13.05.2003 |

US announces WTO case against EU on GMO moratorium

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Anne Veneman today announced that the US together with Argentina, Canada and Egypt will file a WTO case against the EU over it`s "illegal five-year moratorium" on GMO approvals. The EU regrets the US decision as "misguided and unneccesary". It also rebuffed the US claims that GMOs were necessary to feed the world and points to the fact that the US is opposing international regulations on GMO trade under the Biosaftey Protocol. The case does not seem to have any practical implications as the EU moratorium in it`s present form is not intended to last longer than a WTO dispute settlement process usually takes until decided. However the decision to take the case to the WTO may now force the World Trade Organisation to arbitrate on the globally contentious question of national sovereignty regarding the use of GMOs and will take the bilateral trade dispute on a global level.Greenpeace in a first statement commented: "The US administration is effectively declaring a war on consumers. But it is a war the US will not win. Greenpeace strongly condemns this blatant attempt to bully the European Union and is confident that this will only serve to reinforce consumer rejection of GMOs. All countries are entitled to refuse GMOs and to demand mandatory labelling of GMO products."<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/us_wto_13_05_03.pdf">USDA press release May 13th</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/eu_wto_13_05_03.pdf">EU Commissions press release and background May 13th</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/us_wto_consultation_request.pdf">Official US request to WTO with complete list of pending EU approvals</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/nyt_wto_14_05_03.pdf">New York Times report</a></p><p><a href="http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1051389993328&p=1012571727092">Financial Times report</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/wto_editorials.pdf">Editorials in Wall Financial Times, Guardian, Wall Street Journal</a></p><p><a href="http://www.biosicherheit.de/aktuell/204.doku.html">Deutsch: Ausführlicher Hintergrundbericht zur WTO-Klage der USA bei "bioSicherheit"</a></p><p><strong>WTO rules soon direct law in the EU?</strong></p><p>The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Siegbert Alber, has suggested that WTO law is directly applicable where the incompatibility of a Community measure with WTO law has been found in WTO Dispute Settlement Bodies recommendations or decisions and the Community has failed to implement the recommendations or decisions within the reasonable period of time allowed by the WTO. He produced this ground breaking opinion in a damage claim of meat producers, unable to import beef raised with hormones from the US. The US hormone-beef had been ruled to be save by the WTO in 1998, yet the EU still refuses to lift its ban on such products. If Albers opinion was adopted by the Court, WTO rules could directly superseed EU legislation in the future.</p><p><a href="http://www.curia.eu.int/en/actu/communiques/cp03/aff/cp0339en.htm">European Court of Justice press release</a>

12.05.2003 |

Farmer goes to prison in dispute with Monsanto

For the first time in 73 cases Monsanto has so far brought forward against farmers who saved their genetically modified cotton seeds a Tennessee farmer will go to prison for hiding evidence and breaching patent law.</p><p><a href="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/news/10B20CFF4D9FA42386256D2000117772?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2CMonsanto&headline=Farmer who lied in dispute with Monsanto will go to prison ">STLtoday - news</a>

12.05.2003 |

Moratorium on GE canola in Australia

A one year moratorium on growing genetically modified canola (oilseed rape) has been issued by the government in Victoria.</p><p><a href="http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=337">Press release of the government</a>

12.05.2003 |

GMO moratorium in Albania

The Albanian Parliaments Committee on Agriculture proposes to ban the use of GMOs during the next five years and has requested the Environment Ministry to prepare the legal framework for such a moratorium.For more information: organic@icc-al.org, Albanian Organic Agriculture Association, www.organic.org.al

09.05.2003 |

Swiss Parliament votes for GMO moratorium until 2009

The Swiss Parliament has adopted a proposal for a moratorium on any GMO commercialisation. The decision needs to be confirmed by the second chamber in June this year. It would preempt an initiative for a public vote on this issue, which had been initated by environmental groups, farmer organisations and representatives of all parties.</p><p><a href="http://www.parlament.ch/ab/frameset/d/n/4618/81315/d_n_4618_81315_81316.htm?DisplayTextOid=81317">Protokoll der Nationalrats-Sitzung</a>

09.05.2003 |

Vote on recommendations for European Parliaments decisions on GE food and feed and traceability

