26.05.2002 |

GM 'could kill off ' organic farms

Gaby Hinsliff, chief political correspondentSunday May 26, 2002 The Observer<a href="http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,9061,722464,00.html">Guardian Unlimited Politics Special Reports GM 'could kill off ' organic farms</a>

22.05.2002 |

European Commission publishes full report about additional costs of GM crops

The EU`s Joint Research Centre today has published it`s report CO-EXISTENCE OF GM CROPS WITH CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC CROPS, which had been leaked a week ago. The study confirms high additional costs for all farmers. The full 145 p study can be downloaded on the web-page as well.</p><p><a href="http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int/default.asp?sIdSz=our_work&sIdStSz=focus_on">Joint Research Centre</a>

22.05.2002 |

International press clippings on EU study on costs of co-existence with GMOs

a selection of articles published on the EU Commissions study on costs of introduction of genetically modified crops in English, German, french, italian, spanish, swedish and danish.</p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/press_clips_EU_study.rtf">press clippings in rtf format for your convenience</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/press_clips_EU_study.pdf">press clippings in pdf format</a>

21.05.2002 |

Squeezed out - No room for GM crops in an "organic" Britain

New Scientist May 18, 2002 - Much of the British countryside may be off-limits to genetically modified crops before the government even decides if they can be grown commercially. The reason is organic farming, which is becoming ever more popular in Britain. If it continues to boom, many potential GM crop sites will disappear, a computer model suggests. For instance, GM maize cannot be planted within 200 metres of organic crops. This buffer zone is designed to prevent the GM crops cross-fertilising with their neighbours, "contaminating" produce.</p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/squeezedout_ns.pdf">Full text of the New Scientist article</a>

19.05.2002 |

EU says farmers face extra costs to stay GM-free

BRUSSELS, May 17 (Reuters) - Organic and conventional farmers will face extra costs keeping their produce "GM-free" once genetically modified crops become more common in Europe, the European Commission said on Friday.</p><p><a href="http://www.agriculture.com/worldwide/IDS/2002-05-17T144104Z_01_L1779050_RTRIDST_0_FOOD-EU-GENES.html">@gWorldwide - EU says farmers face extra costs to stay GM-free</a>

17.05.2002 |

EU suppresses GE study: GE crops add high costs, threaten organic

A secret European Union (EU) study leaked to Greenpeace states that all farmers would face high additional, in some cases unsustainable costs of production if genetically engineered (GE) crops were commercially grown on large scale in Europe. The study predicts that the situation would become particularly critical for organic farming of oilseed rape as well as for intensive production of conventional maize. It calculates additional costs between 5 and as much as 41 percent of the crop value.</p><p><a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/">Greenpeace Press-release</a></p><p><a href="http://www.zs-l.de/gmo/downloads/jrc_eu_study.pdf">Download the EU`s JRC Coexistence Study</a>

14.05.2002 |

Report raises farmer liability concerns over pharm corn pollen drift

The American Corn Growers Association warns US farmers about growing corn for pharmaceutical purposes: "Where does the liability lie if pollen drifts into another corn field, contaminates it with a pharmaceutical drug which ends up in corn products for human consumption, resulting in adverse health consequences?"<a href="http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?RecID=706">CropChoice.com News</a>

13.05.2002 |

International Maize Research Centre discusses genetic contamination of local maize varieties

May 10th 2002, Mexico-City - After publication of evidence, that genetically engineered maize varieties have contaminated landraces of maize in Mexico, the Centre of Origin of maize world wide. CIMMYT organized a forum of eminent scientists to discuss the implications. The proceedings are now available on the web.</p><p><a href="http://www.cimmyt.org/abc/geneflow/geneflow_pdf_engl/contents.htm">Proceedings of a Forum. Gene Flow Among Maize Landraces, Improved Maize Varieties, and Teosinte: Implications for Transgenic Maize</a>

