GMO-free news from France

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.

09.10.2015 |

Effects of chronic exposure to glyphosate at very low doses in rats

Glyphosate-based herbicides are the major pesticides used worldwide. The most common is Roundup. A new peer-reviewed study has examined the effects of a very low dose of Roundup weed killer on the pattern of gene function (transcriptome) in rats over a 2-year period. It is the first study of its kind to do this at environmentally relevant doses.

The study found a distinct and consistent alteration in the pattern of gene function in both the liver and kidneys of the Roundup treatment group. These changes correlate with and confirm observations of pathology made at an anatomical, histological and blood/urine biochemical level. Taken together, the evidence indicates that chronic/long-term exposure to Roundup at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage.

26.09.2015 |

Natexpo 2015: The Trade Show for organic, ecological products

Natexpo - Revealing Organic Trends

The event for the whole organic sector.

18-19-20 October 2015

Paris Nord Villepinte - Hall 7 France

- Meet suppliers from all over the world

- Nearly 100 international exhibitors from 20 countries

- A growing participation in 2015

- Exhibiting countries: Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland...

- News countries in 2015: Peru, Turkey,Luxembourg, Romania, Mexico...

Foodservice operators on Natexpo 2015

- The Organic Cooking Workshop: demonstration area

- Famous Chefs and “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” will marry organic food and excellence during tasty workshops

- Conferences for catering industry

- Organic Catering Path

18.09.2015 |

France bolsters ban on genetically modified crops

France is to use a new European opt-out scheme to ensure a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the country remains in place, it said on Thursday.

The European Union's largest grain grower and exporter has asked the European Commission for France to be excluded from some GM maize crop cultivation under the new scheme, the farm and environment ministries said in a joint statement.

As part of the opt-out process, France also passed legislation in the National Assembly that would enable it to oppose the cultivation of GM crops, even if approved at EU level, on the basis of certain criteria including environment and farm policy, land use, economicimpact or civil order, the environment ministry added.

Widely grown in the Americas and Asia, GM crops have divided opinion in Europe. France had already banned cultivation of U.S. group Monsanto's GM maize, saying it had serious doubts that it is safe for the environment.

14.09.2015 |

French court confirms Monsanto liable in chemical poisoning case

A French court upheld on Thursday a 2012 ruling in which Monsanto was found to be liable in the chemical poisoning of a French farmer, who says he suffered neurological problems after inhaling the U.S. company's Lasso weedkiller.

The decision by an appeal court in Lyon, southeast France, confirmed the initial judgment, the first such case heard in court in France, that ruled Monsanto was "responsible" for the intoxication and ordered the company to "fully compensate" grain grower Paul Francois.

Monsanto's lawyer said the U.S. biotech company would now take the case to France's highest appeal court.

Francois, who says he suffered memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto's Lasso in 2004, blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

22.06.2015 |

Tests carried out for the commercialization of chemicals and GMOs are invalidated by the diets of laboratory rats

CRIIGEN

Lundi 22 Juin 2015

Laboratory rats are frequently used for testing chemicals and genetically modified (GMO) foods, as the last step before commercialization in order to determine effects on mammalian health and predict risk in humans. Such chemicals include pesticides (which often are endocrine disruptors or toxic to the nervous system), plasticizers, and food additives. Some are suspected of being carcinogenic, and others are gradually being banned after having poisoned people and the ecosystem.

However, health agencies consider that a high proportion of laboratory animals are predisposed to developing many diseases, based on industrial data archives known as "historical control data". According to these data, 13–71% of the animals would spontaneously or naturally present mammary tumors and 26–93% pituitary tumors, and the kidney function of these animals would frequently be deficient. This prevents the attribution of observed toxic effects to the products tested, and requires the sacrifice of a large number of animals in an attempt to observe statistically significant results in carcinogenicity tests, for example. But often, doubt persists and the product remains on the market. Do these diseases originate from genetic or environmental factors?

To investigate this question, the team of Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, supported by CRIIGEN, analyzed the dried feed of laboratory animals using standard methods and with the help of accredited laboratories. These animal feeds, sourced from five continents, are generally considered balanced and hygienic. The study was exceptionally wide-ranging; it investigated 13 samples of commonly used laboratory rat feeds for traces of 262 pesticides, 4 heavy metals, 17 dioxins and furans, 18 PCBs and 22 GMOs.

15.06.2015 |

France has announced a ban on over the counter sales of weedkiller Roundup

Roundup weedkiller banned from French garden centres over 'probable' link to cancer

The French Ecology Minister said: 'France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides'

Monday 15 June 2015

France has announced a ban on over the counter sales of a brand of weedkiller from garden centres after the active ingredient was classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the UN.

The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate in March as "probably carcinogenic to humans", and is the active ingredient in Roundup.

The weedkiller is used by amateur gardeners as well as farmers and is the foremost product of American biotechnology giant Mosanto.

French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal told France 3 television on Sunday: "France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides."

05.05.2015 |

Organophosphate pesticide glyphosate - IARC monographs: critics and controversy | Carcinogenesis

Abstract

The monograph program of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which relies on the efforts of volunteer Working Groups, uses a transparent approach to evaluate the carcinogenicity of agents for which scoping has determined that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a review. Because of the potentially powerful implications of the conclusions of the monographs and the sometimes challenging nature of the evidence reviewed, the monographs and the IARC process have been criticized from time to time. This commentary describes the IARC monograph process and addresses recent criticisms of the program, drawing on a recent defense of the program authored by 124 researchers. These authors concluded that the IARC processes are robust and transparent and not flawed and biased as suggested by some critics.

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