GMO news related to Germany

25.05.2018 |

Monsanto And Bayer Are Set To Merge. Here's Why You Should Care

Together they will influence markets all over the world on a scale we’ve never seen before.

The U.S. Justice Department this month is expected to approve a merger of two huge corporations ― St. Louis-based seed company Monsanto and German crop-chemical conglomerate Bayer ― and the consequences could be enormous.

The $66 billion deal, already approved by the European Union, will create the world’s biggest pesticides and seeds monopoly. The hookup will confine 61 percent of global seeds and pesticides production in the hands of just three megacorporations ― the other two being newly merged DowDuPont, and ChemChina, which acquired pesticides and seed company Syngenta last year.

Is that a problem?

It depends who you ask. Monsanto and Bayer are pitching their consolidation as a way to develop the technology and innovation necessary to feed a world that in two decades is likely to be home to 10 billion people. For critics ― environmentalists and many farmers ― it’s a terrifying step toward a near-monopoly in agriculture, giving giant companies unprecedented access to farmer data, squeezing out small farmers, and potentially raising food prices for consumers.

25.05.2018 |

Monsanto And Bayer Are Set To Merge. Here's Why You Should Care

Together they will influence markets all over the world on a scale we’ve never seen before.

The U.S. Justice Department this month is expected to approve a merger of two huge corporations ― St. Louis-based seed company Monsanto and German crop-chemical conglomerate Bayer ― and the consequences could be enormous.

The $66 billion deal, already approved by the European Union, will create the world’s biggest pesticides and seeds monopoly. The hookup will confine 61 percent of global seeds and pesticides production in the hands of just three megacorporations ― the other two being newly merged DowDuPont, and ChemChina, which acquired pesticides and seed company Syngenta last year.

Is that a problem?

It depends who you ask. Monsanto and Bayer are pitching their consolidation as a way to develop the technology and innovation necessary to feed a world that in two decades is likely to be home to 10 billion people. For critics ― environmentalists and many farmers ― it’s a terrifying step toward a near-monopoly in agriculture, giving giant companies unprecedented access to farmer data, squeezing out small farmers, and potentially raising food prices for consumers.

02.05.2018 |

Independent scientists serving the interests of industry

Untruthful assertions about new methods of genetic engineering

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

At present, biotech lobbyists are very active in the EU - and if they achieve their aims these could severely impact the environment and consumers. The lobbyists are attempting to persuade politicians and law-makers that the new methods of genetic engineering, based on methods such as the CRISPR/Cas technique, should be exempted from EU GMO regulation. They claim that changes introduced by techniques known as genome editing are not distinguishable from those brought about by conventional breeding. This is not true. Nevertheless, it is something that is repeated over and over again. Even the president of the umbrella organisation of German biologists (VBIO), Bernd Müller-Röber, is currently lobbying members of the EU Parliament with this false assertion.

In particular, the VBIO is meant to be politically, ideologically and economically independent. This is, however, evidently not the case for the president of VBIO – for years he has filed patents on genetic engineering technology, most recently on new methods of genetic engineering. Therefore, he somehow appears to be also his own best lobbyist.

01.05.2018 |

Harvest of Greed: Provocative New Film Exposes True Dangers of the Monsanto-Bayer Merger For the World to See

The Monsanto-Bayer merger could be the biggest development in the world of health and agriculture since the introduction of genetically engineered crops and seeds hit the market over 20 years ago.

But despite the pending tsunami about to be unleashed, coverage in the American media has been spotty at best, especially when it comes to looking at the highly controversial new partnership in-depth and with a discerning eye.

While much of the developed world is increasingly falling in love with organic food and focused on supporting the natural food revolution with their wallets, the biggest global players in farming are taking things in a decidedly different direction.

It’s a direction that small family farmers fear, and one that could have the effect of changing our natural world as we know it. When it’s all said and done, the newly-formed company could control over a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticide market, all based around a business model of lab-spliced GE crops and harsh, toxic pesticides designed to withstand them.

10.04.2018 |

Harvest of greed: Bayer and Monsanto

German pharmaceutical company Bayer wants to acquire US GM seed giant Monsanto, to become the world's largest supplier of agricultural chemicals. The deal is controversial because Monsanto produces the heavily debated toxic pesticide glyphosate.

