Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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21.07.2009 |

EU and Canada settle WTO case on Genetically Modified Organisms

The European Union and Canada have today signed in Geneva a final settlement of the WTO dispute that Canada brought against the EU in May 2003 regarding the application of its legislation on biotech products. The mutually agreed solution provides for the establishment of a regular dialogue on issues of mutual interest on agriculture biotechnology. The EU and Canada will notify this settlement to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body as a mutually agreed solution.

03.07.2009 |

Transgenic food production in Cuba: The need for a participatory and serious debate

The news that the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) will soon be introducing certain transgenic species and plants on a commercial scale in Cuba has met with optimism by some and concern from others. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population has not been informed. Unlike some other countries, there has not been a national debate in Cuba about the production and consumption of transgenic foods. Some even say that we have been consuming transgenic food for some time without knowing it. It seems that CIBG will soon be receiving a license to cultivate transgenic corn in Cuba on thousands of hectares and that the introduction of the technology has the complete support of the State.

01.07.2009 |

Survey shows most Canadian farmers oppose GM wheat

Most Canadian wheat farmers are opposed to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) wheat unless market conditions change, according to a Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) survey. The annual CWB survey was based on 1,300 telephone interviews with Western Canadian farmers. It found that most (57 percent) thought that GM wheat should not be grown in Canada until certain conditions are met, such as added agronomic benefits for farmers or an identified market demand.

01.07.2009 |

GE maize strain MON810 safe: EU food agency

Only a handful of genetically modified crop have been approved for cultivation in the European Union, but of them only the controversial MON810 maize strain is so far being grown, according to the European Commission. It was approved back in 1998. When EU environment ministers in March refused to force countries to lift their ban on MON810 only Britain, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden supported the EU executive’s bid.

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.

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