Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


23.10.2007 |

Greenpeace forces Carrefour to withdraw genetically modified soy bread in Romania

Carrefour Romania withdrew from its shelves all Snack Attacks products on Monday, reasoning that its bread contains genetically modified soy bread. The action comes after Greenpeace protesters argued with proof that the white bread does not contain any GMO labelling for consumers. The bread was provided by Snack Attack, a well known fast food chain. State authorities were taken aback by the decision but said that they would meet with both Greenpeace officials and Snack Attack representatives on Tuesday to analyze the situation.

19.10.2007 |

All About: GM Rice

Feed the world’s starving. Cure vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Put an end to crop failure. Combat global warming. Such are the promises of genetically modified (GM) rice. But if it all sounds too good to be true, environmentalists say, that’s because it is. For proponents of GM rice, GM food is the obvious solution to the ongoing problems of population growth, changing climate conditions and malnutrition. For its opponents, it’s an unnecessary and potentially catastrophic exercise which only feeds corporate interests and does little to solve the real problems of global food supply, malnutrition and farming practices.

19.10.2007 |

Sacred plants might stop Bt eggplant trials in Karnataka (India)

Heritage and the humble brinjal have come in conflict in India’s southern Karnataka state, with the controversy even threatening to halt a US funded biotechnology project. [...] But Ramesh Bhat, one of India’s leading biologists and former deputy director of the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, [...] says field trials of Bt-brinjal carry the danger of the Bt gene contaminating the native variety of brinjal called Mattu gulla which people consider ’sacred’ because its seeds were reportedly given to the people of Mattu village by the 15th century Hindu saint Vadiraja.

27.09.2007 |

EU ministers neither approve nor stop three GM maize varieties

EU farm ministers fell short of a consensus to allow imports of three GM maize types from the US. The EU Commission will now take the decision to approve them as no two thrid majority against the approval was reached either. They are not meant to be cultivated within the European Union.

21.09.2007 |

France moves towards a freeze on growing GM crops

The French government is planning to freeze the cultivation of GMOs. Jean-Louis Borloo, minister for ecology, development and sustainable management confirmed to Le Monde : ”Everyone is in agreement on the GM issue: it is not possible to control their spread. So we will not take the risk.”

20.09.2007 |

France considers 'freezing' commercialisation of GMOs

The French government is preparing to "freeze the commercialisation" of genetically modified seeds until the adoption of a new law on the issue. French ecology and development minister Jean-Louis Borloo has "confided" this to a group of parliamentarians.

07.09.2007 |

Philippine court curbs genetically modified rice

Environmentalists have won a legal skirmish in their campaign to stop the propagation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last week Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court granted an application filed by Greenpeace and other groups for a temporary restraining order against the genetically modified rice Bayer LL62. [...] The injunction petition, which Greenpeace filed August 23, questions the lack of public voice and public consultation on GMO approvals by DA and BPI, particularly in the case of Bayer LL62’s application.

”Greenpeace believes that the pending application of a genetically-altered rice to be used for food, feed, and processing in our country is a very serious issue of public concern,” said Daniel Ocampo, the environment group’s genetic engineering campaigner in Southeast Asia. ”If the application is approved, the entry of GMO rice in our country will irrevocably alter the future of our most important staple food.”

07.09.2007 |

U.S. biotech crop rules get rewrite

A process aimed at revising the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been launched by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). But critics fear the changes will not go far enough to protect the environment and public health. The USDA is one of three US agencies responsible for regulating GMOs, along with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. A draft environmental-impact statement released in July gives the first glimpses of how the USDA rules might change. It proposes to expand its authority from plants that might endanger other plants to "the full range of potential agricultural and environmental risks posed by these organisms, including risks to public health".

07.09.2007 |

Romania‘s Agriculture Ministry denies Greenpeace accusations on GMOs

The Agriculture Ministry announced on Thursday that all allegations of Greenpeace officials regarding the growth of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the Braila Great Island (Insula Mare a Brailei). Greenpeace militants announced that the ministry ignores the GMO soy and corn crops and refuses to destroy the cultures. After first responding that destroying the cultures is a responsibility of the Environment Guard, the Agriculture Ministry returned and added that their official tests revealed the absence of any GMO crops on Insula Mare a Brailei. Even more, the officials accused Greenpeace of damaging Romania’s image.

05.09.2007 |

Swiss authorities give GM wheat trials the green light

The Federal Environment Office has given Swiss scientists the go-ahead to carry out crop trials involving genetically modified (GM) wheat. It said on Tuesday that two teams could carry out three GM field experiments near Zurich and Lausanne, including observations of potential crossbreeding between wheat and wild grass, but only under ”very strict conditions”. [...] The researchers say they will not be developing a product for the market and want to find out if GM wheat plants that have already been tested in laboratories, which show resistance to fungal diseases, behave similarly in normal agricultural conditions.


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