GMO news related to Germany

12.07.2015 |

Non-GMO labels are on the rise in Europe – but why?

Non-GMO labels are on the rise in European countries – but unlike the US, EU legislation requires all food containing above trace levels of GM to be labelled. So is there even a need for GMO-free?

03.07.2015 |

German states draft bill for nationwide GMO ban

Five state governments in Germany are putting pressure on Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, introducing a bill for a nationwide ban on GMOs instead of his “patchwork” proposal. EurActiv Germany reports.

Germany’s debate over banning genetically modified (GM) plants has come to a head: Green/Social Democratic coalitions in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein presented a bill on Tuesday (30 June) proposing a nationwide ban on GM plants effective “in the entire sovereign territory”.

Agriculture Minister Schmidt is in a tight squeeze. Though he hopes to reject the cultivation of GM crops, Schmidt has left it up to German states to decide on a ban. “Now I expect the participants not to further set themselves in stone ideologically,” he said.

Freedom from GM food only through national regulation

19.06.2015 |

Bees know no borders
Bees know no borders

German beekeepers call for GMO cultivation ban

German beekeepers have called for a nationwide ban on cultivating GM plants, reports the German NGO keine-gentechnik.de.

The call by the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents almost 100,000 beekeepers, comes after Europe adopted controversial legislation enabling member states to opt-out of the cultivation of GMOs that have been approved at the EU level.

Under the law, a member state can ban a GMO in part or all of its territory. But the law has come under heavy criticism for failing to provide a solid basis for such bans.

The beekeepers are urging Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) to implement a Germany-wide ban on cultivation. The Minister pleads, however, for letting each state decide individually.

The beekeepers counter that a piecemeal approach will not work. Bees fly up to eight kilometres in search of food, the DIB said, so a juxtaposition of GM crop cultivation zones and GMO-free zones within Germany would be "environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable".

“Bees know no borders," the DIB added.

15.06.2015 |

German DIY shops stop selling weedkiller Roundup

Monsanto: German companies stop glyphosate sales

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Economic News)

According to Swiss supermarkets, German companies have announced halting sales of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide. In 1971, Monsanto patented glyphosate. Today its glyphosate (“Roundup”) constitutes two billion US dollars in annual sales.

(.....)

The registration of glyphosate is currently being re-examined by the EU, because the current authorization of the active ingredient ends in December 2015.

29.05.2015 |

Videos from GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference 2015

Now you can enjoy watching the videos from this year´s GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference.

http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-europe-2015/videos-from-gmo-free-europe-conference.html

GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference Berlin May 6, 2015 (Time 1:24:43)

GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference Berlin May 7, 2015 pt1 (Time 1:17:04)

GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference Berlin May 7, 2015 pt2 (Time 1:32:21)

GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference Berlin May 8, 2015 (Time 2:15:52)

GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference Berlin May 6 to 8, 2015: Interviews (Time 27:05)

21.05.2015 |

In unusual move, German scientists lobby for GM labeling

BERLIN—When it comes to labeling genetically modified (GM) food, the battle lines are usually clear: Those who oppose genetic engineering want it labeled, and those who support it see no need. But today, a group of German scientists and other proponents of GM organisms launched a campaign to require labeling of anything that contains or has been produced with the help of GM organisms.

Their unusual plea is a political gamble; rather than making it more difficult for GM products to reach consumers, they hope the new law will show Germans just how widespread such products already are—whether it’s in food, clothes, drugs, or washing powder—and that there is nothing to be afraid of.

The petition to the German parliament, which will go online tomorrow, asks the German government to prepare a law that requires GM labeling for all food, feed, drugs, textiles, chemicals, and other products that have been produced using genetic engineering. The petition also calls on the government to advocate a similar law at the E.U. level.

13.05.2015 |

REWE Group removes glyphosate herbicides from its DIY range

The REWE Group’s 350 toom Baumarkt DIY stores will carry no glyphosate products after September 30, 2015

The 350 toom Baumarkt DIY stores belonging to the REWE Group will carry no glyphosate-containing products later than September 30, 2015. From today (11 May) such products cannot be re-ordered for the stores.

By the end of 2013 toom Baumarkt had begun to switch the range and had removed about 60 percent of glyphosate-containing products from sale. Toom Baumarkt offers its customers alternative environmentally acceptable products. Thus toom Baumarkt was well ahead of the upcoming decision on the extension of the EU approval for glyphosate.

"As a responsible company, it is important to regularly review our entire range and seek to protect the environment and nature with alternative and more sustainable options. Toom Baumarkt is constantly and consistently developing a more sustainable portfolio of products,” explains Dominique Rotondi, General Purchasing Manager for toom Baumarkt.

12.05.2015 |

Lower Saxony's Consumer Protection Minister Christian Meyer is calling for an ban on the pesticide Glyphosate
Lower Saxony's Consumer Protection Minister Christian Meyer is calling for an ban on the pesticide Glyphosate

German states call for ban on household pesticide - politicians’ duty to protect people’s health

Germany’s state consumer protection ministers are calling for an EU-wide ban on the leading global pesticide Glyphosate, after it was categorised as carcinogenic by the WHO. However, the federal government sees no need for action. EurActiv Germany reports.

