Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

News

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.

27.05.2009 |

GM-free Europe: Lessons for Nigeria

Certainly this declaration has a lot of lessons for our federal and state governments, the federal and state legislators and, indeed, all Nigerians. At the moment, there are bills on biotechnology and genetic engineering applications to agriculture at the Senate and the House of Representatives which the USAID has been stampeding them to pass into law. The lessons of the declarations should be learnt by the president and legislators especially.

26.05.2009 |

Field trial of dangerous genetically engineered trees begins in Belgium

Organizations internationally are condemning the planting of a highly controversial field trial of GE poplar trees on 6 May by The Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). The poplars, planted in the Belgian countryside, have been genetically engineered for altered lignin content specifically for the production of agrofuels (industrial- scale biofuels).

25.05.2009 |

Western Australian fasting protest a show of anti-GM sentiment

WILLIAMS, WA, canola farmers Jo Fowler, Janette Liddelow, Margie Haddrick and Catherine Higham staged a protest against the growing of Genetically Modified (GM) canola in WA on the steps of Parliament House last week. The protest involved a two day fasting vigil, with the ladies urging Agriculture Minister Terry Redman to abort the GM canola trials that will be grown across about 850 hectares this year, on three research stations and 17 WA farms.

13.05.2009 |

Golden Rice: A dangerous experiment

Changing agricultural models have contributed to vitamin A deficiency. Interestingly, WHO’s recommended practice of growing beta-carotene-rich leafy vegetables in home gardens was common in developing countries before the arrival of World Bank, IMF and other Western-backed programmes that forced farmers into growing cash crops for export. [...] It is ironic that Golden Rice is a ”solution” promoted by Western interests to a problem that was arguably generated by Western interests in the first place.

13.05.2009 |

Call for agricultural research to serve people, not corporate interests

Farmers and food consumers worldwide need a stronger say in how agricultural research is funded, designed, implemented and controlled to ensure that the knowledge produced brings the most social and environmental benefits. So says a multimedia e-book published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) today to coincide with the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which focuses heavily on agriculture.

13.05.2009 |

Consumers still unsure about GM wheat, president of Canadian Federation of Agriculture

It has been five years since U.S. seed and chemical company Monsanto dropped its plans to introduce genetically modified (GM) wheat in the face of consumer opposition -- and while some attitudes have shifted since then, by and large many people still aren’t certain they want GM wheat included in their bread. Consumers are willing to accept many types of new technology without reserve but when it comes to GM food, feelings run very high, said Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Laurent Pellerin.

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