19.05.2017 |

EC glyphosate renewal discussion to restart

The European Commission has decided to restart member state discussions over a 10-year renewal of glyphosate.

The Commission said: "We have taken into account the latest state of scientific research" and will"work with the member states to find a solution that enjoys the largest possible support."

No date has yet been set for when discussions with representatives of EU member states will start.

The EU granted an 18-month extension last July of its approval of glyphosate, less than the expected 10 years.

17.05.2017 |

Groups Call on Grocery Stores to Reject GM Fish and Produce as Parliament Votes Down Mandatory Labelling for GM Foods

Ottawa, May 17, 2017 – Public interest groups the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and Vigilance OGM, are expressing profound disappointment that Members of Parliament voted down Private Member’s Bill C-291 for mandatory labelling of genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered) foods.

Polls over twenty years consistently show that over 75 percent of Canadians want GM foods labelled. Health Canada’s 2016 survey put this number at 78 percent.

“Transparency and traceability are missing in Canada when it comes to GM foods,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. “The continued lack of mandatory labelling is an untenable situation for consumers.”

17.05.2017 |

Calls to halt GM maize and cotton import

MEPs objected on Wednesday to EU Commission plans to authorise imports of products made from genetically modified maize and cotton which are herbicide-resistant.

- Concerns over harmful herbicide residues

- Overhaul of authorisation procedure by Commission needed

They highlight concerns raised by independent research and member states, and repeat Parliament’s call for an overhaul of the EU’s GMO authorisation procedure.

A resolution opposing the marketing of products containing maize DAS-40278-9 points to concerns raised by independent research about the risks of the 2,4D herbicide, to which the maize is resistant, for embryo development and endocrine disruption.

Member States criticised the authorisation procedure during the three-month consultation period before approval, referring to missing or insufficient data, contradictory statements and poor test design.

The non-binding resolution was adopted with 435 votes to 216 and 34 abstentions.

In a separate resolution, adopted with 425 votes to 230 and 27 abstentions, MEPs say that imports of products from genetically modified cotton GHB119 should not be authorised, as this would encourage the use of glufosinate ammonium-based herbicides (to which GHB119 is resistant) in the world, while glufosinate is classified as toxic for reproduction.

14.05.2017 |

Illegal GM maize found growing in Bolivia

NGO warns of eventual disappearance of 77 varieties of native corn

According to a press statement by the NGO, SOS MAIZ BOLIVIA, GM Roundup Ready maize has been found growing illegally in the Bolivian village of Charagua, in the south of Santa Cruz department.

The discovery occurred on March 17 2017, when an expedition of agronomists, sociologists, economists and journalists organized by SOS MAIZ BOLIVIA went to the village and performed a scientific test that detected the GM maize.

09.05.2017 |

International Meetings of the Resistance against GMOs : final declaration

Rencontres Internationales des Résistances aux OGM

Lorient, Brittany, 30th April 2017

Following the international meetings of convergence of Resistance to GMOs in Ouagadougou, April 2016, [organised by the Collectif citoyen pour l’Agroécologie CCAE], following the Peoples Assembly & International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, October 2016, following the First Seed Olympiad, Paranesti, Greece, April 2017, we, of the Resistance in 28 countries in 5 continents, meeting in Lorient, Brittany, 28-30 April 2017, in order to build convergence, on the occasion of this the second International Convergence of the Resistance againt GMOs, do declare :

Our seed, our knowledge and our know-how are a proud cultural heritage, not merchandise, and we alone decide with whom they are to be shared. We refuse to see them stolen by industry for genetic manipulation and privatisation under patent property rights, proceeding thus to wipe out, in country after country, all the local plant varieties and local livestock breeds. Industrial interests, moreover, cannot fool all the people all the time when they try to pass off their latest (and dissimulated) innovations as traditional varieties.

09.05.2017 |

Apply now: Agri-activism opportunity this summer on an organic farm in Wales!

One remaining place to join the project between July 17th and October 9th – deadline May 15th**

Fed up with the supermarket stranglehold on our food system? Are you active in the fight against the damaging system of corporate-controlled, pesticide-heavy, GM crops – and do you want to push for an alternative?

If you're between 18 and 30 and have a commitment to anti-GM activism and sustainable, local organic farming, Friends of the Earth Europe is offering the chance for you to support a local campaign alongside an experienced activist against GM crops in South Wales, and gain practical, hands-on, experience of working on an organic farm over a period of three months during the summer of 2017.

09.05.2017 |

GM crops stalled in 2016

There’s little to celebrate for the GM crop industry in ISAAA’s latest figures, as China drops GM plantings by 24%

The GMO industry lobby group ISAAA’s latest report says that GM crop cultivation increased globally in 2016, by 3%, after a dip in 2015.

But Gene Ethics points out that two countries — Burkina Faso and Romania — gave up growing GM crops altogether in 2016.

Other countries have registered falls in GM crop production.

04.05.2017 |

Iowa State University agronomist urges farmers to commit to weed control despite added expense

AMES, Iowa – Farmers faced with tight profit margins may consider cutting back on weed control efforts this growing season, but an Iowa State University agronomist said doing so may cost farmers money in the long term.

Robert Hartzler, a professor of agronomy and ISU Extension and Outreach weed expert, said low commodity prices in recent years may lead farmers to tolerate a low population of weeds that might not affect yields.

But doing so may allow enough weeds to go to seed in fields and give rise to the spread of herbicide resistant weeds in the future, a growing concern for corn and soybean producers across the state.

“Farmers might be tempted to do just enough to protect yields but still allow some weeds to survive,” Hartzler said. “They might be unwilling to spend the extra money to get to the next level of weed control, and, in the short term, you can rationalize that. But in the long term, that’s going to lead to further evolution of resistance.”

03.05.2017 |

Bt Cotton in Burkina Faso:When Theory Does Not Match Reality

New Book Release

Bt Cotton in Burkina Faso

When Theory Does Not Match Reality

Juan López Villar

Publisher: TWN

Genetically modified (GM) crop have been touted as a solution to improve agricultural productivity and lift the lot of farmers in developing countries. However, the reality on the grounds is that the performance and impacts of GM crops have been extremely uneven.

This is starkly illustrated by the experience of Burkina Faso in planting Bt cotton, a variety genetically engineered to be resistant to insect pests. Bt cotton was introduced commercially in the West African country in 2008, only to be phased out just seven years later after showing a marked decline in fibre quality compared with conventional Burkinabé cotton.

Drawing upon research carried out in one of the largest cotton-growing areas in Burkina Faso, this paper documents the country's shortlived, less-than-successful experience with Bt cotton cultivation, and explores the possible reasons behind the debacle, including commercial interest in pushing the corporate-owned Bt technology. The paper also looks at similar problems faced by other countries growing Bt cotton, before concluding with a call to move away from promoting GM crops towards supporting indigenous varieties and agroecological practices.

30.04.2017 |

Consultation on modernising and simplifying the common agricultural policy (CAP)

This public consultation is open until the 2nd May 2017.

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was developed in the early sixties to translate in policy terms the objectives defined in the Treaty of Rome (1957), and subsequently taken over in the Treaty on the European Union. Like all other EU policies or programmes, the CAP is also subject to other provisions of the Treaty to ensure coherence with the overall objectives of the Union.

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