07.02.2024 |

EU Parliament in favour for deregulation of NGT plants, BUT …

Contradictory results in Strasbourg

7 February 2024 / The EU Parliament (EP) today voted in favour of the deregulation of plants derived from new genetic engineering (NGT). It is doubtful that all MEPs have understood what they decided. A comment by Pascal Canfin on X (formerly Twitter), in which he claims that these plants would only be used to save pesticides and combat climate change, seems almost satirical. Canfin is chairman of the EP’s Environment Committee. He also suggested that a vote should be held first and only then should EFSA be asked for a further opinion on the risks.

07.02.2024 |

Joint Declaration in Defense of our Biodiversity, Seed and Food Freedom – Resisting GMO Imperialism

Defending our Seed and Food Sovereignty

Seeds are the first link in the food chain. They embody our heritage and enfold the future evolution of life. It is our inherent duty and responsibility to protect our seeds and pass them on to future generations. The cultivation of seeds and their free exchange among farmers have been the basis for maintaining biodiversity and our food security. Today, our seed sovereignty is threatened by intellectual property rights and new GMO technologies that have transformed seeds from a commons shared by farmers, to a commodity under the control and monopoly of agribusiness corporations. To have control over seeds is to have control over our lives, our food and our freedom.

07.02.2024 |

The MEPs' vote on new GMOs that's a gift to corporations

On Wednesday (7 February) MEPs will vote in the Strasbourg plenary on a proposal that would scrap any safety checks for GMOs (NGTs), as well as labelling and traceability requirements. Many of these MEPs, I suspect, will scratch their heads a few times about the implications of this deregulation proposal.

This article was written by Nina Holland (CEO) and originally appeared in EU Observer.

06.02.2024 |

Federal Court Halts Spraying of Monsanto's Dicamba Pesticide Across Millions of Acres of Cotton, Soybeans

Tucson, Ariz. – In a sweeping victory for family farmers and dozens of endangered plants and animals, a federal court today revoked approval of the notoriously volatile, weed-killing pesticide dicamba.

The drift-prone pesticide has damaged millions of acres of crops and wild plants every year since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first approved it in 2017 for spraying on cotton and soybean crops genetically engineered by Monsanto (now Bayer) to survive what would otherwise be a deadly dose. Today's ruling by the U.S. District Court of Arizona in Tucson overturns the EPA's 2020 reapproval of the pesticide, which included additional application restrictions that have nonetheless failed to prevent the ongoing drift damage.

06.02.2024 |

New publication highlights the risks of NGT oilseed rape

Crucial questions on future regulation of NGT plants still unresolved

6 February 2024 / A new study, which has appeared as a 'preprint', highlights the environmental risks associated with the use of new genetic engineering (NGTs) in oilseed crops, such as rapeseed and camelina. These plants are by no means harmless in the environment: a frequently pursued goal is a change in the composition of the oil. However, both increasing and decreasing the polyunsaturated fatty acid content can have negative effects on pollinators feeding on the pollen of the NGT plants.

Furthermore, if NGT plants are introduced into agriculture, it is not unlikely that many different genetically engineered plants could be simultaneously released into the environment. Once released, the plants may interbreed with each other or with wildlife species, and thus spread in the environment.

05.02.2024 |

CRISPR tomatoes now on the shelves

Fruits supposedly improves quality of sleep

The first CRISPR tomatoes are now on the shelves in Japan. The 'GABA tomato' was developed with new genetic engineering techniques (NGTs). This is shown by photo just recently taken in a supermarket in the Tokyo region. According to the information on the packages, the tomatoes will lower blood pressure, relieve mental stress and improve sleep quality. Experts are doubting that the consumption of the fruits goes along with such effects. At the same time, according to the Japanese functional food register, the consumption of the tomatoes is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and small children. Tomatoes like this could soon be available in supermarkets in Europe as well, without detailed risk assessment and labelling.

05.02.2024 |

GMOs/NGTs : a deceptive patent ban

At its plenary session on 6 February 2024, the European Parliament's Environment Committee will present its proposed amendments to the initial draft on the deregulation of GMO plants obtained using “ new genomic techniques ”. These include the non-patentability of “ NGT plants ”. But what could be behind such a proposal when it has been discussed upstream with the seed multinationals, which hold the majority of patent rights on NGTs?

03.02.2024 |

Gene editing of crops to end global hunger is propaganda

In an email interview with Jitendra Choubey, Prof Antoniou advises India to believe in basic science and not repeat the mistakes made by the European Union.

NGT is another form of GM technology - an artificial laboratory method for altering the genetic makeup of a crop or animal.

Days after 35 Nobel Laureates and over 1,000 scientists signed a letter to promote New GM Techniques (NGT), Prof Michael Antoniou, molecular geneticist and expert in genetic engineering technologies at the King’s College London, explains why it is wrong to promote NGT.

In an email interview with Jitendra Choubey, Prof Antoniou advises India to believe in basic science and not repeat the mistakes made by the European Union by ignoring the health and environmental implications of the NGT.

02.02.2024 |

ACT's outdated GE policy ignores sound science and the risks

The National and ACT party plan to weaken much needed regulation on GE is unscientific and outdated, putting farmers and our biosecurity at risk.

A recent panui by ACT MP Parmjeet Parmar focuses on a gene edited ryegrass experiment overseas, but doesn't mention that the outdoor trials in the USA for this controversial grass were a failure.

01.02.2024 |

The 2023/24 non-GMO soybean crop in Brazil


The Brazilian 2023/24 crop is estimated at 155.3 million tons, down 4.2% compared to the previous November estimate (162 million tons). Erratic weather conditions are the main reason for the revised figures. The lack of consistent rainfall, extremely high temperatures, and the possibility of growing alternative crops to face the falling soybean prices in Chicago, have all contributed to such a significant revision in the figures. The weather caused delays in the seeding, the decline in seed germination percentages, abortion of flowers, and scorching of leaves and stems, all of which pushed yields down – yields are expected to be 2.2% lower than last year, from 3.507 to 3.431 (January figures).

The overall production, though, due to the recovery of crops in the South, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, is estimated to grow 0.4% from last year, from 154,609.5 to 155,269.3.