GMO-free news from France

30.10.2016 |

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

14.10.2016 |

France asks ECJ to decide if plants from new breeding techniques are GMOs

France has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the legal classification of products generated by new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs).

28.07.2016 |

Yogurt producer Dannon looks to establish US non-GMO feed supply

Dannon has set 2018 as a deadline to establish GMO-free feed sources for its farmers' dairy cattle.

09.04.2016 |

France to Ban Glyphosate Weedkillers Due to Health Risks

France is banning glyphosate mixed with certain adjuvants (additives) due to its perceived risks to human health. The move comes less than two months after Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, called for the ban.

ANSES—France’s food, environment and health agency—sent a letter this week to manufacturers informing them that it intends to withdraw the authorization on herbicides containing glyphosate mixed with the adjuvant tallow amine, ANSES’ deputy director general Francoise Weber told Reuters.

According to Weber, ANES made the decision after the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) suggested greater potential risks compared to glyphosate alone.

As EcoWatch noted previously, tallow amine aids the effectiveness of herbicides such as glyphosate and is one of the ingredients in Monsanto’s widely popular weedkiller Roundup.

21.02.2016 |

French Ecology Minister Calls for Ban on Glyphosate Formulations

Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, has called for a ban on glyphosate mixed with certain adjuvants (additives) due to its perceived risks to human health.

On Feb. 12, Royal called for ANSES—France’s food, environment and health agency—to withdraw authorizations on herbicides containing glyphosate mixed with the adjuvant tallow amine, according to French newspaper Le Monde (via Google translate).

Although it wasn’t explicitly said, one can only conclude that this measure was directly targeted at Monsanto and other herbicide makers.

Tallow amine, or polyethoxylated tallow amine, aids the effectiveness of herbicides such as glyphosate. The chemical is contained in Monsanto’s widely popular weedkiller Roundup, according to the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, which published a letter from Monsanto listing the ingredients. Roundup’s ingredients are as follows:

- Isopropylamine salt of glyphosate (active ingredient)

- Water

- The ethoxylated tallow amine surfactant

- Related organic acids of glyphosate

- Excess isopropylamine

05.12.2015 |

PAN_Soil
PAN_Soil

Food at COP21: three new initiatives spotlight food insecurity, soils, waste

Food was high on the agenda at the Paris climate talks this week—here are some of the highlights

It’s become a catch-22 of our times: the global food system is both a villain and a victim of climate change. Agriculture accounts for almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and yet floods, drought, and the planet’s increasing climatic variability play with the fate of our food. Continuing on the current climate trajectory will mean a future of profound food insecurity, especially for developing nations.

This week, these concerns have been prominent on the agenda at the COP21 climate talks in Paris. For the first time at a COP conference, agriculture had its own dedicated focus-day, held on Tuesday by the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), a partnership established between France and Peru to showcase and strengthen on-the-ground climate action in 2015 and beyond.

03.12.2015 |

TribunalMonsanto
TribunalMonsanto

Tribunal Monsanto: The Hague –12th -16th of October 2016

For an increasing number of people from around the world, Monsanto today is the symbol of industrial agriculture. This chemical-intensive form of production pollutes the environment,

accelerates biodiversity loss, and massively contributes to global warming. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based company, has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people.

#TribunalMonsanto

PARIS, Dec. 3, 2015 The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will send Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, to a tribunal for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

29.11.2015 |

Report Release: Outsmarting Nature?

New Report Questions Risky Synthetic Biology Developments Promoted Under “Climate-Smart” Guise

Paris, 27th November 2015 – Some of the world’s largest agro-industrial corporations will be flying the flag for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ at the upcoming Climate Summit. They will claim that hi-tech crops and intensive industrial agriculture are needed to rescue farmers (and the hungry) from a warming world – a claim widely dismissed by peasant movements and civil society groups. A new report today from ETC Group and Heinrich Böll Foundation uncovers plans to use a clutch of extreme biotechnology approaches known as Synthetic Biology to move forward this industrial ‘climate-smart’ agenda. Extreme interventions range from trying to alter the way in which plants carry out photosynthesis to releasing ‘gene drives’ into the wild to alter natural populations of weeds.

28.11.2015 |

Earth To Paris: The Organic Movement Calls for an End to High-emitting Industrial Farming Practices

Industrialized farming costs $3.33 trillion per year in environmental damage. We can remedy this by switching to agro-ecological farming practices such as organic agriculture. With the world awaiting an agreement from the upcoming COP21 climate conference in Paris, the organic food and farming movement calls for commitment to land-based mitigation measures that contribute to food security and tackle the root causes of climate change.

Producing the food we eat from farm to fork accounts for about half of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the agricultural sector is second only to the energy sector. To date climate negotiators and policy-makers have paid little attention to this fact. IFOAM - Organics International calls for a climate agreement recognizing the importance of the land sector and the start of a process developing clear and transparent principles to ensure actions taken on climate change are in accordance with social and ecological considerations. “Industrial farming is one of the major drivers of climate change, and business as usual is not an option, “ states André Leu, President of IFOAM - Organics International. “Only a transition to agroecology and organic farming can lead to deep cuts in emissions from food production”.

27.11.2015 |

Séralini’s team and CRIIGEN win two court cases about their research on toxicity of GMOs and pesticides

On 25 November 2015, the High Court of Paris indicted Marc Fellous, former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, for “forgery" and “the use of forgery”, in a libel trial that he lost to Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini. The Biomolecular Engineering Commission has authorised many GM crops for consumption.

The details of the case have not yet been publicly released but a source close to the case told GMWatch that Fellous had used or copied the signature of a scientist without his agreement to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their reassessment of Monsanto studies.

The Séralini team’s re-assessment reported finding signs of toxicity in the raw data from Monsanto’s own rat feeding studies with GM maize.

The sentence against Fellous has not yet been passed and is expected in June 2016.

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