2016-09-26 |

ChemChina seeks EU approval for US$43 billon Syngenta takeover

China National Chemical Corp. sought European Union approval for its US$43 billion takeover of Syngenta AG, one of a trio of mega-deals reshaping the global agrichemicals industry already described as “quite concentrated” by the bloc’s antitrust chief.
The European Commission set an initial October 28 deadline to rule on the deal, according to a website filing on Monday.
ChemChina agreed to buy Syngenta earlier this year in a deal that would transform it into the world’s largest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals. It is the biggest foreign acquisition for a Chinese firm. ChemChina, which is state owned, received approval from US national security officials for the takeover last month.

EU regulators opened an in-depth probe into a Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. merger last month and suspended the deadline earlier this month to seek missing data.
EU lawmakers and environmental campaigners have been been calling on EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to block Bayer AG’s bid for Monsanto.

2016-09-25 |

Anti-GMO voices suddenly grow in Iran

Iran is seeing its most vociferous outcry yet over the use of genetically-modified ingredients in food production.

Opponents of food products with GMOs have recently elicited fatwas from top clerics, declaring commercial sale and cultivation of genetically-altered crops “not permitted.”

Last year, Iran imported $5.5 billion of GM products, according to head of the Iranian Organic Association Ali Nourani who said the imports were threatening the health of consumers.

Nourani has said Iran’s move toward embracing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) makes no economic sense.

“The Iranian society is not starving to say we must move toward genetically modified products, which amounts to toying with the health of the people.”

The European Union has rigorous restrictions in place on GM cultivation in the 28-member bloc while countries such as France have banned the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

A variety of GM products, chiefly rice and cooking oil, is imported into Iran, however. Iran has also been dabbling with biotechnology for years, cloning its first sheep in 2006.

The first GM rice is already grown in Iran for human consumption. In May 2015, the first sample of Iran’s GM cotton was unveiled by Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati.

2016-09-24 |

GM mustard would be disastrous for India's agricultural independence

Noted molecular biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava on Saturday said the commercial cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) mustard would be "disastrous" as it would eventually open the doors for multinational corporations to control India's agriculture.


The transgenic crop, Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11) has been developed by the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi.
Currently, GM cotton is the only transgenic crop commercially available in fields.

2016-09-24 |

German Lawmakers Oppose Bayer-Monsanto Merger

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Bayer AG, a German-based pharmaceutical company recently proposed a $66 billion takeover of U.S. seed company, Monsanto Co. – an idea that was not well received by the German people.

From one perspective, Monsanto was an advocate of genetically modified crops and a weed killer that could cause cancer, and had no place in the German market.

2016-09-23 |

Bratislava climber protest ends week of mobilisation against EU trade deals

Greenpeace warns trade ministers not to feed EU resentment with misguided decisions on trade
Press release - September 23, 2016

Bratislava/Brussels – A daring protest high above the Slovak capital on Friday morning concluded an intense week of mobilisation across Europe against EU trade deals with Canada (known as CETA) and the US (known as TTIP). Greenpeace called on EU trade ministers meeting in Bratislava today to oppose the deals and put the protection of people and planet ahead of trade.

Ten climbers from Austria, Slovakia and Croatia scaled the imposing UFO tower on the Bridge of the National Uprising over the Danube to display a 2.5 by 10-metre banner reading “NO TTIP”. The futuristic tower faces Bratislava castle and stands 85 metres above the old town, where the ministers are meeting.

Immediately before the tower protest, demonstrators representing a broad coalition of NGOs and trade unions marched in Bratislava to call on European governments to rethink the EU’s external trade agenda. Over the last week, hundreds of thousands of Europeans have demonstrated against CETA and TTIP from Berlin to Brussels, and Vienna to Stockholm.

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