04.05.2002 |

Canada Probe Draws Blank on GM-Tainted Seed

By Veronica Brown LONDON 05/03/2002 (Reuters)A Canadian inquiry has failed to reach any conclusion as to how rapeseed shipped to Europe two years ago became tainted with genetically modified material, a government report shows. In May 2000 Britain revealed that British and European farmers had sown thousands of acres with Canadian rapeseed that was contaminated with GM material -- banned under European Union regulations. The crops were later ripped up and the company that sold the seeds, Advanta Canada, compensated farmers.The seeds were correctly certified according to international trade standards agreed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said in its report. But they did not meet the stricter European Union requirements, which ban the deliberate release of unapproved genetically modified material into the environment. "The CFIA was unable to determine the source of the adventitious trait (contamination) present in the seed lots in question," it concluded. Public opinion in Europe, bruised by food safety scares over mad cow disease and the chemical dioxin in recent years, is wary about GM foods and there is a three year defacto ban in place in Europe on approvals of new gene spliced varieties. Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth (FoE) said the report was a whitewash. The CFIA said 77 percent of the samples contained GM material that met a one percent threshold in the form of "RT 73" produced by Monsanto.CROSS-POLLINATIONThe probe also concluded that there was "no evidence of any impropriety on the part of Advanta Canada, its third party processor or the Canada Seed Growers' Association that would require any regulatory action be taken." The CIFA said the issue was now closed but added that it would work with other governments to better understand and address the issues surrounding contaminated seeds.Friends of the Earth GM campaigner Pete Riley, calling the report a "whitewash" said, "Two years after thousands of acres of British countryside was planted with illegal GM crops, the authorities still don't know how it happened. What steps are the biotech industry and the governments of Canada and the UK taking to ensure it doesn't happen again - "It is likely that this contamination was caused by cross-pollination from neighboring GM crops. "As the nearest GM crops were at least 800 meters away this raises questions over the effectiveness of separation distances between GM and conventional crops -- particularly in the UK, where there are only 50 meters (decreed distance from GM crops) for rapeseed oil," he added. Britain has been under steady pressure from environmental groups, particularly over the distances between gene crops and other varieties, due to fears of cross-contamination. "The whole fiasco demonstrates once again the risk these crops pose to conventional and organic farmers, and provides yet more evidence for banning GM crops from being commercially grown in the UK."

01.05.2002 |

Ecological and Agronomic Consequences of Gene Flow from Transgenic Crops to Wild Relatives

<strong><a href="http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~lspencer/gene_flow.htm">Scientific Methods Workshop, March 5 and 6, 2002 Columbus, Ohio</a></strong>See the<a href="http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~lspencer/agenda.htm">AGENDA</a> for information on specific speakers and topics.Select the<a href="http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~lspencer/Proceedings.pdf"> PROCEEDINGS</a> documentfor more complete summariesMeeting DescriptionGene flow from transgenic plants to wild relatives is one of the major research areas targeted by USDAs<a href="http://www.reeusda.gov/crgam/biotechrisk/biotech.htm">Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRARGP)</a> . We received funds for a two-day workshop that brought together researchers who study the prevalence and consequences of gene flow from transgenic crops to weeds and other wild relatives. On the first day, speakers discussed the general context for gene flow research, the information needs of USDA-APHIS, EPA, and the biotechnology industry, and case studies of specific crop-wild complexes, including cucurbits, brassicas, sunflower, sorghum, rice, wheat, maize, strawberry, poplar, and turfgrasses.On the second day, break-out groups discussed the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches for studying the occurrence of gene flow and various effects of gene flow (fitness effects of transgenes in wild relatives, effects on population dynamics, indirect community effects, and effects on the genetic diversity of wild relatives). The crops, wild relatives, and regulatory issues we discussed focused on the USA, but much of the workshop was also relevant to similar situations in other countries. Bridging the fields weed science and plant ecology, this workshop defined the most appropriate and rigorous empirical methods available for studying questions related to gene flow from transgenic crops to weedy and wild relatives.Steering CommitteeDr. Allison Snow (Chair and Co-PI), Ohio State UniversitDr. Carol Mallory-Smith (Co-PI), Oregon State UniversitDr. Norman Ellstrand, University of California at RiversideDr. Jodie Holt, University of California at RiversideDr. Hector Quemada, Crop Technology Consulting, Inc., Kalamazoo, MichiganLogistical Coordinator: Dr. Lawrence Spencer, Ohio State University

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