Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


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.

23.10.2007 |

Greenpeace forces Carrefour to withdraw genetically modified soy bread in Romania

Carrefour Romania withdrew from its shelves all Snack Attacks products on Monday, reasoning that its bread contains genetically modified soy bread. The action comes after Greenpeace protesters argued with proof that the white bread does not contain any GMO labelling for consumers. The bread was provided by Snack Attack, a well known fast food chain. State authorities were taken aback by the decision but said that they would meet with both Greenpeace officials and Snack Attack representatives on Tuesday to analyze the situation.

19.10.2007 |

All About: GM Rice

Feed the world’s starving. Cure vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Put an end to crop failure. Combat global warming. Such are the promises of genetically modified (GM) rice. But if it all sounds too good to be true, environmentalists say, that’s because it is. For proponents of GM rice, GM food is the obvious solution to the ongoing problems of population growth, changing climate conditions and malnutrition. For its opponents, it’s an unnecessary and potentially catastrophic exercise which only feeds corporate interests and does little to solve the real problems of global food supply, malnutrition and farming practices.

19.10.2007 |

Sacred plants might stop Bt eggplant trials in Karnataka (India)

Heritage and the humble brinjal have come in conflict in India’s southern Karnataka state, with the controversy even threatening to halt a US funded biotechnology project. [...] But Ramesh Bhat, one of India’s leading biologists and former deputy director of the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, [...] says field trials of Bt-brinjal carry the danger of the Bt gene contaminating the native variety of brinjal called Mattu gulla which people consider ’sacred’ because its seeds were reportedly given to the people of Mattu village by the 15th century Hindu saint Vadiraja.

27.09.2007 |

EU ministers neither approve nor stop three GM maize varieties

EU farm ministers fell short of a consensus to allow imports of three GM maize types from the US. The EU Commission will now take the decision to approve them as no two thrid majority against the approval was reached either. They are not meant to be cultivated within the European Union.

21.09.2007 |

France moves towards a freeze on growing GM crops

The French government is planning to freeze the cultivation of GMOs. Jean-Louis Borloo, minister for ecology, development and sustainable management confirmed to Le Monde : ”Everyone is in agreement on the GM issue: it is not possible to control their spread. So we will not take the risk.”

20.09.2007 |

France considers 'freezing' commercialisation of GMOs

The French government is preparing to "freeze the commercialisation" of genetically modified seeds until the adoption of a new law on the issue. French ecology and development minister Jean-Louis Borloo has "confided" this to a group of parliamentarians.

07.09.2007 |

Philippine court curbs genetically modified rice

Environmentalists have won a legal skirmish in their campaign to stop the propagation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last week Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court granted an application filed by Greenpeace and other groups for a temporary restraining order against the genetically modified rice Bayer LL62. [...] The injunction petition, which Greenpeace filed August 23, questions the lack of public voice and public consultation on GMO approvals by DA and BPI, particularly in the case of Bayer LL62’s application.

”Greenpeace believes that the pending application of a genetically-altered rice to be used for food, feed, and processing in our country is a very serious issue of public concern,” said Daniel Ocampo, the environment group’s genetic engineering campaigner in Southeast Asia. ”If the application is approved, the entry of GMO rice in our country will irrevocably alter the future of our most important staple food.”

07.09.2007 |

U.S. biotech crop rules get rewrite

A process aimed at revising the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been launched by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). But critics fear the changes will not go far enough to protect the environment and public health. The USDA is one of three US agencies responsible for regulating GMOs, along with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. A draft environmental-impact statement released in July gives the first glimpses of how the USDA rules might change. It proposes to expand its authority from plants that might endanger other plants to "the full range of potential agricultural and environmental risks posed by these organisms, including risks to public health".


Local Organising Committee