News

2014-11-20 |

ADM sued Syngenta over sales of a GMO corn

GM maize: a dangerous experiment GM maize: a dangerous experiment

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co sued seed company Syngenta AG on Wednesday over sales of a genetically modified corn variety not approved for import by China, joining more than 100 farmers and exporters in pursuing damages from the Swiss-based company. The lawsuit alleges that Syngenta commercialized the MIR162 corn variety, also known as Agrisure Viptera, without creating an effective stewardship program to ensure the grain would not be shipped to markets that have not approved it. China has over the past year rejected shipments of more than 1 million tonnes of U.S. corn and corn products because they contained MIR162 grain. The variety, planted on about 3 percent of U.S. corn acres during the past two years, can be found throughout the American supply chain because it has not been segregated from other varieties since its launch in 2011.

2014-11-18 |

Contamination from GE crops does happen: nearly 400 incidents since GE crops were introduced

GM Contamination Register GM Contamination Register

Blogpost by Janet Cotter and Becky Price - 12 November, 2014

Genetically engineered (GE - also called genetically modified, GM) crops raise many concerns, particularly for the environment. One of the main concerns for consumers, farmers and traders is contamination from GE crops. Now, a comprehensive review of recorded GE contamination incidents has been published in a scientific journal by Greenpeace and GeneWatch.

GeneWatch and Greenpeace maintain a website, the GM Contamination Register, that records incidents of contamination caused by GE crops dating back to 1997 (just after GE crops were first commercially grown). By the end of 2013, nearly 400 incidents were recorded. The review analyses these incidents by crop and by country. It reveals some interesting patterns of GE contamination and the limitations to what we know about how contamination happens and how it is detected.

2014-11-17 |

Monsanto to pay $2.4 million to farmers in GMO wheat dispute

Wheat Wheat field in Oregon (Photo: WebbShots/flickr.com)

Monsanto agreed to pay almost $2.4 million compensation to U.S. wheat farmers, who suffered economic losses after unlicensed genetically modified (GM) wheat was found in Oregon last year. On Wednesday, Monsanto announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement with farmers in the States of Washington, Oregon and Idaho who sued the seed company over market disruption. In May 2013, unapproved wheat, genetically engineered to withstand Roundup Ready herbicide, was discovered growing on a farm in Eastern Oregon. In response, Japan and South Korea temporarily stopped importing U.S. wheat due to fears the unapproved GM wheat might have contaminated U.S. wheat supplies. The settlement includes paying $2.1 million into a fund for farmers in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, who sold “soft white wheat” between May and November of 2013. A further $250,000 will go to different wheat growers’ associations. Monsanto will also pay the legal costs to farmers who were pursuing legal action against them. However, the company did not admit liability and said the agreement only resolves claims associated with the white wheat variety. At least three class action lawsuits have now be dismissed as part of the settlement. It is still unclear how the GM wheat appeared in the Oregon field in the first place. Monsanto’s GM wheat was never approved by U.S. regulators and the company said it stopped testing in Oregon over a decade ago. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in September there had been a second discovery of unapproved Monsanto wheat at a Montana State University research facility, where field trials were conducted between 2000 and 2003. Right now, there is no commercially approved genetically modified wheat worldwide. In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its application for the approval of herbicide resistant GM wheat.

2014-11-17 |

Market speaks louder than science: GMO-free animals a good business model

Cattle rancher Steve Kopp is no purist when it comes to feed. Still, at his 70-acre Silver Springs Ranch in Martinez, his organic cattle forage across pastures. “Cattle can be raised properly on grain,” Kopp said. “And we have talked about using genetically engineered feed in the past, but I see our clientele as our friends and family and we want them to have the best meat possible.” A few studies have concluded that genetically engineered food can cause health problems in animals. Some have been vilified by the scientific community, such as a 2012 study by French scientist Gilles-Eric Séralini. That study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that rats fed genetically modified corn grew tumors. The scientific community widely criticized the study for using a type of rat susceptible to tumor growth. The research was withdrawn a year later and republished in a less prestigious science journal. Some scientists claim research that finds any effect of genetically engineered food is quickly vilified or put through uncharacteristic scrutiny, and that lack of labeling makes it difficult to study the effect of GMO food on humans.

2014-11-12 |

Living with GMOs A Letter from America

Susan Sarandon Actor Susan Sarandon-+-Actor

Susan Sarandon
Actor
“We’ve had GMOs in the US for nearly 20 years. Instead of bringing certainty and security they have raised more and more worrying questions about their effectiveness, their necessity, and even their safety. Polls show that the majority of US citizens – and in fact citizens everywhere – either want them labelled or taken out of the food system altogether. It’s important to keep pressing our elected representatives to act in accordance with this strong public mandate.”

Mariel Hemingway
Actor and author
“There are major concerns about the short and long term impacts of GMOs on human and animal health. I’m very concerned about any food I put into my body, and I wouldn’t want to ingest something if I didn’t know where it came from. The fact that Monsanto is spending so much money to make sure GMOs are not labeled and to keep people uninformed should make everyone concerned about the impact GMOs can have on our bodies.”

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