International News

2015-10-06 |

Majority of EU nations seek opt-out from growing GM crops

BRUSSELS, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Nineteen EU member states have requested opt-outs for all or part of their territory from cultivation of a Monsanto genetically-modified crop, which is authorised to be grown in the European Union, the European Commission said on Sunday.

Under a law signed in March, individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for genetically modified cultivation across the 28-nation EU.

The law was introduced to end years of stalemate as genetically modified crops divide opinion in Europe.


The 19 requests are from Austria, Belgium for the Wallonia region, Britain for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany (except for research), Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia.

2015-10-05 |

Brazil Aims to Torpedo International Moratorium on Terminator Seeds

Farmers’ Rights and Food Sovereignty Under Fire
Submitted on 02 October 2015

At a time when just three corporations – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control 55% of the world’s commercial seeds, industrial farming interests in the Brazilian Congress have introduced a bill that aims to overturn the country’s 10-year old ban on Terminator technology – seeds that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds. The technology is designed to secure corporate profits by eliminating the age-old right of farmers to save and re-plant harvested seeds.

If passed, the bill before the Brazilian Congress – PL 1117/2015 – would violate an international moratorium on the field testing and commercialization of Terminator seeds – unanimously adopted in 2000, and re-affirmed in 2006 by 192 governments at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Curitiba, Brazil.

For nearly two decades, the controversial Terminator technology has been widely condemned by farmers, scientific bodies, governments and social movements/civil society as a threat to food sovereignty, biodiversity and human rights. In May, Pope Francis wrote of the threat posed by “infertile seeds.”

2015-10-01 |

Distrust over EU GM crop approvals grows as at least 16 countries move towards national bans

Press release - October 1, 2015

Brussels – In the latest blow to the European Commission’s laissez-faire approach to GM crops, at least 16 EU countries and four regions (in two other countries) are in the process of banning the cultivation of GM crops on their territories, with more expected to follow by a 3 October deadline for notifications to the EU, said Greenpeace.
On 2 October, eleven EU countries (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Poland) and four regional administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the UK, and Wallonia in Belgium) had already formally notified the Commission of their intention to ban GM crop cultivation under new EU rules [1]. Statements by the governments of five additional countries inform of more impending notifications (Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia).

2015-09-30 |

Poland opts out of GMOs

Poland is the latest country to reject genetically modified organisms in their food production, thus exercising a right granted to all EU member states earlier this year.

Poland is the eleventh country so far to officially abstain from using GM food approved by the European Commission. In a drive to address national concerns, in March Brussels authorized countries to opt out of genetically engineered crop cultivation if such a step is to be taken as a safety measure to protect not only human health and the environment, but also consumer interests and the internal market. - See more at:,Poland-opts-out-of-GMOs

2015-09-30 |

France, Germany, Poland ... ten European nations to go GMO-free

With the deadline for EU countries who wish to ban genetically GM crops drawing near, writes Oliver Tickell, Poland is the latest to register with the European Commission to go GM-free. Now the division of the EU into pro and anti-GM zones may test the single market beyond its limits.

Poland has just registered with the European Commission as an official GM-free zone. This makes it the tenth EU member state to opt out of cultivating genetically modified (GM) crops.

It joins France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia in either filing the necessary papers with the Commission, or announcing their intention to do so.

2015-09-30 |

Germany tells EU it will opt out of growing GMO crops

German Federal Government German Federal Government

Germany has told the European Union it will ban cultivation of crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), under new European Union rules allowing member states to opt out of GMO cultivation, a document seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt has informed the EU Commission that Germany will not permit GMO cultivation on its territory, a letter from Germany's Agriculture Ministry to the Commission seen by Reuters shows.

An EU law approved in March cleared the way for new GMO crops to be approved after years of deadlock. But the law also gave individual countries the right to ban GMO crops even after they have been approved as safe by the European Commission.

Under the new EU rules, countries must by Oct. 3, 2015, inform the EU Commission if they wish to opt out of new EU GMO cultivation approvals.

2015-09-29 |

88 per cent of Canadians want GMO foods labeled

CBAN GMO report 2015 CBAN GMO report 2015

New Poll Shows Canadians are Highly Concerned About GM Foods and Want Mandatory Labelling

September 29, 2015.

Ottawa, ON. A national Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) reveals 88 per cent of Canadians want genetically modified (GM) foods labeled on grocery store shelves. Of the over 1000 Canadians polled, over half oppose genetically modifying crops and animals to produce food.

“Our poll shows that Canadians have a range of concerns about genetically modified foods,” said Lucy Sharratt of CBAN. “The vast majority of Canadians who want labelling just want to know what’s in the food they’re eating. Canadians are also concerned about safety, the environmental impacts and some have ethical concerns about genetically modifying plants and animals.”

Since the first GM foods were approved for sale in Canada twenty years ago, polls have consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of Canadians want mandatory labelling.

The new poll comes as the world’s first GM food animal – a GM Atlantic salmon – is pending approval from Health Canada. “45 per cent of Canadians polled said they definitely don’t want to eat the GM fish, but without labelling how can they make this choice?” asked Thibault Rehn of Vigilance OGM.

2015-09-24 |

2 more EU countries, Austria and Italy say they will opt out from GMO cultivation

Tweet by Arnaud Apoteker

No a 8 prodotti Ogm, l’Italia contro l’Ue

Gentechnik: Oberhauser nützt "Opt-Out" für Anbauverbot

Member States/Regions wishing to use the transitional arrangements to opt out of growing EU approved GM maize MON 810 or any of the GM maize varieties currently awaiting EU approval must notify the European Commission by October 2, 2015.

2015-09-23 |

Climate Smart Agriculture must not be confused with agroecology


We, the undersigned, belong to civil society organizations including social movements, peasants/farmers organizations and faith-based organizations from around the world. We are working to tackle the impacts of climate change that are already disrupting farming and food systems and threatening the food and nutrition security of millions of individuals. As we move towards COP21 in Paris, we welcome a growing recognition of the urgent need to adapt food systems to a changing climate, and the key role of agroecology within a food and seed sovereignty framework in achieving this, while contributing to mitigation through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, despite these promising signals, we share deep concerns about the growing influence and agenda of so-called “Climate-Smart Agriculture” (CSA) and the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). Climate change is the biggest and the most urgent threat our societies face. We need a radical transformation of our food systems away from an industrial model and its false solutions, and toward food sovereignty, local food systems, and integral agrarian reform in order to achieve the full realization of the human right to adequate food and nutrition. We therefore urge decision-makers at country and UN levels to reject the dangerous rhetoric of Climate-Smart Agriculture.

Climate Smart Agriculture must not be confused with agroecology

2015-09-22 |

Spread of genetically engineered organisms out of control

New report on recent and emerging cases

Monday, 21. September 2015
Testbiotech will publish a report providing a global overview of recent cases of uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms able to persist and propagate in the environment. The report will be presented to a working group organised by the Secretary of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) at a meeting taking place in Montreal (Canada) from 21 - 25 September.

The evidence presented in this report comes from China (rice), Mexico (maize and cotton), Japan (oilseed rape) South Korea (maize and cotton), Switzerland (oilseed rape) and the USA (grasses). Further emerging examples are likely to include eggplant (India / Bangladesh), trees such as pine and eucalyptus in North and South America and genetically engineered insects (Brazil and Panama).

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