Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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18.07.2012 |

Stand-off looms over US plans to cut GMO crop oversight

Efforts to write benefits for biotech seed companies into U.S. legislation, including the new Farm Bill, are sparking a backlash from groups that say the multiple measures would severely limit U.S. oversight of genetically modified crops. From online petitions to face-to-face lobbying on Capitol Hill, an array of consumer and environmental organizations and individuals are ringing alarm bells over moves they say will eradicate badly needed safety checks on crops genetically modified to withstand herbicides, pests and pesticides. The measures could speed the path to market for big biotech companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical that make billions of dollars from genetically altered corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops.

17.07.2012 |

GM mosquitoes will soon be unleashed in India to fight dengue fever

Behind an unmarked door at the side of an anonymous second world war Nissen hut in the middle of Oxfordshire, a group of scientists are attending to the needs of hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes. They provide horse blood for the females to feed on, moist beds for them to lay their eggs, and add genes that transform the mosquitoes into what could be the most decisive tool yet invented to combat mosquito-borne disease. The mosquitoes developed and raised here at the laboratories of Oxitec, a British biotech company based near Didcot, have already infiltrated wild populations in Brazil, Malaysia and the Cayman Islands, and will soon be unleashed in Panama and India.

16.07.2012 |

Hawaiian (USA) protesters against Monsanto

More than 100 protestors, many in face masks and bearing signs that read, “Say No to GMOs,” lined Kunia Road outside Monsanto’s Oahu operation on Thursday, June 28. The goals, organizers said, are to spread awareness about the potentially toxic practices surrounding cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms, to let the multinational agrochemical company know that these risks are not acceptable in Hawaii, and to urge landowners to replace seed company tenants with local food producers. Monsanto released their employees early that day and set up a barricade and security station at the entrance to their compound.

16.07.2012 |

‘Frankenstein’ meat could get go-ahead in EU: Safety fears over the use of GM animals

The first step towards approving the use of genetically modified animals to make so-called ‘Frankenstein foods’ has been unveiled by European food watchdogs. They have produced guidance on how to examine the risk posed to the environment by genetically modified fish, insects and animals. Critics fear the new consultation document will ‘open the floodgates’ to the widespread farming of GM animals and crops across Europe. Details of the plans have been revealed by the European Food Safety Authority.

12.07.2012 |

MON810 maize on the rise in Portugal

The growing of genetically modified corn in Portugal increased by 59 percent last year, being planted in 7,724 hectares of fields, compared to the 4,900 hectares planted in 2010, a study by the Ministry of Agriculture has revealed. The Alentejo region has seen the greatest increase in GM crops, which rose by 90 percent compared to 2010. In the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, the increase in GM crop plantations was more than 51 percent. Last year also saw the first plantation of 2.5 hectares GM corn crops on the island of São Miguel in the Azores.

11.07.2012 |

California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is up for voting on Nov 06

California’s Office of the Secretary of State announced on Monday that the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, also known as the GMO labeling initiative, will appear on voter ballots as Proposition 37 for the November 6 elections. If passed, Proposition 37 would make California the first state in the U.S. to require labeling of most foods made with genetically modified organisms -- those given specific changes to their DNA through genetic engineering techniques. Polls conducted by various organizations in recent years have found that roughly 90 percent of Californians support labeling for genetically engineered foods.

10.07.2012 |

Indian State of Bihar to continue ban on genetically modified seeds

“Seed is the basic input and is the lifeline of agriculture. Local farming communities have preserved and reused their diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations,” said agriculture minister Narendra Singh while inaugurating the two-day festival. [...] The minister said it was a proud moment to share with agriculturists from all corners of the country. Bihar has become the first state to ban the genetically modified seeds in the larger interest of farmers. He also vowed to block entry of any company permitted by the Centre to conduct field trials of genetically modified corns in the state.

09.07.2012 |

France’s Agriculture Minister to keep GE crops ban, Le Monde says

French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll wants to keep the country’s moratorium on existing genetically-modified crops, Le Monde said, citing an interview. Existing genetically-modified crops are “not satisfactory,” and bio-resistance to modified corn in the U.S. is “a real subject of concern,” Le Foll said, according to the daily. Le Foll said it’s necessary to remain open-minded about research into modified crops, Le Monde wrote.

09.07.2012 |

Richmond (Canada) resists pitch from CropLife Canada, passes ban on GE crops

Richmond council stuck to its guns, ratifying its ban on genetically modified plants and crops. Biotech lobby group CropLife Canada sent a representative to speak to council before the vote. Several hundred people turned out for the meeting, many of them carrying signs opposing genetically modified organisms — popularly known as GMOs or GE crops — and calling for labelling of foods with GE ingredients. [...] “I don’t feel that they consulted all the experts that they could have to get a balanced point of view,” [CropLife spokeswoman Janice Tranberg] said after the meeting.

06.07.2012 |

monsanto spray plane
Rumänische Gentechnik-Gegner kritisieren den hohen Einsatz von Monsanto-Pestiziden wie Glyphosat (Foto: InfOMG.ro)

Romania Genetically Modified Lunch with the new Ag Minister

On the 10th of July 2012, the new Romanian Minister for Agriculture, Daniel Constantin, will be the patron of the annual AgriBusiness conference sponsored by the multinational companies Monsanto and Pioneer and Agrobiotechrom. It gathers large landowners, Romanian authorities, deputies and GMO companies.

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