Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

News

01.12.2006 |

UK opens door for GM Potatoe trials

Britain's farm and environment ministry said on Friday it had given the go-ahead for research trials on disease resistant genetically modified potatoes.

German chemicals group BASF will be allowed to hold trials on two sites in England, starting next year. The GMO potatoes, which have been developed to be resistant to potato blight, will not be used for food or animal feed.

30.11.2006 |

United States and Russia signed Bilateral WTO Market Access Agreement

Russia agreed to maintain an interim approval and registration system for products of modern biotechnology that is science-based, transparent, predictable and consistent with the WTO Agreement.

Further Russia agreed to register products covered by all pending applications that have received a favorable science-based risk assessment by November 15, 2006. Russia and the United States agreed to hold annual consultations on the status of applications for re-registration of products whose registrations have expired during that year and to establish an ongoing bilateral consultative mechanism to discuss issues of regulatory development in the area of agricultural biotechnology.

30.11.2006 |

GM Potatoe: BASF Amflora to be approved next week?

Beginning next week, the EU Commission will ask its 25 members to allow cultivation of a genetically modified potato owned by BASF AG, the first time the EU has proposed allowing a gene crop to be planted since a ban on the products ended.

28.11.2006 |

Congress: Science and Society – the Frontier of the Invisible

"Science and Society – the Frontier of the Invisible", is an annual international congress that provides an opportunity for an exchange between society, research and the most advanced knowledge in the biotechnology sector. In this, its third year, the congress will address the topic of biotechnological innovation from three points of view: certification of scientific information and the institutional use of that information, genetic engineering as the last step in the industrialization of agriculture, and the political/social governance of biotechnology.

The congress takes place in Rome between 30 November and 2 December 2006.

27.11.2006 |

Hungary set to pass 'strictest' GMO crop law

Hungary is set to impose strict rules on genetically modified crops that would mostly block their cultivation even if the EU overturns the country's GMO ban. The law, supported by the opposition as well as government parties, is expected to be passed on Monday in case the European Union forces Hungary to abandon its complete ban. "This is Europe's, perhaps the world's, strictest GMO law," Agriculture Minister Jozsef Graf said.

25.11.2006 |

Biggest Russian food and feed importers adopt GE free policy

After three weeks of intensive campaigning against imports of genetically engineered food (GE) and feed coming into Russia, Greenpeace received an announcement from two major Russian food and feed importers that they have adopted a policy of only using non GE products. Sodruzhestvo, the biggest soya importer in Russia, which supplies 70% of all soya used in the Russian food and feed industry, has stated that it will turn its new factory currently under construction in Kaliningrad into a GE free zone. The new oil-extraction and feed-processing plant will not only produce GE free soya oils and feeds, but also GE free maize and GE free oilseed rape products. Following the move by Sodruzhestvo the feed producer Rybflotprom, which controls 7 % of the Russian feed market and is 80 % owned by the French company Provimi, also announced it has adopted a GE free policy for all its products.

23.11.2006 |

WTO rules EU illegally blocked biotech food from U.S., others

The World Trade Organization on Tuesday ruled that European countries broke international trade regulations by preventing imports of genetically modified foods. Argentina, Canada and the United States - which brought the dispute to the WTO - said the decision proves there was no scientific evidence to justify the ban. The three urged the 25-nation European Union to immediately bring into compliance its laws on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

22.11.2006 |

GM Rice: Bayer blames God and farmers

In a 30-page response Bayer Crops Science offers the first clue to how the company plans to defend itself against the 15 class-action lawsuits filed by farmers, who allege that they stand to lose millions of dollars because of the contamination. Denying any culpability, the Bayer response variously blames the escape of its gene-altered variety of long-grain race, LL601, on "unavoidable circumstances which could not have been prevented by anyone"; "an act of God"; and farmers' "own negligence, carelessness, and/or comparative fault."

Meanwhile, in an effort to "purge" rice seeds from Bayers contamination, the Arkansas Rice board has banned the rice variety "Chernier" from planting in 2007.

21.11.2006 |

Slovenia to aid Bulgaria in acquiring EU environment funds

Slovenian Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Janez Podobnik pledged Slovenia's support to Bulgaria in securing EU environment funds, as he met his Bulgarian host and counterpart Djevdet Chakurov in Sofia on Friday, 17 November. [...] The pair also concluded that both countries are among more conservative regarding genetically modified organisms, Podobnik said.

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