GMO-free news from the Netherlands

2014-11-27 |

USA: Maui GMO ban supporters seek to dismiss lawsuit

Groups of moms and environmentalists are among the organizations that want to help defend a new Maui County law that bans the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

2014-11-27 |

Filipino Farmers Protest Government Research on Genetically Modified Rice

Jon Sarmiento, a farmer in the Cavite province in southern Manila, plants a variety of fruits and vegetables, but his main crop, rice, is under threat. He claims that approval by the Philippine government of the genetically modified ‘golden rice’ that is fortified with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, could ruin his livelihood.

2014-11-27 |

India: No ban on GM crop field trials, says envi minister Javadekar

There is no ban on GM crop field trials either by the government or the Supreme Court, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.

2014-11-27 |

USA: In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches

China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies' plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.

2014-11-26 |

Problems with glyphosate-resistant weed in GMO cultivated countries

Glyphosate resistance threatens Roundup hegemony - Nature Biotechnology Glyphosate resistance threatens Roundup hegemony - Nature Biotechnology

Argentina confirmed that Digitaria insularis is resistant to glyphosate and has invaded crops in the Northwest and Northeast regions of the country, and in the south of the Santa Fe province. This weed was previously classified on an yellow alert for suspected resistance to glyphosate.

The dose-response test to verify resistance was done by the Center of Herbicides Assessment of the Agrobiotechnology Institute of Rosario. The resistance index was 11.8, which means that a dose of 12 times higher would be required to control the Digitaria insularis comparing to non-resistant ones.

Both Paraguay and Brazil already had identified the Digitaria insularis biotypes resistant to glyphosate in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Currently, this specie is one of the major problems in both countries, and spreads rapidly in Brazil.

2014-11-25 |

Bee populations decline due to loss of favourite pollinating plants

Bee Busy bees at work (Photo: Jack Wolf/flickr.com)

Bee populations have decreased in recent decades mainly due to a loss of biodiversity causing the decline of their favourite host plant, according to a study published Monday in the journal US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The scientists of Wageningen University in The Netherlands write that habitat loss is a bigger factor in bee declines than climate change. The researchers analysed the pollen found on the bodies of insects from 57 different wild bee species collected before the onset of their decline and used data to quantify population trends of bee species and their host plants. They found that the bees had certain favourite plants for pollinating. “We assessed the relative importance of a range of proposed factors responsible for wild bee decline and show that loss of preferred host plant species is one of the main factors associated with the decline of bee populations in The Netherlands”, said Dr Jeroen Scheper, an environmental specialist at the Alterra Research Institute. Another important factor was bee body size, because larger bee species require more pollen to survive than smaller species. The researchers said that diet breadth and other potential factors such as length of flight period or climate change sensitivity were not important in explaining twentieth century bee population trends. The loss of natural habitats, namely grasslands, that are increasingly used for intensive agricultural production has led to a decline in wildflowers and the loss of bees’ food sources. “These results indicate that mitigation strategies for loss of wild bees will only be effective if they target the specific host plants of declining bee species”, Scheper said. Bees are important for crop production, pollinating up to 80% of plants and flowers essential to the human diet.

2014-11-24 |

New juiceless tomato ‘fantastic’ for foodservice, says Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience is hoping to increase the number of South American markets selling its newly developed juiceless tomato, while also promoting a color-changing melon.

2014-11-24 |

EU: Is a ban on GM crops more harmful than growing them?

UK’s chief scientist has said GM crops could provide plentiful food with less damage to the environment and at lower costs. But does that mean we should grow them? Karl Mathiesen investigates.

2014-11-24 |

USA: Oregon GMO measure may be headed for recount

An Oregon ballot measure that would require labels for genetically engineered foods may be heading for an automatic recount.

2014-11-24 |

USA: Congress will soon be better positioned to OK ban on state GMO labels

Measure 92, which would have required labels for genetically engineered food products, appears to have failed this month, though a recount is possible. A similar measure failed in Colorado, too, extending a ballot-box losing streak that includes California (2012) and Washington (2013).

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