Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

News

05.07.2018 |

The Natural Connection to Cotton-Seed Selection

The apparel and textile industries are under a lot of pressure these days.

Consumers are becoming more vocal about sustainability, where products are sourced and how they are made. Shoppers are more sensitive about the use of genetically modified organisms used in cotton production and often bristle at any mention of GMOs.

On top of this, insects and dry weather in California and Texas have inhibited cotton-crop production in these regions.

But a solution to some of these problems is being developed by Indigo Ag, a Boston-based company that has identified a natural, non-GMO approach to using microbes to ease the burden of problems associated with dependence on cotton-crop yields.

04.07.2018 |

China to launch inspection of GMO labels on cooking oils

China will launch a month-long inspection of labelling on cooking oils on Dec. 21, said a notice posted on Wednesday on the website of the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Inspectors will check production records against labels, punishing producers if the labelling is not accurate or fraudulent, it added.

The notice comes after local media reports about companies in southeastern Fujian province falsely labelling GMO soy oil as a non-GMO product.

04.07.2018 |

Gene Drive: Leading African Biodiversity Advocate Denied Canadian Visa Days Before UN Forum

As international debate on gene drive technology heats up, Canadian immigration officials deny a key voice

MONTREAL, July 4, 2018 - United Nations biodiversity negotiations are underway in Montreal, but a key African expert is missing from the fray. Ali Tapsoba, President of the organization Terre à Vie in Burkina Faso, was planning to speak at two events on behalf of Burkinabé civil society who oppose the release of gene drive mosquitoes, a controversial new biotechnology, in their communities.

His visa application was denied without explanation by the Canadian embassy in Dakar on Friday.

“Tapsoba is probably the preeminent voice in Burkina Faso against the Target Malaria Consortium, which is leading the project towards release of Gene Drive mosquitoes in the wild,” said Mariann Bassey of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

“I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from attending these important negotiations addressing issues of biotechnology at a time when Africa is plagued by multinationals that want to impose GMOs and destroy the beautiful biodiversity of the continent,” said Tapsoba in a written statement. “Don’t Africans have the right to meet other nationalities from around the world in Canada to discuss the future of humanity?”

04.07.2018 |

Leading African Biodiversity Advocate Denied Canadian Visa Days Before UN Forum

As international debate on gene drive technology heats up, Canadian immigration officials deny a key voice

MONTREAL, July 4, 2018 - United Nations biodiversity negotiations are underway in Montreal, but a key African expert is missing from the fray. Ali Tapsoba, President of the organization Terre à Vie in Burkina Faso, was planning to speak at two events on behalf of Burkinabé civil society who oppose the release of gene drive mosquitoes, a controversial new biotechnology, in their communities.

His visa application was denied without explanation by the Canadian embassy in Dakar on Friday.

“Tapsoba is probably the preeminent voice in Burkina Faso against the Target Malaria Consortium, which is leading the project towards release of Gene Drive mosquitoes in the wild,” said Mariann Bassey of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

“I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from attending these important negotiations addressing issues of biotechnology at a time when Africa is plagued by multinationals that want to impose GMOs and destroy the beautiful biodiversity of the continent,” said Tapsoba in a written statement. “Don’t Africans have the right to meet other nationalities from around the world in Canada to discuss the future of humanity?”

Canada’s denial of Tapsoba’s visa comes at a moment when biotech industry backers are spending millions of dollars to promote gene drives, a powerful technology that could be used to render species extinct, or create new kinds of corporate control of agriculture and the environment.

30.06.2018 |

Yucatán and its fight against transgenics

Since many rural communities in Yucatán depend on the cultivation and harvesting of corn, honey and other basic products, different organizations conformed by Maya speaking people that defend the Human Rights of Indigenous People, Environmental Associations and Yucatecan businessmen got together to form the Ma GMO collective.

A triumph for the people

The fight gave its first fruits in 2014, when the opponents of Monsanto, arguing violations of their right to have a healthy environment, filed and obtained legal protections before federal judges.

In this regard, it is important to point out the support of the Government of the State of Yucatan, who listened to the people’s concerns, and not only supported their communities, but also sent these proposals to the Federal Government and strongly fought for their approval.

(.....)

In the case of Yucatan, the beekeeping activity and the planting of corn is a standard of the economy, and becoming a GM free zone is an achievement of the last two state government administrations, of several associations and of course, of society, that should serve as an example for other Mexican states.

