News

27.02.2017

The 750 studies that GMO regulatory bodies often ignore

New review from Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development highlights hazards and uncertainties of GM crops

The Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) has just published an important new online book in English: “Transgenic crops hazards and uncertainties: More than 750 studies disregarded by the GMOs regulatory bodies”. It examines research showing hazards to human and animal health, as well as risks to the environment, and agronomic or socioeconomic problems.

To take an example of the kind of scientific publication neglected by risk assessors, but which this book highlights, a study from China shows how GM Bt cotton failed to reduce insecticide sprays, even though this is the supposed advantage of Bt crops. The study examined the effects of pesticide applications on pests (aphids and acarid mites) and predators (ladybeetles and spiders) in both GM Bt insecticidal cotton and non-GM cotton. The study found that Bt cotton did not cause changes in populations of acarids, while its effects on aphids were inconsistent. Although insecticides were not applied against the main pest, cotton bollworm, on GM Bt cotton, the total number of insecticide applications in three years was no less than the total applied on non-GM cotton. The study concluded that “the use of Bt cotton should be evaluated carefully in China”.

24.02.2017

Beyond Monsanto’s GMO Cotton: Why Consumers Need to Care What We Wear

As the linked article below this article points out, Monsanto’s new super-toxic GMO dicamba-resistant cotton is already wreaking havoc across the U.S. But even beyond Monsanto’s latest “Frankencotton,” there are a myriad of reasons why we need to start paying as much attention to what we wear as we do to what we eat.

We are not only what we eat, but also what we wear. The U.S. is the largest clothing and apparel market in the world, with 2016 sales of approximately $350 billion. The average American household spends about four percent of its income on clothing, more than one-third of what we spend on food.

If Americans are what we wear, then we—even the most rebel youth, conscious women, organic consumers, and justice advocates—judged by what we wear (not just what we say) are increasingly corporatized. The fashion statement we’re apparently making with what we wear is that we don’t care. A look at the labels in our clothing, or the corporate logos on our shoes, reveals that the brand name bullies, the transnational giants in the garment and apparel industry, reign supreme.

23.02.2017

Four months to #StopGlyphosate

Earlier this month, Corporate Europe Observatory joined a broad pan-European coalition in launching a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) to ban glyphosate and improve the weak EU pesticides approval procedure. We hope this builds enough public pressure on the European Commission and national governments, including the UK government, that they take into account our concerns when they decide whether or not to relicence glyphosate in June (and under what conditions).

The broad-spectrum plant-killer glyphosate (trademarks: Roundup, Weedol...) has been in the news over the past two years, in particular because of an unusual public conflict that erupted between the EU's food safety agency (EFSA) and the World Health Organisation's cancer research department (IARC) on whether the substance causes cancer in humans, and at which dose. Given that glyphosate is the most widely-used weed-killer, this is a serious question for farm workers and gardeners, but also for consumers and everyone who lives in cities where it is still used it to kill unwanted plants in streets, school playgrounds and public parks.

23.02.2017

Punitive Damages Allowed in Farmer Lawsuit Against Syngenta

A Minnesota judge will let some farmers seek punitive

damages against the Syngenta seed company for selling genetically modified corn seeds before China approved imports of crops grown from them.

In an order unsealed Tuesday, Hennepin County District Judge Thomas Sipkins wrote that there’s evidence Syngenta knew the risks of commercializing Viptera and Duracade corn containing a trait that China had not approved for imports, and intentionally disregarded the high probability of losing the Chinese market

for U.S. corn farmers.

23.02.2017

Texas law firm hosts updates on Syngenta corn lawsuit

ELLENDALE, N.D. — Law firms are making one last sweep to gather in clients to participate in individual lawsuits in historic actions against Syngenta. The suits allege farmers are owed reparation for billions in lost markets because the company allegedly improperly released genetics into the marketplace before it was approved in key foreign export markets, including China.

Teams of legal assistants for Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP of San Antonio, Texas, are in the midst of a series of meetings in corn states offering an update for farmers enrolled as plaintiffs on the Syngenta legal case.

The claimed losses are due to corn exports that were rejected by China since November 2013, because Syngenta introduced a trait called MIR162 corn seed that wasn't yet accepted there and couldn't be filtered out of U.S. shipments.

22.02.2017

GMO-ethanol corn contamination raises concerns about another “StarLink” disaster

Food corn buyers say Syngenta’s Enogen GMO corn is contaminating non-GMO white corn fields, creating a potential “trainwreck;” may be linked to bad masa flour in California.

Enogen, a genetically modified corn for ethanol production, has contaminated non-GMO white corn grown in Nebraska that is used to make flour for tortillas and other products.

Contaminated farmers’ corn

According to Derek Rovey, owner of Rovey Specialty Grains, Inland, Nebraska, a few of his contract farmers who grow non-GMO white corn had their crops contaminated by Enogen corn.

“We’ve had some growers who’ve had some problems (with Enogen). Their corn was right next to Enogen fields,” says Rovey.

Enogen’s GMO trait was detected in the white corn using GMO strip tests, says Rovey.

20.02.2017

No patents on plants and animals! Time for action – Now! 2017 How YOU can make a CHANGE!

This document explains what measures can be taken by civil society to make their voice heard in order to prevent patents on conventionally bred plants and animals in Europe.

Provided by NO PATENTS ON SEEDS! in February 2017

www.no-patents-on-seeds.org

Twitter: @NoPatentsOnSeed

The current situation and our goals

On 25 March 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the

European Patent Office (EPO) confirmed an unacceptable

interpretation of the current patent law: while processes for

conventional breeding cannot be patented, plants and animals

stemming from these processes are patentable. This is not only

contradictory in itself, but it also undermines the prohibitions in

European patent law: “Plant and animal varieties or essentially

biological processes for production plants and animals” are

excluded from patentability (Art 53 b, EPC).

17.02.2017

Bt Cotton: Africa’s Burkina Faso sets an example to follow

HYDERABAD: As the debate over the Genetically Modified crop, Bt Cotton rages in India, Burkina Faso, a small West African nation has completely phased out the cultivation of Bt Cotton which once occupied close to 2.8 lakh hectares in the country. In India, Bt Cotton occupies close to 95 per cent of the 105 lakh hectares under cotton cultivation.

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As a result, the cotton companies stopped promoting Bt Cotton. The three companies have filed a court case asking for 74 million Euros as compensation from the seed company Monsanto.

17.02.2017

Farmers in 10 States Sue Monsanto Over Dicamba Devastation

Farmers across 10 states are suing Monsanto, alleging that the agrochemical company sold dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean crops knowing that illegal spraying of the highly volatile and drift-prone herbicide would be inevitable.

Steven W. Landers, et al v. Monsanto Company was filed on Jan. 26 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division. Kansas City law firm Randles & Splittgerber filed on behalf of Steven and Deloris "Dee" Landers and similarly harmed farmers in 10 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

16.02.2017

French and German socialists divided by CETA vote

The European Parliament’s vote on ratifying CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement, revealed the deep divisions among socialists across the EU, in particular in the “engine of Europe” – France and Germany.

MEPs backed CETA yesterday (15 February) with 408 MEPs in favour and 254 against; 33 abstained. CETA will now face the hurdle of being ratified by the 28 member states. The ratification process varies from country to country, with some requesting approval in national parliaments.

(.....)

In leader of the Party of European Socialists Sergei Stanishev’s Bulgaria, a scandal erupted after the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova said her force will brand all Bulgarian MEPs who supported CETA as traitors.

Ninova says CETA will put at disadvantage the Bulgarian producers and flow the country with products containing GMOs.