Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


20.12.2006 |

GM cotton: EFSA adopts opinion on Bayer GM crop

Europe's Food Safety Authority has ruled that a genetically-modified cotton plant, which can be used for food applications, presents no cause for concern. EFSA's GMO panel has now adopted an opinion on the application for the commercialisation of glufosinate-tolerant genetically modified LLCotton25. The panel concluded by saying that LLCotton25 is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human and animal health or on the environment in the context of its intended uses.

18.12.2006 |

EU commission loses vote on Austrian GMO ban

The European Commission lost for the second time a pivotal vote in the Council of Ministers on its GMO approvals. A qualified (two third) majority rejected its demand to waive an Austrian ban on Monsantos GM maize "Mon810". In fact all member states except the UK, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Netherlands voted against the proposal. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace welcomed the decision. As a WTO panel had recently ruled that the Austrian ban was actually illegal, the member states decision is also a clear comment on the EU Commission's decision not to appeal this verdict.

15.12.2006 |

Austria likely to escape EU order to lift GMO bans

Austria may escape another order to lift its two bans on genetically modified maize varieties as EU ministers prepare to deliver a second rebuff to the European Commission, officials said on Thursday. To force Austria to lift its bans, the Commission will need to secure a weighted majority of EU ministers in favour of its draft orders. There can also be a weighted majority against, when the Commission would withdraw the orders and reconsider. While the positions of nearly all the 25 countries are already known, three states are wavering - Germany, Portugal and Spain.

13.12.2006 |

EU court asked to fine France over national GMO law

France may face a fine of more than 38 million euros (US$50.3 million) from Europe's top court for its failure to update national laws on genetically modified (GMO) crops and foods, the European Commission said on Tuesday. The Commission, the EU executive, has often warned France to comply with EU law and integrate into its national statute book an EU directive on the environmental release of GMOs. Apart from the lump sum fine, the Commission also asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to order Paris to pay 366,744 euros a day until French law adequately reflected the EU directive, it said in a statement.

08.12.2006 |

Irish MEPs move to prevent GMO invasion

Irish MEPs Liam Aylward (FF), Kathy Sinnott (Independent) and Marian Harkin (Independent) have strongly criticised a controversial draft resolution on biotechnology and genetically modified crops to be voted on soon by the European Parliament.

04.12.2006 |

EU: No majority to approve GM Potatoe

EU environment experts failed today to agree on whether to authorise growing of a genetically modified potatoe. The EU regulatory committee has not reached a qualified majority. The decision therefore passes to the Council of Ministers.

01.12.2006 |

UK opens door for GM Potatoe trials

Britain's farm and environment ministry said on Friday it had given the go-ahead for research trials on disease resistant genetically modified potatoes.

German chemicals group BASF will be allowed to hold trials on two sites in England, starting next year. The GMO potatoes, which have been developed to be resistant to potato blight, will not be used for food or animal feed.

30.11.2006 |

United States and Russia signed Bilateral WTO Market Access Agreement

Russia agreed to maintain an interim approval and registration system for products of modern biotechnology that is science-based, transparent, predictable and consistent with the WTO Agreement.

Further Russia agreed to register products covered by all pending applications that have received a favorable science-based risk assessment by November 15, 2006. Russia and the United States agreed to hold annual consultations on the status of applications for re-registration of products whose registrations have expired during that year and to establish an ongoing bilateral consultative mechanism to discuss issues of regulatory development in the area of agricultural biotechnology.

30.11.2006 |

GM Potatoe: BASF Amflora to be approved next week?

Beginning next week, the EU Commission will ask its 25 members to allow cultivation of a genetically modified potato owned by BASF AG, the first time the EU has proposed allowing a gene crop to be planted since a ban on the products ended.

28.11.2006 |

Congress: Science and Society – the Frontier of the Invisible

"Science and Society – the Frontier of the Invisible", is an annual international congress that provides an opportunity for an exchange between society, research and the most advanced knowledge in the biotechnology sector. In this, its third year, the congress will address the topic of biotechnological innovation from three points of view: certification of scientific information and the institutional use of that information, genetic engineering as the last step in the industrialization of agriculture, and the political/social governance of biotechnology.

The congress takes place in Rome between 30 November and 2 December 2006.


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