29.06.2018 |

Japan-Korea-Taiwan Non-GMO Asia Forum established

On 8 May 2018, a symposium was held in the Taiwanese capital Taipei on the theme of GM food. The symposium was organized by the School Lunch Project 22 and the GMO Free School Campaign. 22 is the number of major administrative divisions in Taiwan. Homemakers Union Consumers Co-op and the GMO Free Campaign in Taiwan also cooperated with the event in a gathering aimed at making school lunches GMO free. At the gathering, Honorary Professor of Taiwan University Warren Kuo reported on the history of GMOs in Taiwan and explained how Taiwan's GMO food labeling and restrictions were once behind those of Japan and South Korea but are now the most advanced. The gathering ended with the announcement that "Yesterday, May 7, Taiwan’s parliament passed an Organic Agriculture Promotion Act. As similar acts have now also passed in Japan and South Korea, if three of the six countries that use the largest amounts of pesticides per unit area, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, promote organic farming, it will be possible to bring about a large reduction in the amounts of pesticides used in the world." On the same day, a ceremony for the establishment of the Non-GMO Asia Forum was held and it was agreed that in the future the citizens of the three countries would maintain close contact with one another and coordinate their actions.

29.06.2018 |

Biosafety in Danger | How industry, researchers and negotiators collaborate to undermine the UN Biodiversity Convention

Documents released to Corporate Europe Observatory following a Freedom of Information request reveal how pro-biotech lobby platform Public Research Regulation Initiative (PRRI) unites industry, researchers and regulators in ‘like-minded’ groups to manipulate crucial international biosafety talks under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

This discovery is all the more important because two crucial moments which may have a huge global impact on biosafety are to take place shortly. From 2 – 13 July 2018, experts from the 196 countries that have signed this international agreement will gather in Montreal to continue discussions on controversial technologies such as Synthetic Biology and so-called gene drives made through gene editing. And on 25 July 2018 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will publish a ruling about the legal status of new genetic engineering techniques including gene editing.

Biotech developers are trying hard to avoid the food and environmental safety rules that govern GMOs being applied to their products from new genetic engineering techniques, like gene editing. But environmental groups, scientists and farmers are calling for strict regulation of these new techniques, and for careful consideration of the socio-economic impacts of these technologies.

28.06.2018 |

Victory!!! Monsanto and Bayer Defeated in Mexico as Anti-Trust Agency Orders End to Monopolistic Seed Practices

The Monsanto-Bayer merger came to light with a ton of controversy, but now, it appears to have slipped the radar screen as the two companies quietly merge into a monstrous entity that could control more than a quarter of the world’s pesticides and seeds market.

The two companies were able to receive anti-trust approval in the United States despite petitions and objections toward their allegedly monopolistic practices, infuriating many activists who had fought for more regulations or a halt to the merger.

But meanwhile in Mexico, the historic pesticide and GMO alliance has just been dealt a monumental blow, as the country’s anti-trust agency has just ordered Monsanto and Bayer to disinvest in two of their biggest GMO business interests.

Monsanto, Bayer Dealt Huge Blow in Mexico

According to this article from the website Reuters, Monsanto and Bayer have been ordered to disinvest in their GMO cotton seed business and all of their vegetable seed businesses.

27.06.2018 |

Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Consumers Avoid GMO Foods; Large Majority Primarily Concerned About Human Health Impact

Proposed Federal Bioengineered (BE) Foods Disclosure Suggests Lower Consumer Acceptance, Less Willingness to Pay Under Various Labeling Options

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Labels proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to disclose “bioengineered” (BE) foods dramatically increase a wide variety of consumer concerns, especially regarding human health.

Those are among the findings of new research by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation into areas where AMS sought comments on its proposed BE labeling standards, as well as consumers’ views generally of genetically modified foods, or GMOs.

Concerns Arise When BE Foods Are Labeled

With AMS’s July 3 deadline to comment on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law fast approaching, the IFIC Foundation tested reactions to the three BE labeling symbols and two variations of text disclosures. In every combination, levels of concern across a variety of factors increased—often substantially—when a disclosure label was applied.

27.06.2018 |

Concerns about GMOs prompt consumer demand for labels

Dive Brief:

Even though consumer awareness and knowledge of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) aren't very high​, a recent online survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation found that shoppers will typically avoid these foods if possible. In addition, consumers want food labels to tell them whether GMOs are present.

IFIC said about half of consumers (47%) don't worry about whether foods contain GMOs, but 41% consider the presence of GMOs when purchasing foods, the survey found. Consumers also want to see a GMO symbol or wording on food packaging so they have access to the information while shopping. However, they don't want to call a number or visit a website to get such information.

The online survey of 1,002 people also found the most common reason people avoided these foods was human health, followed closely by environmental and animal health concerns.

NewsActualitéNachrichtenActualidad

Local Organising Committee