Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

News

15.04.2018 |

Two pests targeted by GM Bt toxins hybridise to form global mega-pest

Cotton bollworm and corn earworm have outsmarted GM Bt and chemical insecticides and have now joined forces

The cotton bollworm and corn earworm are two pests targeted by the Bt toxins engineered into GM Bt insecticidal crops. Both pests have in past years become resistant to these GM Bt toxins. Now a new study has found that the two pests have hybridised, meaning that attempts to kill them with GM or chemical toxins are increasingly likely to fail.

Neither the new study (see abstract, item 3 below) nor press articles about it (items 1-2) talk about GM Bt crops as offering any kind of solution to this problem. The study simply mentions GM Bt crops as a former pest control tactic that has since been made redundant by resistant pests.

13.04.2018 |

Another win for a GE-free NZ!

The Soil & Health Association welcomes a decision released today by the Environment Court declining Federated Farmers’ attempt to challenge regulation of genetically modified organisms under the RMA.

In the latest case before the Environment Court, Whangarei District Council appealed the Northland Council’s Regional Policy Statement, asking to delete one word – ‘plants’ so that the policy would require a precautionary approach to be adopted towards introducing genetically engineered organisms generally – not just plants – to the environment.

“The court’s decision is a victory for common sense and for the interests of all Northlanders concerned about the possible introduction of GMOs into the environment, whether they be plants, animals, insects or microorganisms,” said Graham Clarke, Soil & Health’s chair.

12.04.2018 |

New Filings Reveal Enlist Duo Unlawfully Approved by Trump EPA, Will Harm Endangered Species and Non-GMO Crops

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late Wednesday, a coalition of environmental organizations and farmers represented by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice filed new legal papers in federal court seeking the reversal of Scott Pruitt and the Trump Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) approval of Dow Chemical's toxic pesticide, Enlist Duo. The novel pesticide is a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D, to be sprayed over the top of corn, cotton, and soybeans that are genetically engineered by Dow with resistance to both pesticides.

"Our filing reveals that EPA approved Enlist Duo despite its significant harms to health, environment, farms, water, and endangered species," said Sylvia Wu, CFS attorney and counsel for the coalition. "EPA's job is protecting the environment, human health, and farmers, not blindly do the bidding of pesticide companies. The court must stop its use."

11.04.2018 |

Rural China Economics and Policy: Spring GMO Seed Crackdown in China

With spring planting approaching, Chinese provinces are cracking down on illegal trading, testing, and planting of genetically modified seeds.

A March notice issued by Heilongjiang authorities warned farmers not to buy illegal GMO seeds sold as "pest-resistant or weed-resistant," offered free testing for seeds they already have, and urged farmers to report any merchants selling illegal GMO seeds.

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.

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 |

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.

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