Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


27.06.2018 |

Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Consumers Avoid GMO Foods; Large Majority Primarily Concerned About Human Health Impact

Proposed Federal Bioengineered (BE) Foods Disclosure Suggests Lower Consumer Acceptance, Less Willingness to Pay Under Various Labeling Options

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Labels proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to disclose “bioengineered” (BE) foods dramatically increase a wide variety of consumer concerns, especially regarding human health.

Those are among the findings of new research by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation into areas where AMS sought comments on its proposed BE labeling standards, as well as consumers’ views generally of genetically modified foods, or GMOs.

Concerns Arise When BE Foods Are Labeled

With AMS’s July 3 deadline to comment on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law fast approaching, the IFIC Foundation tested reactions to the three BE labeling symbols and two variations of text disclosures. In every combination, levels of concern across a variety of factors increased—often substantially—when a disclosure label was applied.

27.06.2018 |

Concerns about GMOs prompt consumer demand for labels

Dive Brief:

Even though consumer awareness and knowledge of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) aren't very high​, a recent online survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation found that shoppers will typically avoid these foods if possible. In addition, consumers want food labels to tell them whether GMOs are present.

IFIC said about half of consumers (47%) don't worry about whether foods contain GMOs, but 41% consider the presence of GMOs when purchasing foods, the survey found. Consumers also want to see a GMO symbol or wording on food packaging so they have access to the information while shopping. However, they don't want to call a number or visit a website to get such information.

The online survey of 1,002 people also found the most common reason people avoided these foods was human health, followed closely by environmental and animal health concerns.

22.06.2018 |

Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades

In June, a California groundskeeper will make history by taking company to trial on claims it suppressed harm of Roundup

At the age of 46, DeWayne Johnson is not ready to die. But with cancer spread through most of his body, doctors say he probably has just months to live. Now Johnson, a husband and father of three in California, hopes to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate.

On 18 June, Johnson will become the first person to take to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products – and his case has just received a major boost.

Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages.

22.06.2018 |

The Monsanto Papers: Roundup (Glyphosate) Cancer Case Key Documents & Analysis

Multi District Litigation: More than 425 lawsuits are pending against Monsanto Co. in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, filed by people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that Monsanto covered up the risks. The cases have been combined for handling as multidistrict litigation (MDL) under Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is 3:16-md-02741-VC.

Monsanto sought to have its internal records and communications sealed from public view but the judge has allowed many to be made part of the public record, and these “Monsanto Papers” are contained within the records below.

State litigation: Thousands of other plaintiffs have made similar claims against Monsanto in state courts. Plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate the total number of plaintiffs at approximately 4,000. The first trial in the Roundup litigation is set for June 18, 2018 in the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco. Documents pertaining to that case as well as others are also included below in the middle column. An expert admissibility and summary judgment hearing was held May 10 in San Francisco County Superior Court. Details regarding the time and location of the trial can be found here: (STATE CASE) Dewayne Johnson V. Monsanto trial date set

Jury selection in the case began June 21, 2018

The Johnson case is Case Number: CGC16550128



21.06.2018 |

New GMOs are not progress, but another tool of industrial farming

By Bart Staes, José Bové, Maria Heubuch, Martin Häusling and Thomas Waitz

The EU Court of Justice will soon publish its ruling concerning the legal statute of a group of biotechnologies, which have been called “new plant breeding techniques” by the industry.

This opinion article is co-signed by Members of the European Parliament from the Greens/EFA political group: José Bové, Martin Häusling, Maria Heubuch, Bart Staes and Thomas Waitz.

The ECJ will decide if these techniques produce GMOs – as the Greens/EFA and many environmental NGOs have been arguing for years – and if some of these will be exempt from proper assessment, traceability and labelling as if they weren’t GMOs.

After the ruling, tense negotiations will set the future of the current European GMO regulation. As always, citizens and lawmakers will face the full force of the industry lobbies.

19.06.2018 |

South Korea suspends wheat and flour sales from Canada over GMO plants found in Alberta

Moves comes on heels of similar move by Japan last week

The Canadian Press

South Korea has joined Japan in suspending trade in Canadian wheat following the discovery of a small number of genetically modified plants in southern Alberta.

It's standard protocol in both countries to temporarily close markets in such cases, Global Affairs spokesman Jesse Wilson said Monday.

"The Government of Canada is working with foreign trading partners to ensure they have all the necessary information to make informed decisions and limit market disruption," he said in an emailed statement.

Japan suspended imports of Canadian wheat on Friday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced the discovery. South Korea followed suit on Monday.

18.06.2018 |

Monsanto Squares Off With Man Dying of Cancer in Roundup Trial

Lee Johnson’s doctors didn’t think he’d live long enough to testify in court that exposure to Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killer caused his deadly cancer.

But the 46-year-old is now first in line to go to trial against the agrochemical giant among thousands of people across the U.S. who blame its herbicide for their disease.

As groundskeeper for the school district in Benicia, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and in July, after chemotherapy and other treatment, his oncologist gave him six months to live.

18.06.2018 |

Benicia Man Accusing Monsanto In Roundup Cancer Claim In Court

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A Benicia man who claims his cancer was caused by a popular weed killer is finally getting his day in court.

It is the first case of its kind against chemical company Monsanto to go to trial, accusing the company of covering up the cancer-risk linked to its product, Roundup.

Monday was most a procedural day, but soon the jury will be picked

The case is brought by 46-year-old Lee Johnson. He is dying of cancer and claims the ingredient in the weed killer Roundup made him sick.

Johnson worked for the Benicia Unified School District as a groundskeeper and frequently used Roundup on the job. A couple years after working at the district, he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Now lesions cover 80 percent of his body. Doctors say he is nearing death.

15.06.2018 |

Media Release: GM wheat incident a reminder of need for better regulation, says NFU

SASKATOON, SK: On June 14, 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released information about an incident in Alberta where a small patch of unapproved genetically modified wheat was discovered. The wheat plants have a glyphosate resistant herbicide tolerance trait that was developed and tested by Monsanto in open-air field plots fifteen to twenty years ago. The nearest test plot site is over 300 kilometers from where the contamination incident was discovered. The exact identity of the wheat is unknown. When field trials were approved the CFIA did not require full genetic characterization of the experimental lines containing the genetic modification. The CFIA does not know, and is unwilling to speculate on how the experimental seed ended up growing on an access road to an oil rig in southern Alberta 14 years after Monsanto withdrew its application for approval of genetically modified wheat.

“We are relieved that this GMO wheat incident was discovered and action was taken quickly to prevent contamination of Canada’s commercial wheat stocks and seed supplies,” said Terry Boehm, chair of the National Farmers Union Seed Committee. “This is a close call, which we hope will not result in lost markets or lower prices for wheat.”

15.06.2018 |

Japan suspends sale of Canadian wheat after GMO wheat found in Alberta

TOKYO/WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Japan’s farm ministry said on Friday it has suspended its tender and sale of wheat from Canada after grain containing a genetically modified trait was discovered last summer in Canada’s Alberta province.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Thursday the wheat containing a genetically modified trait, developed by Monsanto Co (BAYGn.DE) to tolerate the Roundup weed-killer, was discovered in Alberta.

“We are suspending the tender and sale of Canadian wheat until we confirm that the Canadian wheat that Japan buys contains no GMO,” an official at the Japanese farm ministry said.


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