Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

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16.05.2017 |

GMOs again fail to secure Member State support

GMOs rejected in appeal committee

An appeal committee of national experts has today voted on the European Commission’s proposals to authorize two GMO licences, one cotton and one maize. Both are specifically designed to be used with herbicides that pose risks to human health. The appeal committee, like the standing committee before it, failed to reach a qualified majority in favour. MEPs will vote on objections to the two GMOs tomorrow (Wednesday).

Commenting after the vote, Green food safety spokesperson Bart Staes said:

"We welcome that the majority of Member States refused to give their backing to these GMOs. Both of these strands are specifically designed to be tolerant to herbicides that pose credible risks to human health. We will continue to make the case that we can feed ourselves and our farm animals without resorting to dangerous and unnecessary GM crops and an abundant cocktail of toxic chemical products.

"The decision again highlights the failure of the current approvals process. Time and time again, the European Parliament has expressed its opposition to GMOs, as have a majority of Member States in numerous committee decisions. We need a more democratic and accountable way of making these decisions, which would truly do justice to the impact they have on our health, the environment and agricultural practices. While the Commission's recent proposal to improve the decision making process falls far short of what is needed, we look forward to helping shape the Parliament's input.”

14.05.2017 |

Illegal GM maize found growing in Bolivia

NGO warns of eventual disappearance of 77 varieties of native corn

According to a press statement by the NGO, SOS MAIZ BOLIVIA, GM Roundup Ready maize has been found growing illegally in the Bolivian village of Charagua, in the south of Santa Cruz department.

The discovery occurred on March 17 2017, when an expedition of agronomists, sociologists, economists and journalists organized by SOS MAIZ BOLIVIA went to the village and performed a scientific test that detected the GM maize.

14.05.2017 |

GM moths to be released in New York State?

Please object!

Cornell University has applied for a permit to execute the world’s first open-air trial of a genetically engineered diamondback moth (GDM). The purpose of this new GM insect is to reduce pest populations of diamondback moths through engineering a new female lethality trait (female larvae die, and males go on to reproduce until the population is destroyed) into male GDM.

(.....)

Take action!

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is holding a public consultation on the proposal to release the GM diamondback moths.

Please object to the proposal. You can use the bullet points given below (in “Points for your comments to the USDA/APHIS”).

Please submit your comments here BEFORE May 19, 2017:

https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2014-0056

by clicking on the box, “Comment Now!”

13.05.2017 |

Anti-GM groups step up efforts to stall commercial release of transgenic mustard in India

NEW DELHI: Joining hands with anti-GM groups from across the country, the senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Saturday wrote to environment minister Anil Madhav Dave, urging him to withhold his approval of genetically modified (GM) mustard's commercial cultivation.

Bhushan's letter comes two days after the central biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), gave its green signal to the commercial release of GM mustard. The final decision is now on the environment minister's table who can either accept the regulator's recommendation or reject it. It is learnt that the ministry will go by the Supreme Court's ruling in a case challenging cultivation of GM mustard.

12.05.2017 |

The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.

Workers at Laiwu Manhing Vegetables Fruits in China’s Shandong province prepare to pack and ship ginger last June. The crop, though grown organically, doesn't meet U.S. organic standards, because of pesticide residue left after washing. It’s not sold as organic in the United States or Europe, the company said. (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)

A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation.

The cargo began as ordinary soybeans, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Like ordinary soybeans, they were fumigated with a pesticide. They were priced like ordinary soybeans, too.

But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch — the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation — boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain.

09.05.2017 |

International Meetings of the Resistance against GMOs : final declaration

Rencontres Internationales des Résistances aux OGM

Lorient, Brittany, 30th April 2017

Following the international meetings of convergence of Resistance to GMOs in Ouagadougou, April 2016, [organised by the Collectif citoyen pour l’Agroécologie CCAE], following the Peoples Assembly & International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, October 2016, following the First Seed Olympiad, Paranesti, Greece, April 2017, we, of the Resistance in 28 countries in 5 continents, meeting in Lorient, Brittany, 28-30 April 2017, in order to build convergence, on the occasion of this the second International Convergence of the Resistance againt GMOs, do declare :

Our seed, our knowledge and our know-how are a proud cultural heritage, not merchandise, and we alone decide with whom they are to be shared. We refuse to see them stolen by industry for genetic manipulation and privatisation under patent property rights, proceeding thus to wipe out, in country after country, all the local plant varieties and local livestock breeds. Industrial interests, moreover, cannot fool all the people all the time when they try to pass off their latest (and dissimulated) innovations as traditional varieties.

09.05.2017 |

Apply now: Agri-activism opportunity this summer on an organic farm in Wales!

One remaining place to join the project between July 17th and October 9th – deadline May 15th**

Fed up with the supermarket stranglehold on our food system? Are you active in the fight against the damaging system of corporate-controlled, pesticide-heavy, GM crops – and do you want to push for an alternative?

If you're between 18 and 30 and have a commitment to anti-GM activism and sustainable, local organic farming, Friends of the Earth Europe is offering the chance for you to support a local campaign alongside an experienced activist against GM crops in South Wales, and gain practical, hands-on, experience of working on an organic farm over a period of three months during the summer of 2017.

09.05.2017 |

GM crops stalled in 2016

There’s little to celebrate for the GM crop industry in ISAAA’s latest figures, as China drops GM plantings by 24%

The GMO industry lobby group ISAAA’s latest report says that GM crop cultivation increased globally in 2016, by 3%, after a dip in 2015.

But Gene Ethics points out that two countries — Burkina Faso and Romania — gave up growing GM crops altogether in 2016.

Other countries have registered falls in GM crop production.

07.05.2017 |

U of S, prof under fire for Monsanto ties Documents show agri-business coached Peter Phillips, edited academic articles

The University of Saskatchewan and one of its well-known professors are acting like "sock puppets" for agri-business giant Monsanto, says a U.S. researcher.

Gary Ruskin of U.S. Right to Know has obtained thousands of pages documenting North American university ties to corporations involved in genetic engineering.

Ruskin recently shared with CBC News nearly 700 pages of U of S emails and other material. Ruskin said the documents show Monsanto has recruited a team of top academics in a "Machiavellian" effort to sway public opinion.

06.05.2017 |

Field Test of GMO Algae Sparks Outrage

Scientists from the University of California at San Diego and Sapphire Energy released results Thursday from the first open-pond trials of genetically engineered microalgae.

The study, along with research and development of genetically modified (GMO) algae for biofuels, is occurring ahead of adequate regulatory oversight, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's process to establish and update regulations for genetically engineered algae to protect human health and the environment.

"This study confirmed that genetically engineered microalgae grown in open ponds will escape and spread into the environment. Once this genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back," said Dana Perls, senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth.

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