After reevaluating the most widely used pesticide in Germany and worldwide, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer researchers have categorised Glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

In a resolution on Friday (8 May), Germany’s state ministers called for “the supply to and use by private persons to be banned for precautionary reasons”. In addition, the politicians argue that Glyphosate should be prohibited for uses close to consumers.

“This pesticide should not be found in gardens, parks or on children’s playgrounds. I also do not think use in private gardens is appropriate,” explained Lower Saxony’s Consumer Protection Minister Christian Meyer. He is the current chairman of the Consumer Protection Minister Conference.

08.05.2015 |

GMO-FREE EUROPE 2015 © Dieter H. Engler
GMO-FREE EUROPE 2015 © Dieter H. Engler

Berlin Declaration adopted at GMO-FREE EUROPE 2015

8th May 2015 in Berlin

400 participants from 60 countries today concluded the GMO-FREE EUROPE conference and vowed to continue and intensify their cooperation to keep the European Union free of GMOs, to develop a sustainable protein strategy for Europe and to collaborate with GMO FREE movements around the world.

In a joint declaration participants from the "three pillars" of the GMO FREE EUROPE Conference emphasize the four guiding principles and objectives: · Subsidiarity Principle, · Precautionary Principle, · Polluter-pays-Principle, · Freedom of choice for everybody and point out the following:

http://www.gmo-free-europe.org/press.html

Participants came from the following countries:

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Zambia

07.05.2015 |

GMO contamination risk is too high, say groups from Canada, Australia and Japan

Joint media release for Europe

7 May 2015, Berlin

Civil society organisations from Canada, Australia and Japan have jointly issued a warning about contamination risks from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), after the recent EU commission authorisation of 17 new GMOs for food and feed. They are visiting Europe for the GMO-FREE EUROPE Conference 2015 in Berlin 6-8th May.

“Learn the lessons from our countries - GMO is not worth the risk. If allowed, you will have GMO contamination of non-GM crops and nearby land for many years to come” said Jessica Harrison, Coordinator of the GM-Free Australia Alliance (GMFAA). “GM canola was first grown commercially in 2008 in Australia. We find GM canola weeds on roadsides, truck spillages have dispersed GM seeds and GM pollen has contaminated honey. GM-free Tasmania is still eradicating weeds from GM crops´ trials in the late 90’s”. In 2010, Organic farmer Steve Marsh, found GM canola and seeds had contaminated 2/3 of his farm. His ground-breaking court case for damages against his GM crop cultivating neighbour is still not resolved.

It’s been 20 years since Canada started growing GM canola/rapeseed. “Organic grain farmers in Canada have largely stopped growing canola because of GM contamination. For most farmers, it is no longer possible to grow, sell and export organic canola,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

Japanese citizens acted quickly after GM canola weeds were found growing near harbours, cooking oil factories and roadsides throughout Japan. “We do not grow any GM crops in our country,” said Michiyo Koketsu from the NO! GMO Campaign in Japan. “Unfortunately GM canola is imported and crushed here. GM weeds grown from spilt seeds are flourishing and out-crossing with plant relatives such as native rapeseed, mustard and broccoli. An ad hoc response from the Japanese authorities meant that citizens groups, at their own cost, test and remove GM weeds to guard against further contamination.

Due to the body of evidence showing harm, GM food is rejected by consumers, if they know what they are eating. Growing demand for GMO-free food products has meant farmers turning their back on GM crops as they hurry to supply the expanding demand for non-GM crops. In Australia, non-GM canola is sold at an average of $40 per tonne more than GM canola concluded Jessica Harrison.

Notes:

(1) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-21/euro-canola-demand/4702890

Europe demanding more Australian non-GM canola

(2) http://www.producer.com/2013/05/non-gm-canola-oil-demand-has-crusher-scrambling/

Non-GM canola oil demand has crusher scrambling

Short presentations on the 7th May at Representation of Hesse (In den Ministergärten 5,10117 Berlin)

http://www.gmo-free-europe.org/program-info/7th-of-may-2015/ngos-and-scientists-network-of-gmo-free-regions.html

13:30 - 14:30

- Canada: Impacts and Lessons from 20 Years of GMOs

- GMO-Free in Australia, New Zealand and the Western Pacific

- The Consumer Led Anti-GMO Movement in Japan

Contacts in Berlin:

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

http://www.cban.ca/

coordinator@cban.ca

Jessica Harrison, Coordinator of the GM-Free Australia Alliance (GMFAA)

http://www.gmfreeaustralia.org.au/

gmcropwatch@gmail.com

+37259792097

Michiyo Koketsu, NO! GMO Campaign in Japan

http://www.gmo-iranai.org/

michiyokoketsu@gmail.com

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