2015-04-15 |

Seed laws that criminalise farmers: resistance and fightback

Who Owns Seeds Who Owns Seeds

La Via Campesina | GRAIN | 08 April 2015 | Publications

Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?
Finally, perhaps the most important lesson to be learned is that this is a long battle. Our common experience has been that, after the short respite following the defeat of a seed law, business and government return to the fray. And, if they win, they will always ask for more in the future. We must be constantly prepared for another round of resistance and struggle in the defence of our seeds.

2015-04-13 |

Action: Tell Juncker to keep his promise to make EU GMO decisions more democratic

This Wednesday 15 April, some key decisions may be taken in the European Commission regarding GMOs. Commission President Juncker had promised to make EU decisions on GMOs more democratic. However, the proposed 'solution' currently on the table will not do anything to that end. What's more, on the same day the Commission intends to authorise up to 17 new GM crops for import as food and feed. All of these are tolerant to one or more herbicides, and/or produce (multiple) insecticides. Take action now to tell Juncker to keep his promise on the GMO authorisation rules, and to urge him to not allow this wave of new GM crops for import.

2015-04-08 |

Juncker plan could break promise on democratisation of EU GM crop decisions

Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, IFOAM
Press release - April 8, 2015

Brussels – A new plan by the European Commission to review the way decisions are made on genetically modified (GM) crops could break a promise by its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to make the EU system more democratic. In a letter released today, environment and food NGOs, and organic farmers warn that the plan, due to be released next week, would mean the Commission could continue to authorise GM crops despite the opposition of a majority of national governments, the European Parliament and public opinion.

In a speech at the European Parliament on 15 July 2014, Juncker pledged that the Commission would reform the GM crop authorisation system. He said that he “would not want the Commission to be able to take a decision when a majority of Member States has not encouraged it to do so”.

However, the plan could allow the Commission to open the EU market to GM crops, including in the context of trade negotiations with the US. US authorities are pressing the Commission to wave through 17 GM crops that are pending approval for import into the EU.

2015-04-02 |

Organic farmers call for GMO bans


IFOAM EU Group Press release

Brussels, 1 April 2015 – As the Directive granting Member States the right to ban GMO cultivation on their territory enters into force tomorrow, a new report from IFOAM EU provides an overview of existing national “coexistence” measures aimed at preventing contamination by GMOs.

Eric Gall, IFOAM EU Policy Manager, said: “Our legal analysis shows that banning GMOs is the most effective way to prevent GMO contamination and to avoid extra costs for the food industry, public authorities and the organic sector. So-called “coexistence” measures are costly, difficult to design and implement and are not sufficient for the prevention of contamination. The organic food and farming sector therefore calls on all Member States to ban all GMO cultivation on their territories.”

The new IFOAM EU report shows that the Member States with the most developed legal “coexistence” measures have, in most cases, eventually chosen to ban GMO cultivation. On the other hand, measures are clearly insufficient or simply non-existent in many countries.

Alejandro Gill, IFOAM EU Policy Coordinator continued: “The Spanish example clearly shows that GMO cultivation threatens the viability of organic production for farmers in the territories where they are cultivated. It is highly regrettable that, in the case of a Member State refusing to ban GMO cultivation, the new Directive does not require Member States to put contamination prevention measures in place, nor to develop an effective liability regime to compensate victims of contamination.”

2015-04-01 |

Non-GMO Food Sales Rising Fast

Non-GMO food sales are rising faster than buttermilk biscuits in a warm oven. and are staged to become hot products of the future. Farmers, especially younger entrepreneurs, are quickly trying to move into the market and tap into a new profitable demand.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) refers to how food, food from meats to produce. is grown, processed, and distributed to the public. Pesticides, hormones given to livestock, and genetic engineering of seeds to make more attractive, marketable vegetables, are all part of the GMO process. A large reason for tinkering with food is to produce more on smaller tracts of land, make drought or pest-resistant produce, and to delay spoilage, so food can be shipped globally. The thought is GMO products eventually produce ill-effects in humans like cancer, infertility, and other issues.

In recent years, many people have found they are allergic to gluten, a binding ingredient used in wheat products, and seek gluten-free products. Others concerned about health seek out organic products. Now, people are specifically looking for non-GMO products. All certified organic products are, by definition, also non-GMO products.

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