2016-06-27 |

Demand for Bt cotton seeds sharply down

Nagpur: There has been a major dip in the demand for genetically modified Bt cotton seeds this kharif season. The seeds that were introduced by the US multinational Monsanto in 2002 have become mainstay of cotton farming since then. This year, there has been a sharp increase in use of local varieties of cotton seeds instead of Bt in the northern states. The area seems to have gone up but the supply of indigenous seeds did not keep pace, sources said. A similar trend was expected in other cotton growing areas of the country too.

According to the figures compiled by city-based Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), as against 3,000 odd hectares under indigenous varieties of cotton last year, there are 72,280 hectares this season in northern states. The data was collected from states' agricultural departments, said Dr Keshav Kranthi, director of CICR, a government research agency.

2016-06-27 |

Gene Ethics Election Scorecard - GM-free Foods and Crops

Gene Ethics Media Release 27 June 2016

Gene Ethics posed 20 questions on Genetically Manipulated (GM) foods, seeds and sustainable farms to leading political parties.

"The scorecard shows The Greens and Xenophon Team have the best policies on GM-free food, seed and farms to deliver the real change that agriculture urgently needs, to safely and securely feed all Australians into the future," says Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.

"On our election scorecard, The Greens hit 80% as they were the only party to answer our questions and explain their policies. The Xenophon Team followed on 25%, with the ALP 8% and the Coalition Parties 0% as they did not reply.

The Greens say: "GMO assessments must be broad, independent and scientifically robust. Everyone has a right to know if foods contain any ingredients made using GM techniques, through the comprehensive labelling of those products.

"Over 90% of Australian shoppers want clear and honest GM food labels but we don't have them so this policy is a clear winner," he says.

(Read more on Gene Ethics Facebook at:

2016-06-26 |

Press Conference: New GMO Technologies – old illusory promises of salvation

What the International Monsanto Tribunal wants to achieve
and why the Bayer-Monsanto merger must be blocked

Berlin, June 22th, 2016 – An alliance between NABU, Navdanya International, IFOAM (International Foundation for Organic Agriculture), Organics International and the Coordination against BAYER risks, invites you to a press conference that will take place on Monday, June 27th, 2016, from 12pm to 1pm at NABU Bundesgeschäftsstelle, Charitéstraße 3, Berlin-Mitte.

The speakers are:
– Dr. Vandana Shiva, globally known activist, eco-feminist, and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award, 1993)
– Antonius Michelmann renowned chemist and new director of the Coordination against BAYER risks
-Sarah Wiener, acclaimed cook and activist on food and agricultural issues
Presentation: Bernward Geier

2016-06-26 |

Close to Home: Why a local GMO ban makes sense


The Close to Home column by Tom Cooke last week had a number of inaccurate assertions (“Let science, humanity inform your GMOs vote,” June 19). I remind Professor Cooke that truth is not a fear tactic.

The Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Ordinance, which will be on the fall ballot, is simple and clear. It prohibits the cultivation, propagation, raising and growing of genetically engineered organisms in Sonoma County. It protects family and/or organic farms from contamination by genetically engineered plant pollen drift. In addition, it protects from the increased herbicide use inherent in the cultivation of these crops.

Genetically engineered pollen poses a genuine concern for non-GMO and organic farmers, as pollen drift threatens to contaminate unintended crops even with buffer zones.

2016-06-25 |

UK “likely” to be bound by EU organic regulations despite Brexit vote

The Soil Association says it is “very disappointed” that the UK is to leave the European Union. But despite the Brexit vote the organic charity says the UK is “likely” to continue to be bound by the EU Organic Regulation.

In a statement, the Soil Association says: “UK wildlife, the environment and the organic farming sector have been major beneficiaries of EU membership, where the precautionary principle prevails in policy making. Thanks to EU policy, the UK has cleaned up its act as ‘the dirty man of Europe’ and now has cleaner beaches, rivers and better protection for wildlife, including our vital pollinators as a direct result of EU membership. It is vital that these gains are secured.”

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