2016-05-19 |

EU delays vote on weed-killer glyphosate license amid cancer row

The European Union on Thursday delayed a vote on renewing sales approval for the pesticide glyphosate, used in Monsanto's weed-killer Roundup, amid a transatlantic row over whether it may cause cancer.

Experts from the EU's 28 nations had been due to vote on a proposal, seen by Reuters, to extend by nine years licensing of the herbicide, widely used by farmers and gardeners.

EU sources said the vote was postponed due to opposition in France and Germany, which have big farming and chemicals industries.

Without those two countries' support, the European Commission lacks the majority it needs for a binding vote: "Since it was obvious that no qualified majority would have been reached, a vote was not held," a Commission spokeswoman said.

2016-05-18 |

New page about GMO-Free Zones in Philippines is created.

Philippines GMO-Free Zones: Successful Roots in Organic Policy and Law

2016-05-17 |

PRESS RELEASE: Organic farmers urge Commission to ban patents on seeds

Brussels, 17 May 2016 – Tomorrow, a symposium on patents and plant breeders’ rights will be hosted by the Dutch Minister for Agriculture. IFOAM EU welcomes the Dutch Presidency initiative and urges the Commission to take concrete, legal action to put an end to patents on seeds. This comes in the context of a new resolution by the European Parliament calling for a ban on conventionally bred products (1); a groundswell against a patent requested by Syngenta for a conventionally bred tomato (2); and recent revocation of a patent that had been issued by the European Patent Office for a conventionally bred melon from Monsanto (3).

Thomas Fertl, IFOAM EU Board Member and Farmers’ Representative, said: “The European Commission should urgently clarify that seeds and genetic traits that can be found in nature and obtained through conventional breeding cannot be patented. The patent legislation has increasingly been used to grant patents on natural traits, which is a complete misuse of the patent system. This kind of patents fosters further market concentration in the seed sector and hamper competition and innovation. Today, only 5 companies control 75% of the seeds sold throughout the world and own most of the patents. This is corporate control over farming and the food chain at its most dangerous.”

2016-05-16 |

Industry ties raise questions about UN body assessing glyphosate cancer risk

Press release - May 16, 2016

Brussels – The FAO /WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) released an assessment today, which concludes that the controversial weedkiller glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”. The finding contradicts an earlier assessment by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which stated that glyphosate was a probable cause of cancer. However, the industry ties of at least two experts involved in the JMPR’s evaluation call into question whether the organisation has ensured the independence of its advice.

Alan Boobis and Angelo Moretto (please see more information below) have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). ILSI Europe receives a majority of its operating and research funding from private companies, including glyphosate producers Dow and Monsanto. ILSI’s Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) is primarily funded by private companies, including glyphosate producers Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta.

Most scientists involved in the glyphosate assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which also contradicted the WHO cancer warning, refused to be named.

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