GMO news related to Germany

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.

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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.

12.01.2018 |

Call to Action for 20 January 2018 - Stop the agro-industry!

Together for peasant-friendly farming, healthy food, animal welfare, global peasant rights and fair trade!

Four more wasted years of agricultural politics in Germany? We cannot afford that! Now more urgent than ever we need more regional and eco-friendly farming and healthy food for all! But there is something stopping this change: the powerful agri-business lobby. Enough of that! We have to make sure that politics finally follow the interests of people, instead of helping corporations to gain more power. That's why we - the powerful, colorful, and loud “We are fed up!” movement - must stand up to corporations and hold the new government to account.

We are fed-up with the fatal reality of the agro-industry - and we know how to do it better:

10.01.2018 |

EU Commission uses the Christmas period to grant authorisation for imports of genetically engineered soybeans

A gift made to Bayer and Dow without anyone knowing

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The EU Commission has granted six further authorisations for genetically engineered plants, including some controversial genetically engineered soybeans with triple herbicide resistance.

The decision to grant authorisation was made on the quiet by the EU Commission during the Christmas holiday period. Testbiotech has proven that the real risks from consumption of these soybeans were not investigated. But the EU Commission failed to respond to any of these scientific arguments. Instead, a letter dated 21 December was sent to Testbiotech in which the Commission set out purely formalistic arguments to the effect that no new evidence had been provided. The letter was sent at the same time the EU Commission made their decision to give green light for the soybeans, without mentioning in the letter.

30.11.2017 |

Genome-edited foods must be labelled as GMOs – industry body

o preserve consumer transparency, Germany's new government must ensure that genome-edited plants do not escape GMO regulations and labelling, warns GMO-free food industry body VLOG

The "Ohne Gentechnik” (Without Genetic Engineering) sector is growing in Europe. As reported by VLOG, the German Association for Food Without Genetic Engineering, the number of members and licensees of VLOG has risen by 52 percent to over 600 companies in the past 12 months. This year, food manufacturers will turn over more than 4.6 billion euros with more than 7,000 foodstuffs bearing the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal.

Alexander Hissting, executive director of VLOG, warned that this booming industry needs a reliable political framework in order to fully exploit its economic potential. That means, he said, that the new coalition government must ensure that "genetically engineered plants do not make their way without labelling through the back door to the fields and supermarket shelves".

Hissting is referring to the new genetic engineering processes such as CRISPR/Cas. GMO proponents want plants produced by means of genome editing to be excluded from biotech regulations. This would put an end to the transparency and freedom of choice enjoyed by consumers with regard to genetically modified food. "Genetic engineering must be regulated and labelled as genetic engineering", Hissting said.

30.11.2017 |

The time is ripe for a poison-free agriculture

In spite of the EU renewal of glyphosate, herbicides based on the chemical are on their way out and other agrochemicals must follow, says Dr Angelika Hilbeck

The German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt sparked outrage on Monday when he approved a five-year renewal of the EU licence for glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's flagship herbicide Roundup, in spite of opposition from the environment minister Barbara Hendricks. He apparently acted not only without the knowledge of Chancellor Angela Merkel but also counter to the agreed position of the coalition government.

Germany has abstained in past EU votes on glyphosate in deference to the lack of consensus within the government. Schmidt’s unilateral backing for glyphosate allowed the chemical to be re-approved with the backing of a qualified majority of member states, although the Commission was within its rights to approve it unilaterally if no qualified majority for or against was reached, as was the case in previous votes.

Schmidt and Hendricks belong to different political parties that were brought together in Merkel's last coalition government. In the wake of the recent elections in Germany, Merkel is struggling to form a new coalition. Schmidt's "rogue" behaviour on glyphosate has strained the already difficult negotiation process between the potential coalition partners.

21.11.2017 |

Why Did MEPs Reject 3 GM Crops Last Month?

One of three significant votes in the European Parliament on 24th October last involved the rejection of the authorisation of GM crops. So what reason did the the MEPs for reject these crops? You can read the full motions for a genetically modified soy, oilseed rape and maize at the links provided.

As we reported here recently, GUE/NGL MEP Lynn Boylan stated that this process of authorisation has been rejected numerous times. “It is beyond frustrating to have a situation whereby President Juncker admits that the procedure is undemocratic but yet his Commission fails to bring forward a credible alternative. Instead they continue to pursue the same route over and over again.”

The motions are accompanied by the evidence MEPs used to to justify their refusal to authorise. These are the footnoted references hyperlinked to the bottom of the page. They shed a light on processes and proceedings in Europe. For each motion, see the links for soy, oilseed rape and maize.

24.10.2017 |

Monsanto Papers Reveal Company Covered Up Cancer Concerns

Herbicide Health Dangers

Monsanto Faces Blowback Over Cancer Cover-Up

A release of internal emails has revealed that U.S. agrochemical giant Monsanto manipulated studies of the company's herbicide, Roundup. Experts believe the product causes cancer - and the consequences for the company could be dire.

Some companies' reputations are so poor that the public already has low expectations when it comes to their ethics and business practices. That doesn't make it any less shocking when the accusations against them are confirmed in black and white.

Agricultural chemicals giant Monsanto is under fire because the company's herbicide, Roundup (active ingredient: glyphosate), is suspected of being carcinogenic. Permission to sell the chemical in the European Union expires on December 15 with member states set to decide on Wednesday whether to renew it for another 10 years. And now, the longstanding dispute about glyphosate has been brought to a head by the release of explosive documents.

13.07.2017 |

EU authorities broke their own rules and brushed aside evidence of cancer to keep glyphosate on the market

A new report by the toxicologist Dr Peter Clausing shows that the EU authorities violated their own rules and disregarded evidence that glyphosate is carcinogenic to reach a conclusion that the chemical does not cause cancer

The EU authorities reached the conclusion that glyphosate is not carcinogenic by disregarding and brushing aside evidence of cancers in experimental animals and by violating directives and guidelines that are supposed to guide their work, according to a new report [1] by the German toxicologist Dr Peter Clausing.

The report shows for the first time that glyphosate should have been classified as a carcinogen according to the current EU standards. This would mean an automatic ban under EU pesticides legislation. However, the EU authorities disregarded and breached these standards, enabling them to reach a conclusion that the chemical is not carcinogenic.

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