsanforderungen erfüllt. Der Entscheid kann beim Bundesgericht angefochten werden. Die ETH und die Universität Zürich wollen in Pully versuchsweise gentechnisch veränderten Weizen anbauen, der gegen Pilzerkrankungen resistent sein soll. Das Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU) erteilte 2007 die Bewilligung für drei Versuchsjahre. Mehrere Anwohner gelangten dagegen ans Bundesverwaltungsgericht. Es hat ihre Beschwerde nun abgewiesen. Die Beschwerdeführer hatten argumentiert, dass Freisetzungsversuche mit gentechnisch veränderten Organismen unbekannte Gefahren mit sich bringen würden. Das Gericht räumt ein, dass nicht alle Auswirkungen bekannt sind. Der Gesetzgeber habe Versuche dennoch nicht ausschliessen wollen.

11.11.2008 |

Newspaper brings to light abuses against poor farmers in Argentina

According to official statistics, between 2002 and 2006, more than 500,000 hectares were deforested to make way for genetically modified soybeans, Argentina’s main export crop. The advance of monoculture, besides destroying the area’s natural biodiversity, is also undermining the very survival of campesinos who have lived and farmed in the region for generations.

11.11.2008 |

Indian campaign against GM crops gaining momentum

The distinction between a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian might soon get blurred with the introduction of genetically modified crops. Now, imagine tomatoes, which are genetically modified with the gene of a pig. This has sparked a global campaign against genetically modified (GM) foods. Uttar Pradesh, too, has been engulfed in the campaign — ”I am no lab rat”.

10.11.2008 |

First GM canola crop delivered to silo in New South Wales (Australia)

THE first genetically-modified canola crop has been delivered into a silo in NSW, Monsanto Australia announced. Parkes farmer Graham Barron, who delivered his Roundup Ready canola crop to a silo at Grenfell this week, said in a statement issued by Monsanto that he was impressed by the results and with the supply chain processes.

05.11.2008 |

US biotech firms target Philippines for introduction of new GE corn

US-based biotechnology companies Dow AgriSciences and Monsanto are now eyeing markets for more potent and pest-resistant GM corn after having successfully marketed the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn since 2003. Bt corn has the sole trait of being Asiatic corn-borer resistant. Before even setting foot in other Asian countries, biotechnology companies have already seen opportunities in starting out in the Philippines. The country is internationally recognized for having a more established regulatory policy on biotechnology.

22.10.2008 |

GE crops prohibited in Lake County (California, USA)

Genetically engineered crops are prohibited in Lake County after a 3-2 vote by the Lake County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Supervisors Rob Brown and Jeff Smith voted against the ban. The vote came after three and a half hours of discussion. The board took input on both sides of the issue from farmers, business owners and representatives from the Lake County Farm Bureau, Lake County Agricultural Department, Lake County Sierra Club, Lakeport Regional Chamber of Commerce and California Certified Organic Farmers.

22.10.2008 |

France hopes to break GMO deadlock by December

EU envrionment ministers continued to disagree on whether member states should be allowed to establish GMO-free zones for sensitive areas, although they did concur on the need for better long-term environmental risk assessment of GMOs. Following a number of informal discussions earlier this summer, the EU-27 environment ministers debated the bloc’s GMO authorisation procedure in a Council meeting on 20 October. But member states clashed on the issues of protecting sensitive and protected territories and establishing GMO-free zones.


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