Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


23.11.2007 |

EU officials propose ban on genetically modified corn seeds

European Union environment officials have determined that two kinds of genetically modified corn could harm butterflies, modify food chains and disturb life in rivers and streams, and they have proposed a ban on the sale of the seeds, which are made by Pioneer Hi-Bred, Dow Agrosciences and Syngenta. The preliminary decisions, seen by the International Herald Tribune, are circulating within the European Commission, the EU executive, which has the final say. Some officials there are skeptical about a ban that would upset the powerful biotechnology industry and could exacerbate tensions with important EU trading partners like the United States.

18.11.2007 |

EU considers 'pause for thought' on GMOs

"Here we have one member state, Austria, wanting to opt for one particular position and some other member states feel that this position should be respected, independently of that country's particular opinion about GMOs or GM food," he added, saying that majority of member states are against (187 votes) the Commission proposal to order the ban to be lifted. "The Commission proposal still prevails against the explicit will of one member state and that is something that has to give us a pause for thought".

16.11.2007 |

Establishment of ”GMO free Macedonia” network

On the 1st of November on the initiative of Eco-sense from Skopje and Vila zora from Veles the ”GMO free Macedonia” network of NGOs was established in Veles. The initial meeting took place in Veles, because Veles is the first GMO free zone in Macedonia. Representatives from five NGOs from different municipalities and one foundation were the founders of the Network. The mission of the network is to fight against GMOs through education, exchange of experiences, lobbying, promotion and development of organic farming and declaring new GMO free zones.

13.11.2007 |

Three million people vote to make Italy GM-free

More than 3 million Italians have signed a petition calling for Italy to ban all genetically modified foods. Campaigners collected signatures at marketplaces and food fairs across the country over the last few months and hope the government will respond by banning all imports and cultivation of GMOs.

26.10.2007 |

EU environment chief opposes GE maizes Bt-11 and 1507

The European Union’s environment chief is proposing that two types of genetically modified (GMO) maize not be authorized for cultivation in the bloc, setting up a clash within the 27-member EU executive body. The maize types in question are Syngenta’s Bt-11 and the 1507 maize developed jointly by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a subsidiary of DuPont Co, and Dow AgroSciences unit Mycogen Seeds, according to documents seen by Reuters on Thursday. But the other members of the European Commission oppose the position of Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, sources familiar with the situation said, implying the rejection may not take effect. One EU source said all 26 other members of the EU executive body were against Dimas’ proposal.

26.10.2007 |

France suspends planting of GMO crops until early 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would suspend the planting of genetically modified (GMO) pest-resistant crops until the results of an appraisal of the issue later this year or early in 2008. Unveiling the country’s new environment policy, Sarkozy said no GMO crops would be planted in France until the government had received the results of an evaluation by a new authority on GMOs set to be launched later this year. ”I don’t want to be in contradiction with EU laws, but I have to make a choice. In line of the precautionary principle, I wish that the commercial cultivation of genetically modified pesticide GMOs be suspended,” he said.

25.10.2007 |

US opposes WTO membership of Ukraine due to GE food labelling law

Liga website published an article ”Gene Engineering May Obstruct Ukraine’s Way to WTO” drawing the readers’ attention to this problem. The author of the article reminds that the Cabinet of Ministers decided to introduce an obligation of marking genetically modified foodstuffs starting from November 1, 2007. ”However, the American side of WTO holds a firm stand against such actions,” runs the article.

24.10.2007 |

West Australia considers GM cotton for the Ord

The Western Australian government says it will consider an exemption to its genetically modified crop ban, to allow GM cotton to be grown in the Ord Valley. The move comes after positive public feedback to a discussion paper on the crop. Agriculture Minister, Kim Chance, says the government is still to receive a response from the traditional owners of the Kimberley region, but so far support has been positive.

23.10.2007 |

Two killed in Brazil landless peasants‘ protest

Two people were killed during weekend clashes after landless peasants in Brazil occupied the farm of a multinational agrochemical company in the latest of several such protests over the past week. Police said on Monday a peasant leader and a guard were killed at the Swiss-owned Syngenta Seeds farm in the southern state of Parana after it was occupied by 200 landless militants on Sunday. [...] The MST and similar groups frequently occupy farms, block highways, torch crops, and stage rallies to pressure the government to give more land to the poor. Landowners often hire armed guards and hit squads to repel invasions.

23.10.2007 |

Russia‘s lower house OKs bill to ease legislation on GM food

The State Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house, approved Thursday a bill under which packages with genetically modified (GM) food must contain information on genetic modification if GM content is more than 0.9%. According to current legislation, they must always contain that information. The bill was initially approved by the State Duma in June and rejected by the Federation Council, the upper house, in July. The upper house objected to a clause of the bill under which packages with GM food should contain information about genetic modification only in some exceptional cases. The houses set up a committee to reach a compromise and agreed on the 0.9% GM content clause. To become law, the bill must be signed by the president.


Local Organising Committee