GMO news related to Italy


GM seed choice shouldn’t be dictated: Italian farmers question EU court ruling on Monsanto corn

Not all Italian farmers welcome a European court ruling this week allowing growers to cultivate genetically-modified corn in Italy. Some farmers told RT that the majority reject GM seeds and question the EU interfering in national laws.

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled in favor of Giorgio Fidenato, an Italian activist farmer who faces fines for growing genetically-modified maize MON 810 on his land in 2014, despite a 2013 government decree banning its cultivation.

In 2013, Italy asked the European Commission to adopt emergency measures prohibiting the planting of the Monsanto-produced seeds in light of new scientific studies carried out by Italian scientists.

The Italian government is fearful that genetically-modified foods are less natural than traditional crops and could therefore be dangerous and have lasting negative effects.

“These crops are forbidden because we still do not understand what the consequences are. So far, there has been no proper and in-depth research. For this reason, we do not know in five years, ten years, twenty years, what can happen,” Mauro Uniformi, Vice President of the Association of Agronomist and Forest Doctors, told RT.


Italy urged to follow through with ban on glyphosate co-formulant

NGOs are warning Italy that it should not extend a grace period and ensure that pesticides containing glyphosate do not contain the toxic co-formulant POE-tallowamine.

On 29 June 2016, the European Commission decided to extend the licence of weed-killer glyphosate for another 18 months until the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki issues its own scientific assessment of the substance.

With the support of member states, the Commission also set some conditions on the approval of glyphosate. One of them was for the member states to ensure that plant protection products (PPP) containing glyphosate do not contain the co-formulant POE-tallowamine.


Pope Francis Message to FAO: Principle of caution is not enough


To Professor José Graziano da Silva

Director General of the FAO

Illustrious Sir,

1. The fact that the FAO has chosen to devote today’s World Food Day to the theme “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”, leads us to consider the struggle against hunger as an even more difficult objective to attain in the presence of a complex phenomenon such as climate change. With regard to facing the challenges that nature poses to man, and that man poses to nature (cf. Enc. Laudato si’, 25), I would like to submit some reflections to the consideration of the FAO, its Member States and those who participate in its activity.

What is the cause of the current climate change? We must question our individual and collective responsibilities, without resorting to the facile sophistry that hides behind statistical data or conflicting predictions. This does not mean abandoning the scientific data we need more than ever, but rather going beyond merely interpreting the phenomenon or recording its many effects.


From the wisdom of rural communities we can learn a style of life that can help defend us from the logic of consumerism and production at any cost, a logic that, cloaked in good justifications, such as the increasing population, is in reality aimed solely at the increase of profit. In the sector in which the FAO works, there is a growing number of people who believe they are omnipotent, or able to ignore the cycles of the seasons and to improperly modify the various animal and plant species, leading to the loss of variety that, if it exists in nature, has and must have its role. Producing qualities that may give excellent results in the laboratory may be advantageous for some, but have ruinous effects for others. And the principle of caution is not enough, as very often it is limited to not allowing something to be done, whereas there is a need to act in a balanced and honest way. Genetic selection of a quality of plant may produce impressive results in terms of yield, but have we considered the terrain that loses its productive capacity, farmers who no longer have pasture for their livestock, and water resources that become unusable? And above all, do we ask if and to what extent we contribute to altering the climate?

Not precaution, then, but wisdom: what peasants, fisherman and farmers conserve in memory handed down through the generations and which is now derided and forgotten by a model of production that is entirely to the advantage of a limited group and a tiny portion of the world population. Let us remember that it is a model which, despite all its science, allows around eight hundred million people to continue to go hungry.


Italy restricts glyphosate use as it mulls phase out

Italy has placed significant restrictions on the use of glyphosate, as it looks to phase out the controversial pesticide.


Italy Places Important Restrictions on the Use of Glyphosate

August 23, 2016


PAN Europe enthusiastically applauds the decision by Italy’s Ministry of Health to place a number of restrictions on the use of Glyphosate, one of the world’s most ubiquitous pesticides.

The Italian restrictions ban the use of Glyphosate in areas frequented by the public or by "vulnerable groups" including children and the elderly. The list of banned areas includes parks, gardens and courtyards, the edges of roads and railways, urban areas, sports fields and recreational areas, playgrounds and green areas within the school buildings, and areas adjacent to health facilities.

In addition, the pre-harvest use of Glyphosate--a process known as desiccation--is banned. The desiccation of crops by spraying glyphosate is a primary source for residual pesticide contamination at the consumer level. Finally, the non-agricultural use of glyphosate is banned on soils composed 80% or more of sand--a measure designed to protect groundwater from contamination.


Double Digit Growth For GMO-Free Food in Italy

Sales of GMO-free products in Italy have seen double digit growth in 2015, making it the most dynamic segment of the otherwise stagnant food retail sector.

Sales of gluten-free products were also up 50 per cent, while Italians bought 20 per cent more organic food last year.

According to Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti, these figures are due consumers giving increased the attention to wellness, fitness and health, as well as the growing prevalence of food intolerances.

It also found that 70 per cent of Italians are willing to pay more for "fully natural" food, while 65 per cent would pay more for guaranteed GMO-free food, and 62 per cent would pay a premium for organic products.


2 more EU countries, Austria and Italy say they will opt out from GMO cultivation

Tweet by Arnaud Apoteker


No a 8 prodotti Ogm, l’Italia contro l’Ue

Gentechnik: Oberhauser nützt "Opt-Out" für Anbauverbot


Member States/Regions wishing to use the transitional arrangements to opt out of growing EU approved GM maize MON 810 or any of the GM maize varieties currently awaiting EU approval must notify the European Commission by October 2, 2015.

8th European Organic Congress
8th European Organic Congress


Last chance to register for the 8th European Organic Congress

Haven’t registered for the 8th European Organic Congress yet? Remember to do so before registration closes on 7 September! Register now!

The Congress will focus on new Rural Development Programmes under the new CAP in 2015, the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture and the Organic Regulation review.

Check out the final programme:

Don’t miss out on high-profile speakers:

Maurizio Martina, Italian Minister of Agriculture: opening plenary ‘Towards ecological and innovative solutions under the new CAP’

Martin Häusling, Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, European Parliament: thematic session ‘Organic regulation review’

Sjoerd Wartena, Terre de Liens, thematic session ‘Rural development: opportunities for organic farming and agricultural approaches – practical examples’

João Onofre, Head of the Organic Farming Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development: closing panel ‘Promoting practical implementation of innovative ecological solutions’

Remember to register here before 7 September to join us in Bari

Best regards,

The Congress Team


Italy to ban Monsanto GMO corn with 80% public support

First India gives Monsanto a run for their ill-gotten money by refusing their patent applications, and now Italy, with the help of three Italian ministries, will try to undo Monsanto.


GMOs in Italian artisan foods: traditions impacted by biotech?

Parmesan cheese and other beloved Italian food exports give the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Italy international breadth. Though GM crops are banned from Italian fields, much of the country’s livestock is fed with GM soy imported from Brazil and Argentina.

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