The European Parliaments committee on environment and consumer protection will vote on it`s recommendations for the second reading of the the GMO Food and Feed and Traceability Regulations on May 22nd. The plenary vote is expected in June. Key issues to be resolved between the Parliament and the Council will be questions of co-existence and approval procedures for GMO releases.</p><p><a href="http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/envi/20030429/488539en.pdf">Food and Feed Recommendations in English</a></p><p><a href="http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/envi/20030429/488554en.pdf">Traceability Recommendantions in English</a></p><p><a href="http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/envi/20030429/envi20030429.htm">EPs Envrionment committee homepage for all other languages</a>

08.05.2003 |

Conference on Biodiversity implications of GMOs

Various research projects around the world are looking at the effect of GMCs on biodiversity since several years. New results are emerging now. The conference "Biodiversity Implications of Genetically Modified Plants" in Ascona, Switzerland, from 7th to 12th September 2003 will offer an open audience of experts the chance to hear and discuss the latest results.The conference organizers are Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Dr. Ruud de Maagd, PRI Wageningen, The NetherlandsSpeakers include David Andow, University of Minnesota, St.Paul, USA, Miguel Altieri, University of Berkeley, Berkeley, USA, Weber Amaral, IPGRI, Rome, Italy and Sao Paulo University, Brazil, Les Firbank, Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Merlewood, UK, Baoron Lu, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, Allison Snow, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA;<a href="http://www.geobot.umnw.ethz.ch/bigmp/bigmp.html">Conference web site</a>

07.05.2003 |

Moratorium on GE canola in Australia

On May 7th the government of Victoria established a one year moratorium on the commercialisation of genetically modified canola (oilseed rape). After New South Wales, West Australia, South Australia and Tasmania Victoria is the last canola growing state in Australia which has now banned the commercialisation of GE canola prior to the pending national approval of Monsanto`s and Bayers GMO varieties.</p><p><a href="http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=337">Victorian governments decision on homepage of Network of Concerned Farmers</a>

04.05.2003 |

Co-existence Conference of Greens, FOE, Euro-Coop

On May 28th The Greens in the European Parliament, Friends of the Earth, Heinrich Boell Foundation and Euro-Coop will organise a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss what steps are needed are to ensure co-existence of GM and non-GM crops without contamination and how the European Union should react to this challenge. The conference will debate all these questions with scientists, farmers, food processors, consumer and environmental organisations, representatives from the biotech industry, competent authorities and politicians.</p><p><a href="http://www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/conference/home.htm">FOE Conference homepage & registration</a>

25.04.2003 |

Commission held "round table" on co-existence

While environmental, organic and small farmers organisations protested outside against what they called an "unbalanced and missed opportunity", EU Commissioners Fischer (Agriculture) and Busquin (Research) opened a so called round table on coexistence between GMO and non-GMO agriculture with special emphasis on gene flow in maize and oilseed rape. Fischler said "co-existence means no form of agriculture, GMO and non-GMO should be excluded" and announced guidelines before summer. Busquin called for a waive of the present moratorium on GMO commercialisation in the EU. Scientists and industry representatives presented to a selected group of 150 stakeholders their views and present state of knowledge and listened to some critical comments and questions. They concluded that "practical experience" with large scale releases of GMOs was now needed. (Full report to follow)<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ fischler_speech_24_04_03.pdf">Fischlers speech</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ busquin_speech_24_04_03.pdf">Busquins speech French only</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ gp_foe_cpe_ifoam_pe_24_04_03.pdf">Joint press release of environment and farmers organisations</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ graefe_pe_24_04_03.pdf">Press release of green members of national and EU Parliament</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/uba_24_04_03.pdf">Positionspapier des Umweltbundesamtes zur Koexistenz</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/uba_eng_24_04_03.pdf">Positionspapier des Umweltbundesamtes zur Koexistenz</a>english version<a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ graefe_pe_de_24_04_03.pdf">Presseerklärung nationaler und europäischer Parlamente</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/ abl_pe_24_04_03.pdf">Presseerklärung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bäuerliche Landwirtschaft</a></p><p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/markets/commodities/newswire/2003/04/24/rtr950220.html">Reuters: EU to draft GMO crop mix guidelines in next months</a></p><p><a href="http://binas.unido.org/binas/show.php3?id=497&type=html&table=news_sources&dir=news">BINAS/OECD update: Co-Existence Meeting Highlights Divergent Views</a>

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