Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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04.09.2007 |

National GMO law: Greenpeace defends Poland against challenge by European Commission

Greenpeace yesterday made a legal submission to the European Commission arguing that Poland’s draft national legislation on the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is consistent with the relevant EU law. Greenpeace made its submission in the context of a formal European Commission notification procedure on the draft Polish law. This procedure could represent the first step of a challenge by the EU Executive of the Polish national GMO law.

28.08.2007 |

Chile transparency law just a fig-leaf, says critic

Government spokesman Ricardo Lagos Weber announced Wednesday that Chile will soon have a new law guaranteeing citizen access to information. [...] ”Chile is pushing for the new transparency law as part of its bid to join the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” said critic Miguel Fredes, an environmental attorney who is suing Chile’s government to get access to public papers. [...] Fredes first became interested in Chile’s transparency and public access policies when he requested the names of the companies producing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the locations where the GMOs were growing. ”The government refused to give me the information, saying that the names could harm the interest and the secret business policies of the GMO companies,” said Fredes.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: News from Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia

The Tasmanian Greens today called on the State Government to release any research it had done into the national and international marketing benefits to the State’s Brand and economy of the current moratorium on genetically engineered food crops, following assertions by pro-GE advocates that the moratorium has not benefited farmers.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: Two farmer groups supporting the GE canola moratoria

The BFA group, Australia’s largest representative body of more than 1700 certified organic farmers, has lodged a submission today to the SA, NSW & Victorian Governments reviewing the moratoriums prohibiting planting of genetically engineered (GE) canola. ”The BFA submission comprehensively makes the case for continuing the moratoria on the planting of GE crops in Australia”, said Scott Kinnear spokesperson.

24.08.2007 |

GMO moratoria in Australia: Critical voices on the pro-GMO campaign

Most Australian states have started reviews of their 2004 GM Acts which carry a de facto moratorium on growing genetically modified (GM) crops. The pro-GM lobby has responded with an orchestrated campaign. [...] Australian State governments been caught up in a religious type rapture over biotech promises of silver bullets. They have become naïve investors seemingly unaware of biotech economic strategies. Industry lobbyists such the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and its PR arm the Australian Environment Foundation have egged them on.

22.08.2007 |

Germany agrees draft rules for GMO crops

The German government on Wednesday agreed new draft rules for cultivation of genetically modified (GMO) crops, including a minimum buffer zone from conventional plantings. The cabinet approved a draft law from Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer for local German rules for cultivation of GMO crops which the European Union has already authorised. Under the rules, there must be a 150-metre gap between GMO crops and conventional crops to prevent cross-pollination. A 300-metre gap must be kept from fields with organic crops.

22.08.2007 |

Brazil first public sector GE crop is a herbicide tolerant soybean

The Brazilian Enterprise of Agropecuary Research (Embrapa) said Tuesday that it had developed Brazil’s first genetically modified soybean for commercial purposes with the world’s largest chemical company BASF. The transgenic soybean contains a gene of the plant Thale Cress, scientifically known as Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the watercress and mustard family that is commonly grown in the lab. The gene provides the soybean with resistance to imidazolinone herbicide.

22.08.2007 |

New Zealand‘s politicians pass GE buck on to communities

Northland mayors will grapple with the thorny issue of genetic engineering next week following news that communities will be liable for clean-up costs if GE crops contaminate the environment. Former Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said in a letter to the Whangarei District Council last month that persons affected by GE ’pollution’, not the ’polluter?, will pay for damages if genetically engineered crops contaminate natural crops or the environment. Far North Mayor Yvonne Sharp says news that landowners and local authorities will be liable for costs is a concern.

21.08.2007 |

Update on GMO approvals in the EU

The U.S. biotechnology industry is awaiting this fall's deadline for Europe to speed up its approval of new biotech food and crops -- a process Washington has long complained is woefully slow -- in the hope of increased access to a major market. After a World Trade Organization ruling last year found "undue delays" in Europe's approval of biotech products, the EC has until November 21 to bring its system up to speed.

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