Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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19.02.2018 |

Five reasons not to allow the Bayer - Monsanto merger

Why the Commission should stop this "merger from hell"

In September 2016, German drugs and chemicals group Bayer, and US company Monsanto, owner of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and of the only GM plant currently authorised for cultivation in the EU (Mon 810 Maize), announced their intention to merge. If authorised by the European Commission, this would create, in the Commission’s own words, “the world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds company”, and have, as explained below, devastating consequences. Join us in calling on Margrete Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, to stop this “merger from hell” by signing this petition!

https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/stop-monster-merger-baysanto

16.02.2018 |

Threat to crops and carcinogenic: Farmers welcome move to restrict glyphosate use

The AP government’s order restricting the use of herbicides will also check the illegal use of BT cotton.

In a significant move to prevent the indiscriminate use of herbicides, the Andhra Pradesh Government has restricted the use of herbicides, especially glyphosate, in agriculture.

The order was passed after the Special Commissioner of Agriculture of the state, in a letter to the government, pointed out that “the injudicious use of herbicides particularly non-selective herbicides like glyphosate in agricultural and horticultural ecosystems leads to serious implications in many cultivated crops in Andhra Pradesh.”

According to the order, the herbicides cannot be used in any of the crops in the Kharif season, i.e. June to November. The approval of the Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee is mandatory to recommend/procure/store/use any agro chemical, as per the Insecticide Act, 1968.

The herbicides specified in the order can be used in non-cropped areas, or during the months of December to May, but only with specific recommendations by authorised personnel.

16.02.2018 |

Judge tosses challenge to Arkansas' dicamba ban

An Arkansas judge has dismissed a company's challenge of the state's ban on a controversial weed killer, citing a state Supreme Court ruling that has made it more difficult to sue the state.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by Monsanto challenging the state Plant Board's decision to ban dicamba's use between April 16 and Oct. 31. Monsanto was also challenging an earlier rule that specifically targeted its brand of dicamba.

15.02.2018 |

French Wine Study Shows Humans Can Taste Pesticides

The results of the first ever study on the ability of humans to recognize the taste of pesticides in wine have been published in the Food and Nutrition Journal.

Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and the chef Jérôme Douzelet’s study involved 195 blind tests carried out by professionals from the wine and culinary industry.

14.02.2018 |

Mathematics explains why Crispr-Cas9 sometimes cuts the wrong DNA

Initially the Crispr-Cas9 system seemed to be accurate, but it is now apparent that it sometimes also cuts non-target DNA sequences

Once again we find more honesty about the imprecision of the CRISPR gene editing system in the medical research field, as with the new paper featured below, than in the field of crop biotechnology.

1. Mathematics explains why Crispr-Cas9 sometimes cuts the wrong DNA

2. Hybridization kinetics explains CRISPR-Cas off-targeting rules

12.02.2018 |

CCI must stop the Bayer Monsanto merger

Bayer Monsanto merger

By Dr Vandana Shiva

On 7.1.2018 the Competition Commission of India(CCI), India’s anti-trust body for preventing monopoly,invited comments from the public on the adverse impacts of the Bayer-Monsanto merger. I submitted my objections on the Bayer Monsanto merger to CCI on January 20 2018. There are many reasons why the merger must not be allowed.

12.02.2018 |

Farmers, Conservationists Challenge Trump’s EPA, Monsanto Over Crop-Damaging Pesticide

EPA Unlawfully Approved Monsanto’s XtendiMax Weed-Killer, Ignoring Warnings of Rampant Drift, Destroying Crops on Millions of Acres in Devastating 2017 Farm Season With More to Come

Evidence Shows Hundreds of Endangered Species at Risk and Unprotected

WASHINGTON—On Friday, public interest organizations representing farmers and conservationists made their legal case in a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Monsanto Company, challenging EPA’s approval of Monsanto’s new “XtendiMax” pesticide. XtendiMax is Monsanto’s version of dicamba, an old and highly drift-prone weed-killer. EPA’s approval permitted XtendiMax to be sprayed for the first time on growing soybeans and cotton that Monsanto has genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to dicamba.

12.02.2018 |

China increases corn imports from Ukraine

Some Chinese buyers have canceled corn purchases from the United States and started to buy corn from rival supplier Ukraine, as Beijing announced rather high requirements for the processing of genetically modified crops.

This has been reported by Reuters with a reference to three trade sources and an analyst.

“Traders this year have been more inclined to buy corn from Ukraine as it is non-GMO and doesn’t require the (processing) permit,” said Cherry Zhang, analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence.

According to the agency, any prolonged shift by one of the world’s top corn importers “would unnerve U.S. farmers as they prepare to harvest a bumper crop this year and could potentially mark a new front in trade tensions festering between China and the United States”.

12.02.2018 |

EPA Settles Syngenta Pesticide Claim For Pennies On The Dollar

The GMO company will pay $150,000 instead of the $4.8 million that had been sought for exposing Kauai workers to pesticides.

Federal environmental regulators have settled claims against a multinational GMO corn grower that exposed dozens of workers on Kauai to a dangerous pesticide in two separate incidents.

Syngenta Hawaii, a local unit of the Swiss giant Syngenta AG, will pay a civil penalty of $150,000 and spend $400,000 on worker protection training sessions for growers under the agreement.

It’s a fraction of the more than $4.8 million the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had announced it was seeking for the 2016 mishap alone, which sent 10 workers to the hospital.

09.02.2018 |

China traders cancel U.S. corn cargoes on tighter GMO controls, buy from Ukraine

BEIJING (Reuters) - Some Chinese buyers have canceled corn purchases from the United States and switched to rival supplier Ukraine, as Beijing tightens controls on processing genetically modified strains of the crop, three trade sources and an analyst told Reuters.

Any prolonged shift by one of the world’s top corn importers would unnerve U.S. farmers as they prepare to harvest a bumper crop this year and could potentially mark a new front in trade tensions festering between China and the United States.

Chinese buyers late last year stepped up purchases of U.S. corn, which is mostly genetically modified, following a rally in domestic prices.

But the sources said it had become tougher for Chinese grain mills to get permits to process genetically modified corn this year, forcing some traders that supply them to instead turn to non-GMO shipments from Ukraine.

China’s agricultural ministry did not respond to a request for comment, while the trade sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak with media.

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