GMO news related to Germany

09.03.2022 |

Join a vibrant collective of activists!

Save Our Seeds Programme is a series of training meetings for young activists, educators, artists, local and national leaders of formal organizations and informal movements, experienced campaigners, agroecological farmers, breeders, scientists, philosophers and seed savers.

The programme will be divided into two parts – the public-open part, streamed online for a wider public and a closed part – an online workshop programme for our collective of activists

The collective will consist of:

a) a group of around 20 MENTORS (experienced activists, lecturers, scientists, agroecology and organic farming practitioners, seed savers, educators, philosophers and campaigners) from different EU countries,

b) a group of 20-30 young (16-30 years old) activists, community leaders, artists and campaigners, interested in agroecological issues and taking action.

The young activists interested in joining the collective will undergo an application process. All EU nationals between 16 and 30 years can apply.

Deadline: 30.03.2022

04.03.2022 |

New GE deregulated through the backdoor

EU Commission: Eggs from CRISPR/Cas hens will not be risk assessed or labelled

4 March 2022 / Eggs and laying hens originating from transgenic hens could be marketed in the EU without these having to undergo an approval process, and without being labelled. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from a letter sent by the EU Commission to the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) in July 2021. The letter now was made public after a request from the German Union of Peasant Farmers (AbL).

03.03.2022 |

World Wildlife Day - Dreams & nightmares of genetically engineering wildlife

Why conservation organisations across the world need to speak up!

Most people in the EU – including civil society organisations – are opposed to genetically manipulating food crops but unaware that the scope of genetic engineering projects has shifted radically in the past decade. With the advent of CRISPR/Cas genetic engineering has been brought to a new level while the previously used ‘gene guns’ that enabled for example Monsantos pesticide resistant corn have become quite outdated. With CRISPR many more species – and not only domesticated ones – can be genetically modified in much more targeted and profound way.

Genetic engineering in conservation?

22.02.2022 |

CRISPR/Cas patents: ethical boundaries strengthened

Controversial claims amended or deleted

22 February 2022 / Following an opposition filed by Testbiotech, the European Patent Office (EPO) has amended a patent on CRISPR/Cas (EP 3401400) gene scissors. The Nobel Prize laureates, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, are named among the inventors in the patent. The claims covering human, animal and plant cells were deleted, and intervention in the human germline explicitly excluded.

Testbiotech filed the opposition because the patent did not exclud human germline interventions or the commercial usage of human embryos, and therefore failed to fulfil legal requirements. A further reason for filing the opposition were patent claims on genetic changes in animals that would have been likely to cause suffering. According to Testbiotech, this final point still needs further clarification after the decision.

10.02.2022 |

CRISPR/Cas in animals: Unintended changes and unexpected patterns of inheritance

Findings relevant for planned marketing of GE laying hens

10 February 2022 / In experiments with zebrafish, researchers have for the first time shown that unintended effects of CRISPR/Cas applications are inherited in subsequent generations. They also found unusual patterns of inheritance. According to the scientists, the findings show that the effects of CRISPR/Cas applications on subsequent generations need to be examined in much greater detail.

Previous experiments with CRISPR/Cas in zebrafish have found large structural changes at off-target sites. This means that the gene scissors can cut genomic regions outside of the target site, and thus cause specific unintended mutations. The experiments are part of basic research. In this context, zebrafish are seen as important model organisms. The researchers assume that unintended genetic changes at off-target sites can be more concerning compared to those at on-target regions, as the effects may go unnoticed.

27.01.2022 |

The Global Bean Project - A European network promoting the use and cultivation of legumes

The use and cultivation of legumes have great benefits for climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and health. Local cultivation of legumes replaces unsustainable imports of animal feed, especially soybeans, to Europe and the use of mineral fertilizer through natural nitrogene fixation. Legumes diversify crop rotation and improve soil fertility and biodiversity. They are excellent sources of protein reducing or replacing meat consumption to the benefit of human health and the environment. Hundreds of varieties of beans, lentils, peas and other pulses are the basis of rich and diverse regional cultures and traditions of European kitchens and gardens and new innovative food products.

14.01.2022 |

New findings on the evolution of plants

Research outcomes also concern the differences between New GE and conventional breeding

14 January 2022 / A new scientific publication in Nature shows that the occurrence of mutations in plant genomes is not purely random, and their frequencies in populations do not only depend on the mechanisms of selection. However, it is now becoming evident that there are natural mechanisms in the genome which prevent specific genomic regions from frequent mutations. The published research sheds new light on evolutionary biology and, at the same time, raises questions in regard to the consequences of genetic engineering in plants.

15.12.2021 |

Call for a ministerial conference to stop patents on seeds!

Agricultural companies continue to hold patents on conventionally-bred fruits, vegetables and cereals, such as barley, even though this is not allowed under European patent law. Similar patents have also been filed on animals. Conventionally-bred plants and animals are not an invention! Implement existing prohibitions now to stop the big agricultural companies from taking control of our food!

14.12.2021 |

Opposition against BASF patent on watermelons

Bushy plant growth is not an invention

14 December 2021 / No Patents on Seeds! is filing an opposition against a Nunhems (BASF) patent on watermelons (EP2814316) derived from conventional breeding. The bushy plants were originally discovered in a garden. The genetic predisposition to bushy growth occurred randomly. Nunhems has, in this case, simply used well-known methods to breed melons with less seeds from these plants. However, the main advantage of the plants is that they need less space to grow. However, these characteristics were detected but not invented. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the fruits.

26.11.2021 |

New German Government Confirms Glyphosate Ban and Aims for 30% Organic Agriculture by 2030

The new coalition government in Germany has confirmed that glyphosate-based herbicides will be banned in the country from the end of 2023, as part of a wider agreement to reduce the use of toxic chemical inputs in agriculture, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The coalition agreement that outlined the glyphosate ban will install a three-way federal government and end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel following a September election. The new coalition comprises the centre-left Social Democrats, the ecologist Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP).

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