GMO-free news from France

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.

16.02.2017

French and German socialists divided by CETA vote

The European Parliament’s vote on ratifying CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement, revealed the deep divisions among socialists across the EU, in particular in the “engine of Europe” – France and Germany.

MEPs backed CETA yesterday (15 February) with 408 MEPs in favour and 254 against; 33 abstained. CETA will now face the hurdle of being ratified by the 28 member states. The ratification process varies from country to country, with some requesting approval in national parliaments.

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In leader of the Party of European Socialists Sergei Stanishev’s Bulgaria, a scandal erupted after the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova said her force will brand all Bulgarian MEPs who supported CETA as traitors.

Ninova says CETA will put at disadvantage the Bulgarian producers and flow the country with products containing GMOs.

05.02.2017

Toxic chemicals: Kids in danger

Is our dependence on pesticides harming the health of our children? Every day, children are exposed to up to 130 chemical pollutants from pesticides. All around the world, scientists and doctors are raising the alarm, linking increases in child cancers, birth defects and even the explosion of autism with exposure to chemicals in pesticides. Six corporations control the pesticide market: Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, Dow, BASF and DuPont. They rule over a market of 50 billion dollars. For a year, director Martin Boudot followed the tracks of their molecules to show how some of the most dangerous ones get into our everyday life. In France, children breathe a pesticide classified as "probable carcinogenic." Distributed all over the world, it’s one of Bayer’s best-sellers. Martin Boudot and his team of reporters took some samples of dozens of hairs of children and went to the annual shareholders meeting of Bayer in Germany to confront the corporations with its own principles.

29.12.2016

France bans pesticides in public green spaces

PARIS (AP) — French children will soon be able to frolic in the grass without risk of intoxication.

Pesticides will be banned in all public green spaces from Sunday while non-professional gardeners will no longer be able to buy pesticides over the counter.

17.12.2016

Many studies on genetic modification biased because of authors' links to companies

NEW DELHI: Researchers have found that a large share of scientific studies on genetically modified (GM) crops were tainted by conflicts of interest, mostly because of having an employee of a GM producing company as one of the authors or having received funding from the company.

Out of the 579 published studies on GM crops that were analysed, about 40 per cent showed such conflict of interest, the researchers affiliated to France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) found. Their study is published in the journal PLOS ONE this week.

15.12.2016

Conflicts of Interest in GM Bt Crop Efficacy and Durability Studies

Public confidence in genetically modified (GM) crop studies is tenuous at best in many countries, including those of the European Union in particular. A lack of information about the effects of ties between academic research and industry might stretch this confidence to the breaking point. We therefore performed an analysis on a large set of research articles (n = 672) focusing on the efficacy or durability of GM Bt crops and ties between the researchers carrying out these studies and the GM crop industry. We found that ties between researchers and the GM crop industry were common, with 40% of the articles considered displaying conflicts of interest (COI). In particular, we found that, compared to the absence of COI, the presence of a COI was associated with a 50% higher frequency of outcomes favorable to the interests of the GM crop company. Using our large dataset, we were able to propose possible direct and indirect mechanisms behind this statistical association. They might notably include changes of authorship or funding statements after the results of a study have been obtained and a choice in the topics studied driven by industrial priorities.

30.10.2016

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

14.10.2016

France asks ECJ to decide if plants from new breeding techniques are GMOs

France has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the legal classification of products generated by new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs).

28.07.2016

Yogurt producer Dannon looks to establish US non-GMO feed supply

Dannon has set 2018 as a deadline to establish GMO-free feed sources for its farmers' dairy cattle.

09.04.2016

France to Ban Glyphosate Weedkillers Due to Health Risks

France is banning glyphosate mixed with certain adjuvants (additives) due to its perceived risks to human health. The move comes less than two months after Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, called for the ban.

ANSES—France’s food, environment and health agency—sent a letter this week to manufacturers informing them that it intends to withdraw the authorization on herbicides containing glyphosate mixed with the adjuvant tallow amine, ANSES’ deputy director general Francoise Weber told Reuters.

According to Weber, ANES made the decision after the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) suggested greater potential risks compared to glyphosate alone.

As EcoWatch noted previously, tallow amine aids the effectiveness of herbicides such as glyphosate and is one of the ingredients in Monsanto’s widely popular weedkiller Roundup.