2015-03-02 |

German states want nationwide ban on genetically engineered plants

Berlin (dpa) - The majority of Germany‘s 16 federal states would like a nationwide ban on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms, according to a survey carried out by dpa and published on Saturday.

If there is no nationwide ban, than some of the states will implement their own bans, the survey of the various state agriculture ministries found.

"We can‘t have a patchwork in Germany, so the federal government has to enact a ban," the agriculture minister for the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Robert Habeck, told dpa.

2015-03-02 |

Coming out on top with TTIP - GMO, hormone-treated meat, chlorine-treated chickens

Interview with EU commissioner-designate for trade

The "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" (TTIP) between the EU and US will set the standard for the 21st century. With approximately 800 million consumers, it is expected to build the largest economy in the world by eliminating tariffs and trade barriers as well as lifting bureaucratic obstacles vanish.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is negotiating TTIP terms on behalf of the 28 EU countries with the United States. In an exclusive interview with the "Luxemburger Wort" she highlights the benefits of this pact along with the fears and concerns of consumers.

(.....) Chlorine chicken became a symbol of TTIP. Will it end up on the plates of European consumers?

No, that's a myth. In Europe, we have high standards of consumer protection that will not be compromised by a trade agreement. Genetically modified foods are not allowed in Europe, hormone-treated meat is also taboo here, and chlorine-treated chickens are prohibited.

2015-02-27 |

USA: GMO foods - What you need to know

Why is there so much fuss over genetically modified ingredients? This will help you sift through the facts.

Foods made with canola oil, corn, or soy often contain GMOs.

It’s a growing controversy: Should GMO foods always be labeled so consumers are aware that the product contains genetically modified ingredients?

GMOs—or genetically modified organisms—are created in a lab by altering the genetic makeup of a plant or an animal. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe that GMO foods—widely found in kitchens across the country—should be labeled before they’re sold, according to a recent nationally representative survey of 1,004 people from the Consumer Reports National Research Center. (Last year our tests discovered that GMOs were present in many packaged foods, such as breakfast cereals, chips, baking mixes, and protein bars.)

Demand for non-GMO foods has skyrocketed: In 2013, sales of non-GMO products that were either certified organic (by law, organic products can’t be made with GMO ingredients) or that carried the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal increased by 80 percent, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. It has prompted a growing number of companies to avoid using GMOs in new products or to voluntarily reformulate existing ones so that they can sport reliable non-GMO labels. PepsiCo, for example, sells Stacy’s Simply Naked bagel and pita chips with the Non-GMO Project Verified seal; General Mills, which introduced a non-GMO original Cheerios cereal early last year, also has the non-GMO product lines Cascadian Farm and Food Should Taste Good.

2015-02-26 |

GMO related trade: EU-US (TTIP), EU-Brasil and WTO

AMENDMENT 1 - 156 Draft opinion, Bart Staes, (PE544.393v01-00) on recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (2014/2228(INI))

B n. whereas the EU and US legislators have taken a very different approach as regards the regulation of genetically
modified organisms (GMOs): while in the EU, GMOs need to pass a risk analysis process prior to authorisation, regulators in the US allow them on the market without a distinct regulatory regime;

C f. Whereas European consumers are informed of the presence of GMOs in foodstuff thanks to mandatory labelling while in the US, the FDA recognises GMOs as "substantially equivalent" to
their non-GMO counterparts.

C g. Whereas several industry sectors representatives have called for the removal trough the regulatory convergence mechanisms of the EU zero tolerance policy for unauthorised GMOs in food and feed.

AMENDMENTS 157 - 314 Draft opinion Bart Staes (PE544.393v01-00) on recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (2014/2228(INI))

4. Agrees with Commissioner Malmström that there should not be a trade-off between the economic goals and the people's health, safety and the environment; agrees further with the
Commissioner that where Europe and the United States have very different rules, there will be no agreement, such as GMOs, the use of hormone in bovine sector, REACH and Cloning;

5. Calls on the Commission to exclude any terms in all the horizontal chapters and all the sectoral annexes of the TTIP that would affect the EU's integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on GMOs,

– the EU's integrated approach to food safety, including GMOs,

– European legislation on food safety and relating to GMOs,

– affect the EU’s integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on animal welfare and GMOs,

– affect the EU’s integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on GMOs and novel foods,

5 d. Calls the commission to make sure that TTIP do not lower the GMOs standards at EU and member states level: in this regards the GMO labelling system should be considered a non-negotiable instrument to ensure consumer's right to choose. Furthermore it urges EU negotiators to preserve the right of the
European legislators to introduce further regulations on OGMs products including those derived from animals (meat and dairy) fed with GMOs..

2015-02-25 |

Hershey's non-GMO pledge

Hershey’s has confirmed that as part of its commitment to simpler ingredients, its two iconic products will be non-GMO by the end of the year.

Green America Food Campaigns director Nicole McCann states: “We congratulate Hershey’s on this important move and great first step. As one of the leading chocolate companies in the US, this commitment will help move the rest of the companies in this sector. Hershey’s joins General Mills, Unilever, Post Foods and other leading companies in responding to consumer demand to make at least some of its products non-GMO.”

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