GMO-free news from Albania

2014-04-16 |

USA: President Obama provides clear endorsement of agricultural biotechnology

The dedication of Dr. Norman Borlaug's statue in the U.S. Capitol last month brought together an amazing array of Democrats and Republicans, united in highlighting his accomplishments in feeding the world. The event also prompted the president of the United States to give his clearest endorsement to date of the important role biotechnology plays in agriculture.

2014-04-16 |

Caritas Calls on EU to Support Agroecological Small-scale Farming

Bauer The EU should focus on small-scale farming to alleviate hunger (Photo: Lakshman Nadaraja/World Bank)

The European Union should support the eradication of world hunger as a priority for the post-2015 agenda, and push for a clear definition of a “Zero Hunger” goal, addressing all the root causes of hunger. This is one the key message of a new report Caritas Europa presented at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. The report calls on the EU to take urgent action in six areas: The right to food; small-scale agriculture; climate change; nutrition resilience, and policy coherence for development. It includes several recommendations on how to create sustainable food systems and how the EU can champion the fight against world hunger. First of all, decision makers should mainstream the right to food as a priority in all policies with an impact on agriculture and food security. In addition, Caritas Europe calls on the EU and its member states to support agro-ecological small-scale farming activities. No funding should be allocated to high-input agricultural activities that destroy eco-systems. The report further recommends that the EU regulate and monitor European private sector investments in developing countries’ agriculture with a view to prioritizing the empowerment of smallholders and their access to productive resources. Attention should also be paid to the multifunctionality of agriculture by addressing food security challenges not only from the perspective of food production but also by considering the socio-cultural, environmental and economic dimensions of agriculture. According to Caritas, particular attention should be given to preserving traditional knowledge and enhancing farmers’ skills and knowledge on biodiversity, with a special focus on women farmers, who produce more than half of the food in the world.

2014-04-15 |

UK: Experts urge change to GM regulation

Europe's stringent regulation of genetically modified crops has no rational basis and should be revamped to allow countries who want to opt out and grow GM foods to do so, British scientific advisers said on Friday.

2014-04-15 |

New Zealand: Greens attack AgResearch GE spend

The Green Party is criticising AgResearch for what it says is its un-natural level of spending on genetic engineering experiments on livestock and forage crops.

2014-04-15 |

Germany: Market Realities Showcased by Turn to GM Soybean Meal

The availability of, and preference for, non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybeans as an animal feed is again being debated in Germany.

2014-04-15 |

EFSA observers welcome ongoing open plenary initiative

EFSA’s open plenary meetings demonstrate how the Authority is working to serve consumers, promote open science and provide a forum for dialogue and debate. These are the views of observers who came from across Europe to attend the latest open meeting on GMOs at EFSA’s headquarters in Parma, Italy.

2014-04-11 |

Urban Agriculture is Gaining Ground in Latin America

Havana Urban organic agriculture in Havana (Photo: Melody Breaker/flickr)

According to a new report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban and peri-urban agriculture is widespread in Latin America and the Caribbean but it needs the support of government, from national to local levels, to realise its full potential. In 2009, representatives of ministries of agriculture, research institutes, NGOs and international organisations gathered in Medellín, Colombia, to develop strategies for reducing urban poverty and food insecurity across the region. They called for the incorporation of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) into public policies. Five years later, the report looks at the progress made towards creating 'greener cities'. It is based on a survey in 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries and data on 110 cities and municipalities. The report found that UPA is widespread in the region and is practised, for example, by 40% of Cuban households and 20% of Guatemalan families. In Bolivia’s major cities and municipalities, 50,000 families are food producers. Urban agriculture ranges from backyard vegetable gardening to the raising of small animals for eggs and meat; from school gardens to growing vegetables in containers. But only 12 of the 23 countries have national policies that promote UPA. Cuba’s policy dates back to 1997, when the government decided to promote urban agriculture nationwide. Agriculture is now practiced on an area of roughly 33,500 hectares, including 145,000 small farm plots and 385,000 backyard gardens. In Havana, the “greenest” capital in the region, 90,000 residents are engaged in some form of agriculture. In 2013, UPA produced there some 6,700 tonnes of food for almost 300,000 people in schools, public health centres and hospitals.

2014-04-09 |

Monsanto gives a bad name to GM products

In recent years, Missouri-based chemical company Monsanto has generated nearly-endless negative press associated with their genetically modified Roundup Ready crops.

2014-04-07 |

UK: Princess Anne clashes with Charles Prince of Wales over GM crops

Genetically modified crops 'have a role to play' in helping feed the world, the Princess Royal has said - putting her at stark odds with her older brother Prince Charles. Her acceptance that the development of GM crops is 'inevitable' is staunchly opposite to the Prince of Wales who is on the anti-GM side of the debate.

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