The marriage of Bayer and Monsanto: A long-established German company with a solid reputation agrees to buy an American company that produces genetically modified seeds and the controversial weed killer glyphosate. Many farmers find glyphosate an effective tool, but critics say it’s carcinogenic. Despite these misgivings, Brussels recently approved the use of glyphosate in the EU for another five years. Agricultural chemicals are a big business, and that shows no signs of changing any time soon.

07.04.2018 |

German environmental minister urges action to prevent decline of insect populations

BERLIN, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Svenja Schulze (SPD), new German minister for the environment, has identified the protection of insect populations as a key goal of her legislative term on Friday.

"Preventing mass species extinction is one of the overriding political tasks of our generation", Schulze told the "Funke" media group. She warned that if "the insects disappear, so will the birds, as well as all of the valuable contributions which insects make towards pollination, water clearing and improving soil fertility."

The minister has consequently announced the launch of a programme, together with Agricultural Minister Julia Kloeckner (CDU), to prevent a further decline in German insect populations. "I want to take the agricultural minister's statement at face value that bees are critical for the functioning of wider ecological systems and need to be protected", Schulze said.

The SPD politician argued that toxic pesticides and herbicides would have to be used with greater moderation in order to avert irreparable damage to the environment. "We need a full exit from glyphosate (a controversial herbicide produced by U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto) during this legislative period. Glyphosate kills everything that is green, depriving insects of their food source", Schulze demanded.

14.03.2018 |

EC forced to reopen 2015 decision on allowing GMO soy imports

The EU Commission has been forced to revisit a 2015 decision to allow the import of genetically-modified soybeans after a court rules it breached a technicality on deciding that the modified oilseed had no impact on human or animal health or on the environment.

The European Court of Justice said Wednesday the EU executive must review whether the EU’s food and safety body should have consulted with non-governmental organisations when declaring GMO oilseeds fit for consumption in 2015.

An executive director for the complainant company – Berlin-based anti-GMO lobby group TestBiotech – told Agricensus that the internal review on the environmental impact of GMO beans would now be reopened.

“We are using the law to increase the level of protection but importing these [genetically modified] soybeans will be a political decision in the end,” Christoph Then said.

“The current risk assessment is not in accordance with the law and there are gaps in it,” he added.

In November 2015, the EC rejected an application by TestBiotech to review a decision by its food safety body to allow genetically modified soybeans in the EU market because the body did not consult with civil society - as required under the Aarhus Regulation.

03.03.2018 |

Bayer-Monsanto merger plan protests

Campaigners say the proposed Bayer-Monsanto EU deal will create a large conglomerate with too much market share

Sources say the German drugs and crop chemicals maker Bayer is on course to win conditional EU anti-trust approval for its its $62.5 billion bid for world No.1 seed company, Monsanto.

The takeover would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world's seed and pesticides market.

(.....)

Protests

The Bayer-Monsanto tie-up has sparked criticism from environmentalists and some farming groups.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has received more than 50,000 petition emails and more than 5,000 letters opposed to the deal.

"Approving this merger would create the world's biggest agribusiness company, potentially crushing competitiors and establishing an unprecedented monopoly on lucrative farming data," said Adrian Bebb at environmental lobbying group Friends of the Earth Europe.

"Public opinion is against the merger, and farmers and consumers would have every right to be outraged by the Commission giving it the green light."

07.02.2018 |

Germany′s Angela Merkel finally reaches coalition deal with SPD

Agriculture: The pesticide glyphosate, a source of much friction between the CSU and SPD , will be banned, along with genetically modified crops. On top of that, the two parties agreed to limit animal experiments and to introduce a new "animal welfare label" to help ensure better conditions in industrial farming. That measure was already being planned by current Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt of the CSU.

17.01.2018 |

Syngenta fails at the European Patent Office

A patent on the breeding of maize will not be granted

17 January 2018

At a public hearing, the European Patent Office (EPO) today rejected an appeal filed by Syngenta. The company wanted the EPO to grant a patent on the breeding of higher-yield maize plants (EP2121982). At the same time, Syngenta also wanted the EPO to abolish existing restrictions in the field of plant and animal breeding that have only recently been put in place. The EPO also rejected this attempt.

Decisive for the EPO’s decision were technical reasons. Therefore, the content of the patent claims was not defined clearly enough. With this specific patent, maize plants with hereditary factors were to be crossed to achieve higher yielding offspring. However, as the description of the patents shows, the specific genes required to achieve these characteristics were unknown. In this particular instance, sequences of marker DNA that can indicate the presence of the desired genes were to be used for the selection of suitable plants.

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