Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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11.04.2018 |

Consumers, farmers demand food labels list GMO ingredients

Hundreds of farmers, consumers and environmental activists gathered in front of the Government Complex in Seoul Tuesday to demand that food labeling list genetically modified organisms (GMO).

About 500 protesters from across the nation criticized the central government for not changing the regulations.

They were concerned that GMOs could be harmful to health and demanded the right to know whether their purchases contained any GMO.

Cooperative group Farmer's COOP said the government imports an average of 2.28 million tons of GMO as ingredients for food products a year and each person consumes 40 kilograms. But a survey by Farmer's COOP, the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice and consumer group Consumers Korea revealed that none of 438 market products containing GMOs that it searched listed the ingredients on labels.

Farmer's COOP, formerly iCOOP, said unrealistic food labeling regulations and the government exempting too many products are the main reasons behind the protest.

10.04.2018 |

Harvest of greed: Bayer and Monsanto

German pharmaceutical company Bayer wants to acquire US GM seed giant Monsanto, to become the world's largest supplier of agricultural chemicals. The deal is controversial because Monsanto produces the heavily debated toxic pesticide glyphosate.

The marriage of Bayer and Monsanto: A long-established German company with a solid reputation agrees to buy an American company that produces genetically modified seeds and the controversial weed killer glyphosate. Many farmers find glyphosate an effective tool, but critics say it’s carcinogenic. Despite these misgivings, Brussels recently approved the use of glyphosate in the EU for another five years. Agricultural chemicals are a big business, and that shows no signs of changing any time soon.

07.04.2018 |

German environmental minister urges action to prevent decline of insect populations

BERLIN, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Svenja Schulze (SPD), new German minister for the environment, has identified the protection of insect populations as a key goal of her legislative term on Friday.

"Preventing mass species extinction is one of the overriding political tasks of our generation", Schulze told the "Funke" media group. She warned that if "the insects disappear, so will the birds, as well as all of the valuable contributions which insects make towards pollination, water clearing and improving soil fertility."

The minister has consequently announced the launch of a programme, together with Agricultural Minister Julia Kloeckner (CDU), to prevent a further decline in German insect populations. "I want to take the agricultural minister's statement at face value that bees are critical for the functioning of wider ecological systems and need to be protected", Schulze said.

The SPD politician argued that toxic pesticides and herbicides would have to be used with greater moderation in order to avert irreparable damage to the environment. "We need a full exit from glyphosate (a controversial herbicide produced by U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto) during this legislative period. Glyphosate kills everything that is green, depriving insects of their food source", Schulze demanded.

05.04.2018 |

Chinese scientist gets 10 years in U.S. prison over theft of GMO rice

A Chinese scientist in Kansas was sentenced on Wednesday to more than 10 years in a federal prison for conspiring to steal samples of a variety of genetically engineered rice seeds from a U.S. research facility, the U.S. Justice Department said.

U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia in the District of Kansas sentenced Weiqiang Zhang, 51, a Chinese national living in Manhattan, Kansas, to 121 months in prison.

Zhang was convicted in February 2017 on three counts, including conspiracy to steal trade secrets and interstate transportation of stolen property, the department said in a statement.

“Today’s sentence demonstrates the significant consequences awaiting those who would steal trade secrets from American companies,” said John P. Cronan, DOJ’s acting assistant attorney general.

05.04.2018 |

Beer, Wine & Oreos Now Tainted With Monsanto Chemical Poison

Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio and Carol Moore talk about an investigation that found hazardous chemicals in regularly consumed foods and drinks in America.

Transcript:

Mike Papantonio: Monsanto will make more than two billion dollars this year from the sales of Roundup. Their blockbuster weed killer has been the most popular herbicide on the planet and has brought the company billions upon billions of dollars in profits ever since it was first introduced. So it should come as no surprise that the company’s doing everything they can to convince people around the world that their cash cow is perfectly safe but the claims being made by the company about Roundup safety don’t fit in with what science is telling us.

Independent scientific studies have linked exposure to glyphosate a variety of different illnesses including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain cancer, breast cancer can kidney disease just to name a few. All the while Monsanto has been telling consumers that their product is safe enough to drink straight out of the bottle, though executives have repeatedly refused to demonstrate this when asked by reporters. As lawsuits against the company keep growing, Monsanto is now going to have to take their tired and weak defenses to the courtroom where juries will be soon deciding whether or not consumers can hold the company liable for the diseases that science is blaming on this corrupt company.

04.04.2018 |

GMO Golden rice will not address Vitamin A deficiency, hunger—anti-GMO coalition

The genetically-modified organism (GMO) known as “golden rice” will not significantly address hunger or Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in the country, according to a government agency.

NAPC facilitated the dialogue among a regional coalition of farmers, consumers, environmental activists and other related government agencies from different countries in rejecting the impending commercialization of golden rice in the Philippines.

The groups opposed the use of genetic modification, which generally meant altering the natural gene pool, until there are enough studies that could disprove its risks to human safety and biodiversity.

03.04.2018 |

More Stores, More Choices: Retailers go Non-GMO

As the demand for non-GMO goods and products continues to climb, conventional retailers are devoting more shelf space to the organic and non-GMO brands that appeal to conscientious shoppers.

It seems that the Butterfly is everywhere, and traditional retailers are taking note. Seemingly overnight, natural grocery retailers and co-ops—once the exclusive channels for organic and specialty products—are now sharing the market niche with traditional supermarket chains, big box stores, and discount grocery outlets. And with the purchasing power exhibited by a generation of vigilant moms and circumspect millennials calling for clean food, is it any surprise that predominant retailers and brands across all sectors are joining the charge?

Consumers Demand Non-GMO Options

03.04.2018 |

Judge rejects Monsanto's bid to toss lawsuit over Roundup label

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has rejected a motion by Monsanto to dismiss a lawsuit by advocacy groups Beyond Pesticides and the Organic Consumers Association alleging that the labeling on its Roundup weedkiller is misleading.

In a ruling on Saturday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said his decision was based on both sides’ briefs and applicable law and will be explained further in an opinion in the next 30 days.

31.03.2018 |

Biotech maize field trials fail to get crop agency green light

In Summary

This is the latest attempt by the proponents of GMO to seek the government’s go-ahead for the trial of the crop ahead of commercialisation.

Kenya imposed a ban on GMO crops in November, 2012, citing danger to public health, a decision that locked out many countries, including South Africa, from exporting maize to the country.

30.03.2018 |

USDA is flying blind on genome-edited crops

The USDA has announced it won't be regulating "new GM" products – but its statement is at odds with the scientific facts

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a statement to provide "clarification" on the department's "oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding techniques which include techniques called genome editing".

However, while the statement certainly makes clear the USDA's attitude to new GM techniques, when it comes to the scientific facts, it offers only smoke and mirrors.

The USDA says, "Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests. This includes a set of new techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods."

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