News

2015-08-28 |

European Commission confirmed that Latvia and Greece had asked for GMO opt-out

Latvia, Greece win opt-out from Monsanto GM crop

Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia's and Greece's requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.

Under a law signed in March, individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for GM cultivation across the EU. While the European Commission is responsible for approvals, requests to be excluded also have to be submitted to the company making the application.

GM crops are widely-grown in the Americas and Asia, but Monsanto's pest-resistant MON810 is the only variety grown in Europe, where opposition is fierce.

France and Germany have said they are opposed to GM cultivation, and while Britain is in favour, the Scottish government is against.

2015-08-26 |

EU 15 countries and Western Balkans discussed ways to preserve a “GMO-free model” in the EU

EU Wants To Keep Europe GMO Free

The European Union (EU) said it wants to keep Europe free of genetically modified crops as ministers and other officials from 15 EU and Western Balkans gathered for an international conference in Slovenia.

“Most of the EU sees its future free of GMO,” Slovenian Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Dejan Zidan told the press at the conference on Friday on the eve of Agra, the region’s biggest agriculture and food fair due to be held on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

The conference, which was organised together with Hungary, also featured Luxembourg’s Fernand Etgen, the current president of the EU’s Agriculture Council, and focussed on a recently adopted directive which allows EU countries to limit or prohibit the growing of genetically modified plants.

2015-08-25 |

Germany seeks a nationwide GMO cultivation ban: There’s resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

Germany: No More GMO Seeds

Germany is taking steps to outlaw the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the Europe’s biggest economy.

The Agriculture Ministry plans to officially request that producers of GMOs exclude Germany when applying to sell seeds in European Union, Christian Fronczak, a spokesman for the government, said Tuesday. Scotland took similar measures earlier this month.

“The German government is clear in that it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban,” Fronczak said by phone from Berlin. “There’s resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers.”

2015-08-24 |

In Kauai, chemical companies spray 17 times more pesticide per acre

Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety Action Fund Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety Action Fund

Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops

Local doctors are in the eye of a storm swirling for the past three years over whether corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides is a source of prosperity, as companies claim, or of birth defects and illnesses

(.....)
Today, about 90% of industrial GMO corn grown in the US was originally developed in Hawaii, with the island of Kauai hosting the biggest area. The balmy weather yields three crops a year instead of one, allowing the companies to bring a new strain to market in a third of the time.

Once it’s ready, the same fields are used to raise seed corn, which is sent to contract farms on the mainland. It is their output, called by critics a pesticide delivery system, that is sold to the US farmers, along with the pesticides manufactured by the breeder that each strain has been modified to tolerate.

Corn’s uses are as industrial as its cultivation: less than 1% is eaten. About 40% is turned into ethanol for cars, 36% becomes cattle feed, 10% is used by the food industry and the rest is exported.

‘We just want to gather information’

2015-08-23 |

More consumers say no to GMO and farmers return to non-GMO seeds

Growers returning to unaltered crops
High sale prices of non-GMO yields have many buying conventional seeds

ST. LOUIS -- Five years ago, Dan Beyers took his farm in a new direction. Or, rather, back in an old direction. The Pana, Ill.-area farmer had been using corn and soybean seeds genetically modified to work with glyphosate -- the generic name for Monsanto's signature Roundup herbicide. But he reached a point at which he said it no longer made sense from a dollars standpoint.

So he turned his back on GMO crops.

"As they added more traits, we didn't really see a yield advantage. And every time they added a trait, they added cost," said Beyers, who said he also worries that GMO seeds could be damaging his soil.

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