Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


22.10.2008 |

EU’s Vassiliou: no need to change GM zero tolerance

Europe’s food safety chief said on Thursday she did not believe there was any need to change the European Union’s ”zero tolerance” policy on unauthorised genetically modified material in food imports. [...] ”My cabinet advises me that there is no need at this point to change the zero tolerance because we have already approved one event, we are in the process of approving a second event.

18.09.2008 |

Transgenic crops’ days may be numbered in Europe

Pressure from the president of the European Commission has not succeeded in advancing the cause of transgenic crops. In spite of the power wielded by the executive organ of the European Union, the bloc’s member countries are gradually discontinuing the use of genetically modified seeds. [...] Portuguese biologist Margarida Silva, the national coordinator of Plataforma Transgénicos Fora, comprising 12 Portuguese non-governmental organisations working on agriculture and the environment and networking with likeminded NGOs in the EU, told [...] that ”the movement against transgenics is growing in civil society throughout Europe, and GM crops have already been banned in several countries.” ”There isn’t much that Europeans can do, but the power of numbers is still on our side, and we can use them to back Stavros Dimas,” she said.

17.09.2008 |

Greenpeace calls on Philippine Senate to ban GM rice

Greenpeace today called on the Philippine Senate to enact a legislation to ban the commercialization of genetically-modified rice (GMO) rice. The call was made at the opening of a photo exhibit in the Senate halls, featuring the importance of rice in Filipino life and culture and why it must be protected from risky genetic modification.

”Greenpeace is here at the Senate to lobby our senators to enact a legislation to protect our most important staple food from the inherent risks of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is an unproven, unpredictable and unnecessary technology.

16.09.2008 |

Scottish Ministers urge UK-wide ban on GM crops

SCOTTISH MINISTERS are putting mounting pressure on the UK government to end its support for GM crops now that Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have all agreed to become GM-free. In the wake of the latest GM crop contamination revealed on Friday, the Scottish environment minister, Michael Russell, is urging Whitehall to alter its stance to take account of the strong opposition to genetically modified crops in all the devolved administrations.

11.09.2008 |

Campaigners attack plans to plant GM trees in UK

FRIENDS of the Earth have hit out at controversial plans by scientists at Southampton University to grow genetically modified trees on Forestry Commission land. It is the first time scientists have tried to grow GM trees in Britain since 1999 when activists destroyed 115 modified trees in Berkshire. Environmental campaigners say the dangers of contamination – especially as trees live so long – the complex mechanics of tree reproduction and the risk to biodiversity are all so great the idea should be rejected.

05.09.2008 |

EU states should be able to stop GMO crops nationally says German Agriculture Minister

Germany wants European Union member states to have the power to block genetically-modified crops in their countries, Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday. Currently the EU Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, takes the decision whether genetically modified organisms (GMO) are safe and has controversially approved several GMO crops for commercial farming. [...] ’I believe that the EU member states should be able to decide themselves whether they actually want cultivation in their areas,’ Seehofer said.

29.07.2008 |

Growing number of South Korean companies go GMO-free

Food safety comes first. This is what a growing number of domestic companies and consumer groups are saying through a campaign against foods that come from genetically-modified organisms. The safety of so-called GMO foods has long been debated. [...] Amid the controversy a leading Korean food company has decided not to use GMO beans in its tofu bean sprouts and soybean oil. Other local food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies are also saying no to GMO.

28.07.2008 |

Monsanto advises Government of Pakistan on Bt cotton introduction

The government has constituted a committee on Thursday to finalise a roadmap for introduction of new variety of Bt-Cotton that will lead to enhance cotton production in the country. The committee will forward its recommendations within a week time to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, which will later on consult the stakeholders and will take final decision about introduction of latest technology of Bt-Cotton. Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) and Monsanto— a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation— are members of the committee, who will assess the over all situation relating to transfer of new technology, its value, productivity and reasonable price acceptable to the farming community.

24.07.2008 |

Genetically altered Kellogg products target of boycott

The Flint couple are among those calling for a national consumer boycott against Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co., the world’s leading cereal maker, in an effort to block the use of genetically engineered sugar beets in products ranging from candy and breakfast cereal to bread. The Internet-based boycott is spreading mostly through Web sites dedicated to organic foods. ”Kellogg isn’t the only one. It’s just the one we’re going after,” said Kirby.

23.07.2008 |

South African application to field test GE tobacco to detect landmines

Scientists from the University of Stellenbosch have teamed up with Danish biotechnology firm Aresa to test a genetically engineered tobacco plant that turns red when it grows near land mines, offering hope of a cheap way to help clear fields in post-conflict zones. [...] Field trials are already under way in Serbia, and researchers from Stellenbosch have applied to the registrar of the Genetically Modified Organisms Act for permission to conduct similar research. Scientists want to assess how the genetically engineered tobacco responds to drought and extreme temperatures, Kempen said.


Local Organising Committee