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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.

15.02.2010 |

Five-Year Ban on GMOs in Bulgaria

Sofia, 12.02.2010

The Environment and Water Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament yesterday (February 11) agreed a five-year ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The final approval of the bill which will be voted by the Bulgarian National Assembly in a second reading is scheduled for next week.

The ban follows a wave of protests last two months in which farmers, NGOs, consumers' and mothers' initiative groups came together in five different cities of the country - Sofia, Ruse, Varna, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo. More than fifteen thousand signatures were collected supporting the petition "GM- free Bulgaria" and another five thousand demanding a ban on the maize hybrid MON810. The Prime Minister Boiko Borisov received two thousand postcards painted by children appealing to him to keep Bulgaria GMO free.

The Environment and Water Committee accepted new texts in the GMO act which were proposed by NGOs: the demand that owners and tenants of agricultural land located next to farms planting GM crops should expressly grant their permission; bigger distances for fields neighbouring with GM cultivated land, etc

With its adoption of this ban on the cultivation of GMOs in Bulgaria the National Assembly has shown that it listens to the demands of the Bulgarian people. The enormous interest demonstrated by the public and the media in Bulgaria has increased the level of knowledge in the country about genetically modified crops and from now on people will follow very carefully every political step made in the field of genetic engineering for agriculture. Yet the doubts for inconsistent politics remain with the refusal of the Ministry of Agriculture to support the organic farming" said Svetla Nikolova, chair of AGROLINK.

Contact: Svetla Nikolova

AGROLINK Association, +359 888 359 239

e-mail: svetla.nikolova@agrolink.org, www.agrolink.org

12.02.2010 |

Italian court overturns national GE crop ban

The highest appeals court in Italy has overturned a standing ban on the cultivation of genetically modified plants. The Ministry of Agriculture and a majority of the population seem otherwise inclined. According to London weekly Agra Europe, the highest court in Italy has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to allow the planting of genetically modified (GM) maize.

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