Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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28.07.2010 |

Amflora threatening potato diversity

The agricultural minister in the German State of Mecklenburg Vorpommern (MV) called on Ilse Aigner the German agricultural Minister to urgently reconsider the cultivation of the gm-potato amflora. “The gm-potato endangers the only ‘healthy region’ for the production of seed potatoes because Amflora is characterized by a high risk of virus infestation” said Till Backhaus. Indeed MV and Scottland are the only remaining regions in Europe ensuring no virus transmission via lice. These healthy regions are essential for breeding and production of healthy seed potatoes and are threatened by susceptible to deceases.

27.07.2010 |

Syngenta in the race on water-optimized corn hybrids

Are GMOs the answer to climate change? Syngenta does believe so! "We are pleased to announce … the industry‘s first water-optimized corn technology, to help growers preserve yields ...." says David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Even so thousands of years of farmers breeding created numerous locally adapted varieties around the globe Mr Morgan claims to hold the one and only solution to drought stress on earth.

23.07.2010 |

Unauthorised release of GM event NK603 in Irish conventional maize seed

On 3rd June 2010, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) informed the EPA of the unauthorised release of GM (genetically modified) event NK603 in conventional maize variety PR39T83. This release was subsequently confirmed by DAFF on 19th July 2010. The maize variety was supplied by Pioneer Hi-Bred Northern Europe and was in the process of being evaluated for cultivation and use under Irish farming conditions in DAFF small scale field trials.

16.07.2010 |

Patents on conventional plants and animals !

The European Patent Office will use a patent on broccoli (EP 1069819) for a fundamental ruling, on whether or not conventional plants are patentable. All other broccoli plants with similar genes are considered as "technical inventions" by the patent. Next week EPO will decide on the future of broccoli…

15.07.2010 |

Commission plans to relax rules on GM crops in Europe

European Commission allows their member states to go their own way regarding the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. Their are being promised the right to ban GM cultivation. Or, indeed, to promote them! “We will not be using this as leverage in any way to get more positive decisions,” Mr Dalli said.

Read more about it…

14.06.2010 |

European Union allows Madeira to remain free of GMOs

The European Union has reportedly allowed Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal located 500 kilometers from the African coast, to prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the archipelago. According to The New York Times, the European Commission "quietly" let the deadline pass for opposing the GMO ban, which Portuguese officials claimed was necessary to preserve Madeira's rare subtropical laurel forests, known as laurisilva.

"[T]he case of Madeira represents a significant landmark, because it is the first time the commission. has permitted a country to impose such a sweeping and definitive rejection of the technology," states the May 9, 2010,

article.

In issuing its decision, the European Commission apparently circumvented the European Food Safety Authority and signaled "the unofficial beginning of a

new- and potentially highly contentious-policy that would give European nations and regions far greater freedom to decide when to ban such crops."

This policy seeks to grease the wheels of the GMO approval process by permitting countries and regions more latitude to set their own agricultural agendas. As EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs John Dalli was quoted as saying, the priority was to get experts, companies and activists to "understand and accept a process that they will not try to second-guess or try to attack once a decision not to their liking is taken."

11.05.2010 |

First suggestions for a new gene technology policy in the EU

In the future, EU Member States should be able to decide for themselves on the cultivation of genetically modified plants. By making changes to shared laws on gene technology, the EU Commission intends to overcome the political blockade that has been in place for years. In an internal strategy paper, the EU Commission presented the first suggestions for a new gene technology policy that already had been signalised by the Commission President Barroso prior to his re-election in August.

29.04.2010 |

Finland still wary of GM foods

Genetically modified foods are not allowed to be sold in Finland, but it remains difficult for the critical consumer to completely avoid groceries that utilise GM technology in some shape or form. “Genetically modified vegetables are used to produce medicines, and these medicines may also be used in organic production,” says Markku Keinänen, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland and a member of the Advisory Board on Biotechnology.

19.03.2010 |

Bulgaria maintains ban on GM crop

With not a single vote in favour and 168 against, proposals to lift existing limitations on cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Bulgaria were thrown out by Parliament on March 18 2010. The surprise decision came after ruling GERB party changed its position and dropped its support for the bill, Bulgarian-language daily Dnevnik said.

19.02.2010 |

Bulgaria MPs agree GMO amendments to protect organic farmland

The Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on the Environment has agreed that GMOs will not be allowed within 7 kms of organic farmland, and 10 kms away from permanent, registered beehive clusters. They also adopted a five-year ban on the cultivation of GMOs for commercial and scientific research in the field. The document was voted before the new law on GMOs was adopted on second reading. The committee has accepted these changes to the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) at the proposal of Evdokiya Maneva, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water.

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