GMO-free news from the Netherlands

2014-10-24 |

USA: Vote yes on Measure P for safe crops

We are writing to voice our support for measure P, the ballot initiative which would ban the growing of GMO crops in Humboldt County. If passed, it will join similar efforts in Mendocino and Trinity Counties, and will create a large zone that protects organic farming. GMO issues are complex, and having spent time considering both sides of the debate, we believe that Measure P is a step in the right direction.

2014-10-24 |

USA: In GMO Labeling Initiative Fight, Those Against Are Spending All the Money

Colorado’s voters continue to be pounded by multi-million dollar political advertising campaigns, often with the two candidates or issue opponents fairly evenly matched, with no respite in sight until Election Day.

2014-10-24 |

New Zealand: Anti-GE group supports call for review

The national farming lobby group's call for a rethink on genetic engineering in New Zealand has been echoed by an unlikely ally - but with the opposite outcome in mind.

2014-10-24 |

EU: Copa Cogeca calls for no further delays on GM grain decision

Copa-Cogeca urged the EU to make a decision on authorization of 8 new varieties of genetically modified grain for import, food and feed processing which have scientifically proved to be safe, to avoid a further threat to the EU food and feed supply and market balance.

2014-10-24 |

USA: Dow Herbicide Approval Challenged by Environmentalists

U.S. approval of Dow Chemical Co. (DOW)’s Enlist Duo weed killer for treating genetically modified crops should be reversed because the government failed to adequately review its effects on human health, farmers and environmental groups said in a lawsuit.

2014-10-23 |

Patents on plants and animals a threat to food sovereignty, new report warns

Broccoli Patent on the severed broccoli (Photo: Cookthinker/flickr)

The European Patent Office (EPO) has already granted several thousand patents on plants and seeds, with an increasing number of patents on plants and seeds derived from conventional breeding, according to a new report published by the international coalition “No Patents on Seeds!” If politicians don’t ensure that these kind of patents are prohibited, our daily food will soon be controlled by big corporations and the patent industry, the report warns. Since the 1980s, around 2400 patents on plants and 1400 patents on animals have been granted in Europe. The EPO has granted more than 120 patents on conventional breeding and about 1000 such patent applications are pending. The scope of many of these patents often covers the whole food chain from production to consumption. The report gives an overview of patents granted in 2013 and early 2014, including a patent on conventionally bred peppers derived from wild, insect-resistant varieties from Jamaica. The patent granted to Syngenta covers the plants, fruits and seeds and even claims the growing and harvesting of the plants as an invention. The EPO also granted a patent to Monsanto on screening and selecting soybean plants adapted to certain climate zones, concerning wild relatives of soybeans found in Asia and Australia. This gives Monsanto a monopoly on the future usage of hundreds of natural DNA sequence variations in the conventional breeding of soybeans. “Industry together with the EPO is the driving factors turning the patent system into an instrument for misappropriation of basic resources needed to produce our daily food. They are selling out the future of our food”, warns Christoph Then, one of the authors of the report. According to European patent law, plant and animal varieties as well as conventional methods of plant and animal breeding cannot be patented. With its decision, the EPO has “intentionally created a situation full of legal absurdities that allows prohibitions to be circumvented”, serving the interests of multinationals such as Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta who already control more than 50% of the international commercial seed market.

2014-10-23 |

New Review: Not Enough Evidence that GM Crops are Safe to Eat

A recently published review by researchers at two universities has suggested that there is not enough evidence that GM crops are safe to eat.

2014-10-23 |

India: Giving GM crops a chance

Nothing sells like fear. And nothing illustrates this better than what China is encountering in trying to promote genetically modified (GM) crops. The country is trying to promote GM food to expand its food supplies.

2014-10-23 |

USA: Battles rage in Oregon, Colorado over GM foods

Voters in two Western states are caught in fierce battles over whether consumers will know what is deep inside their food.

2014-10-23 |

China's GMO Research Juggernaut Prepares for Climate-Changed Future

With its world-leading research investments and vast size, China will dominate the future of genetically modified food—despite the resistance of its population.

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