2016-09-21 |

New Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology

Are GMOs 2.0 in your food and cosmetics? Gene-silenced apples that never look old, synthetic stevia created with genetically engineered algae — these are just some of the new generation of GMOs companies are sneaking into food and consumer products.

This new guide helps consumers avoid the new wave of GMOs and find truly natural and sustainable options.

The 12-page guide is available for free below, and printed copies can be ordered in bulk for the cost of shipping.

The Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology explains:

Which GMO 2.0 products are in stores now, or on their way. Examples include synthetic versions of vanilla, stevia and patchouli fragrance.
Concerns about GMOs 2.0, including lack of testing, lack of labeling and negative impact on small farmers.
How to avoid GMOs 2.0: Buy organic as the best option, or choose products with the Non-GMO Verified or Made Safe certifications that do not allow synthetic biology ingredients.

How can I get hold of the Shopper’s Guide?
Consumers can download the Shopper’s Guide for free (344 downloads) . You can also order printed copies to distribute in your business, organization, or community for the cost of shipping. And you can download the mini guide (71 downloads) , to get the conversation started in your community.

2016-09-16 |

The Monsanto–Bayer tie-up is just one of seven; Mega-Mergers and Big Data Domination Threaten Seeds, Food Security

Policymakers could still block the agribiz mergers; peasants and farmers will continue the fight for seeds and rights

Wednesday’s confirmation that Monsanto and Bayer have agreed to a $66 billion merger is just the latest of four M&A announcements, but at least three more game-changing mergers are in play (and flying under the radar). The acquisition activity is no longer just about seeds and pesticides but about global control of agricultural inputs and world food security. Anti-competition regulators should block these mergers everywhere, and particularly in the emerging markets of the Global South, as the new mega companies will greatly expand their power and outcompete national enterprises. Four of the world’s top 10 agrochemical purchasing countries are in the global South and account for 28% of the world market.[1] If some of these throw up barriers, shareholders will rebel against the deals regardless of decisions in Washington or Brussels.

“These deals are not just about seeds and pesticides, but also about who will control Big Data in agriculture,” says Pat Mooney of ETC Group, an International Civil Society Organization headquartered in Canada that monitors agribusiness and agricultural technologies. “The company that can dominate seed, soil and weather data and crunch new genomics information will inevitably gain control of global agricultural inputs – seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and farm machinery.”

2016-09-15 |

Less choice for African farmers, after Bayer's Monsanto takeover

A $66 billion merger deal between German chemical giant Bayer and US seeds firm Monsanto could result in the world's largest agribusiness. But what does it mean for African farmers, where Monsanto is also active?

Many experts say that Bayer's takeover of Monsanto may lead to a global monopoly in the production of agricultural supplies. Mariam Mayet, executive director of the African Centre for Biodiversity in South Africa, told DW that the merger could also have a negative impact on both farmers and consumers in Africa.

DW: What is your take on the merger between Bayer and Monsanto?

Mariam Mayet: I think that it will result in one of the largest agribusinesses on the planet, because it will put together one company that will control almost 30 percent of the world's seeds and around one quarter of the world's pesticide market. But we must also remember that this merger is part of a bigger consolidation and concentration in the global agriculture input market. As we speak, the deal between ChemChina and Syngenta is being finalized, as well as the merger between the Dow Chemical Company and DuPont.

What are the likely risks arising out of this merger and how will it affect farmers in Africa?

I think the first thing to note is that Monsanto already controls much of the high breed maize seed market in Southern Africa, and in parts of West Africa. So in terms of further expansion into the seed market, I think that we will see a greater push into the GM [genetically modified] seed market, particularly GM cotton in West Africa.

2016-09-13 |

GMO Foods Will Not Enter Nigeria In 3 Years

The Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba has disclosed that Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food would not enter Nigerian market in the next three years adding that there might be GMO suspected food like maize, cotton and soya beans that have been officially released in the international market.

He maintained that the agency carried out a survey and discovered the absence of GMO food in the country stressing that the ones released globally have been certified safe.

While noting that no GM rice has been commercially released anywhere in the world, he recalled that the federal government has banned the importation of rice adding that there are no indication that the ban has been lifted.

2016-09-08 |

GMO-free zones in Germany

347 GMO-free-municipalities, 215 GMO-free-regions and 31,960 GMO-free-farmers´ land have been declared as GMO-free zones in Germany.

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