News

23.02.2017

Punitive Damages Allowed in Farmer Lawsuit Against Syngenta

A Minnesota judge will let some farmers seek punitive

damages against the Syngenta seed company for selling genetically modified corn seeds before China approved imports of crops grown from them.

In an order unsealed Tuesday, Hennepin County District Judge Thomas Sipkins wrote that there’s evidence Syngenta knew the risks of commercializing Viptera and Duracade corn containing a trait that China had not approved for imports, and intentionally disregarded the high probability of losing the Chinese market

for U.S. corn farmers.

23.02.2017

Texas law firm hosts updates on Syngenta corn lawsuit

ELLENDALE, N.D. — Law firms are making one last sweep to gather in clients to participate in individual lawsuits in historic actions against Syngenta. The suits allege farmers are owed reparation for billions in lost markets because the company allegedly improperly released genetics into the marketplace before it was approved in key foreign export markets, including China.

Teams of legal assistants for Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP of San Antonio, Texas, are in the midst of a series of meetings in corn states offering an update for farmers enrolled as plaintiffs on the Syngenta legal case.

The claimed losses are due to corn exports that were rejected by China since November 2013, because Syngenta introduced a trait called MIR162 corn seed that wasn't yet accepted there and couldn't be filtered out of U.S. shipments.

22.02.2017

GMO-ethanol corn contamination raises concerns about another “StarLink” disaster

Food corn buyers say Syngenta’s Enogen GMO corn is contaminating non-GMO white corn fields, creating a potential “trainwreck;” may be linked to bad masa flour in California.

Enogen, a genetically modified corn for ethanol production, has contaminated non-GMO white corn grown in Nebraska that is used to make flour for tortillas and other products.

Contaminated farmers’ corn

According to Derek Rovey, owner of Rovey Specialty Grains, Inland, Nebraska, a few of his contract farmers who grow non-GMO white corn had their crops contaminated by Enogen corn.

“We’ve had some growers who’ve had some problems (with Enogen). Their corn was right next to Enogen fields,” says Rovey.

Enogen’s GMO trait was detected in the white corn using GMO strip tests, says Rovey.

20.02.2017

No patents on plants and animals! Time for action – Now! 2017 How YOU can make a CHANGE!

This document explains what measures can be taken by civil society to make their voice heard in order to prevent patents on conventionally bred plants and animals in Europe.

Provided by NO PATENTS ON SEEDS! in February 2017

www.no-patents-on-seeds.org

Twitter: @NoPatentsOnSeed

The current situation and our goals

On 25 March 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the

European Patent Office (EPO) confirmed an unacceptable

interpretation of the current patent law: while processes for

conventional breeding cannot be patented, plants and animals

stemming from these processes are patentable. This is not only

contradictory in itself, but it also undermines the prohibitions in

European patent law: “Plant and animal varieties or essentially

biological processes for production plants and animals” are

excluded from patentability (Art 53 b, EPC).

17.02.2017

Bt Cotton: Africa’s Burkina Faso sets an example to follow

HYDERABAD: As the debate over the Genetically Modified crop, Bt Cotton rages in India, Burkina Faso, a small West African nation has completely phased out the cultivation of Bt Cotton which once occupied close to 2.8 lakh hectares in the country. In India, Bt Cotton occupies close to 95 per cent of the 105 lakh hectares under cotton cultivation.

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As a result, the cotton companies stopped promoting Bt Cotton. The three companies have filed a court case asking for 74 million Euros as compensation from the seed company Monsanto.

17.02.2017

Farmers in 10 States Sue Monsanto Over Dicamba Devastation

Farmers across 10 states are suing Monsanto, alleging that the agrochemical company sold dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean crops knowing that illegal spraying of the highly volatile and drift-prone herbicide would be inevitable.

Steven W. Landers, et al v. Monsanto Company was filed on Jan. 26 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division. Kansas City law firm Randles & Splittgerber filed on behalf of Steven and Deloris "Dee" Landers and similarly harmed farmers in 10 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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.

16.02.2017

I voted against CETA because it does not protect Bulgaria’s national interests

Strasburg. “I voted against CETA, because I do not believe it is in the interest of Bulgaria,” stated MEP Momchil Nekov in plenary after the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the press office of the MEP announced. For years, agriculture in the country has been shrinking. Removing import duties for Canada would most likely result in Bulgarian production having additional competition, for the local and European markets. A big part of products that have transitional quotas, such as beef and pork, are a threat to these sectors in Bulgaria.

“Last but not least, Canada is the fifth largest producer of GMO foods in the world. The European Commission claims that Canadian foods would have to comply with European law. But this means labelling the foods.

15.02.2017

Activists keep justice afloat as CETA threatens to sink democracy

Campaigners warn EU-Canada trade deal is surrender to corporate takeover

Press release

Strasbourg/Brussels – Eleven activists kept a sinking statue of lady justice afloat in the icy waters surrounding the European Parliament in Strasbourg, ahead of a crucial vote on a controversial EU-Canada trade and investment protection deal.

Photos and video available for download soon.

Activists will stay in the water until the vote.

Environment, health and labour rights campaigners warn that the deal – known as CETA – would hand corporations the power to sue governments and threatens laws that protect nature, public health and social rights.

The swimmers (from France and Germany), wearing survival suits and supported by activists in three inflatable boats, urged members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to reject the deal and displayed banners in English, French, German and Dutch. The English banner read: “Sink CETA, not justice”.

15.02.2017

Deal puts interests of big business first

The European Parliament has today (15 Feb) voted in favour of CETA. Commenting on the vote, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:

"This is a defeat for the EU and for the prospect of regulating globalization by putting human and social rights and the environment ahead of the interests of big businesses. A majority of MEPs, including the EPP, Liberals and many from the S&D, have shown themselves to be deaf to the well-grounded concerns of civil society, employees, consumers, local authorities, SMEs, lawyers and citizens.

"The European Parliament has failed to learn the lessons from the Brexit vote and Trump victory and has increased the power of the multinationals at the expense of citizens. Let's not forget, CETA was negotiated by former Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, a well-known climate sceptic, and former Commissioner De Gucht, who had various business interests. This conflict of interest laid the ground for an agreement built by, and for, big businesses.