2016-08-30 |

The accidental release of forbidden GMO wheat in Huntley could have been catastrophic

Seeds of discontent: Sixteen years ago, Montana State University partnered with Monsanto on what farmers and researchers hoped would usher wheat into the genetic age.

A decade later, with the experiment long abandoned, Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” wheat, which was never federally approved, unexpectedly sprang up at MSU’s Southern Agricultural Research Center in Huntley. The discovery has caused big headaches for MSU. Possessing a genetically modified species that hasn't been approved for planting by the federal government is illegal. And, with no country willing to buy genetically-modified wheat, had the rogue wheat inadvertently entered the food chain, it could have been disastrous for the farm economy.
“I repeatedly mentioned that I thought this had been moved by the intervention of some animal, whether it be rodents or birds, or deer or raccoons. We have stuff moving across the landscape here all the time,” Kephart said. “You watch a pheasant, they’ll go down a row and they’ll fill their craw with seed and then they fly off to who knows.

"So, I brought this up to the (APHIS) guy. And I mentioned ‘Why are you not considering this and he said ‘We simply don't have a protocol to evaluate that risk. Therefore, it doesn’t exist.’”

2016-08-29 |

Italy restricts glyphosate use as it mulls phase out

Italy has placed significant restrictions on the use of glyphosate, as it looks to phase out the controversial pesticide.

2016-08-26 |

India: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed in protest

Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker.

2016-08-26 |

Who is to blame for the failure of GM golden rice?

Press release 25 August 2016
European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER)

The recent Nobel laureates’ open letter to the United Nations and governments around the world, accusing Greenpeace of a “crime against humanity” for opposing genetically modified (GMO) golden rice, elicited a reaction from scientists Angelika Hilbeck and Hans Herren (Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich). They point out that the letter does not recognise the facts about golden rice and makes many scientifically unsubstantiated claims. Among the Nobel laureate signatories, there seems to be hardly anybody with a solid scientific track record in agriculture, food production, development, or the socio-ecological and political causes of poverty and hunger. Others with notable competence – at least in the economic and social domains of development, poverty, and hunger – are not among the signatories. Hilbeck and Herren present the missing facts.

2016-08-24 |

Italy Places Important Restrictions on the Use of Glyphosate

August 23, 2016

PAN Europe enthusiastically applauds the decision by Italy’s Ministry of Health to place a number of restrictions on the use of Glyphosate, one of the world’s most ubiquitous pesticides.

The Italian restrictions ban the use of Glyphosate in areas frequented by the public or by "vulnerable groups" including children and the elderly. The list of banned areas includes parks, gardens and courtyards, the edges of roads and railways, urban areas, sports fields and recreational areas, playgrounds and green areas within the school buildings, and areas adjacent to health facilities.

In addition, the pre-harvest use of Glyphosate--a process known as desiccation--is banned. The desiccation of crops by spraying glyphosate is a primary source for residual pesticide contamination at the consumer level. Finally, the non-agricultural use of glyphosate is banned on soils composed 80% or more of sand--a measure designed to protect groundwater from contamination.

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