Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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30.06.2009 |

EU to examine national opt-outs for GM crop growing

Eleven European Union countries called last week for the right to opt-outs for growing genetically modified (GM) crops, to cut through complex EU decision-making and end years of stalemate on biotech policy.

The suggestion, was floated at a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg last Thursday, would be for governments to restrict cultivation of specific GM crop types if they saw fit.

Even though there will be no decisions taken, the paper authored by the 11 countries is certain to spark a debate on Europe's GM policy. The European Commission, the EU's executive, has already started a review of the two main biotech approvals laws: on cultivation, and imports of GM food and feed products.

The paper was co-written by Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia and the Netherlands.

29.06.2009 |

Austria proposes GMO ’opt-out’ clause

After a debate on environmental risks related to the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Austria is now calling for an opt-out clause to be introduced to related EU legislation to allow individual member states to decide on cultivation. [...] The delegation argues that ”relevant socio-economic aspects could form a basis for individual member states to prohibit or regulate the cultivation of GMOs on the whole territory, or certain defined areas, of individual member states”.

29.06.2009 |

New Law on GMO is prohibiting trade or commercial growing

On May 29, 2009 National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia adopted new Law Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) that fully prohibits the possibility of commercial growing of live modified organisms, or trade with live modified organism and products derived from genetically modified organisms. With the new Law on GMO, Serbian import of soybean meal (from roundup ready soybeans) for cattle feed is no longer possible.

25.06.2009 |

Monsanto and Dole cooperate to build better veggies

Monsanto Co and Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc are formalizing a partnership to breed broccoli, spinach and other vegetables that would be more attractive to consumers. The five-year collaboration, announced on Tuesday, will focus on creating variations of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach, the companies said in a statement. The focus of their efforts is to breed more colorful, tastier vegetables that are less susceptible to bruising and have a longer shelf-life.

23.06.2009 |

Activists convince CBD Member States to block GE tree research

Increasingly stringent recommendations by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are hindering the field research needed to develop safe uses of genetically modified (GM) trees, say Steven H. Strauss and colleagues. [...] And the strong anti-GM stance taken by some countries and prominent nongovernmental organisations are influencing CBD recommendations, say the authors.

23.06.2009 |

Danish Government to accelerate GMO approvals to feed the hungry

The Danish government thinks that genetically modified organisms may be the way to feed the increasing world population. Danes are going to have to get used to their cows chewing away at genetically modified maize and soya beans, at least if the Danish Minister for Food Eva Kjær Hansen (Lib) could decide. The minister wants to make it much easier to get approval for GMO products – initially GMO feed, in order to help the world’s starving millions.

22.06.2009 |

EU to examine national opt-outs for GM crop growing

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Eleven European Union countries will call next week for the right to opt-outs for growing genetically modified (GM) crops, to cut through complex EU decision-making and end years of stalemate on biotech policy. The suggestion, to be floated at a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday, would be for governments to restrict cultivation of specific GM crop types if they saw fit.

04.06.2009 |

Segregation needed for GE crops in Europe: scientists

Genetically-engineered crops and conventional crops would have to be grown in segregated areas to meet environmental concerns about transgenic farming in Europe, agricultural scientists said on Tuesday. [...] Given that fields in Europe are relatively small, and winds can spread pollen from transgenic crops over large distances, co-existence of novel and traditional crops will only be possible if they are grown in ”dedicated zones,” it said.

03.06.2009 |

Towards a GM-free Europe? Austria resists GMOs

Austrian voters want the next European Parliament to fight against genetically modified crops. Only about 20% of Austrians plan to cast European ballots, yet they want their national GMO ban left alone. EU authorisations continue to sow doubt.

29.05.2009 |

Greece extends ban on US biotech corn seeds

Greece extended its ban on a genetically modified strain of corn seed developed by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto Co. for another two years, the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday. The ban on importing and cultivating MON810 has also been expanded to include 100 types of the seed - up from 70 last year, the ministry said in a statement.

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