News

07.04.2021 |

Report: majority of consumers want compulsory labelling on all genetically modified food

A majority of European consumers want to see compulsory labelling on food products containing genetically modified crops, according to a recent Ipsos report, but industry players insist that this is impossible to implement.

The report, commissioned by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament and carried out by the polling organisation Ipsos, surveyed thousands of consumers across all 27 member states between February and March of this year in an attempt to gauge their understanding and attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) crops.

02.04.2021 |

EU Watchdog Radio: Episode 20 Biotech lobby versus Green Deal

In this new episode of EU Watchdog Radio we dive into the covert lobby tactics used by the biotechnology industry to get a new generation of GMO’s to be used in agriculture, deregulated in the EU. Why are agrochemical companies like Bayer and Corteva to against having European safety rules? And why is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation financing this lobby-campaign?

A few decades ago some agrochemical companies started selling patented seeds created with genetic modification, for growing plants called GMO’s. They are now trying to promote a next generation of GMO’s using new genetic editing techniques like Crispr/Cas. But the companies do not want these to be called new GMO’s because in Europe those have a bad reputation and track record. The first generation GMOs did not live up to the expectations that were created back then.

02.04.2021 |

Pesticide toxicity to invertebrates and pollinators increasing in GM crops

Some just published research in the journal Science completely demolishes claims that the impact of pesticides is declining and that GM crops are contributing to this positive trend.

In fact, the new study shows that not only is the toxic impact of pesticides increasing in the US but that GM crops are no better than conventional non-GM crops in that regard. As The Guardian notes in its report on the study by German researchers, using US government data, it "shows that the toxic impact of pesticides used on genetically modified crops remains the same as conventional crops, despite claims that GM crops would reduce the need for pesticides".

01.04.2021 |

Toxic impact of pesticides on bees has doubled, study shows

Analysis contradicts claims that the environmental impact of pesticides is falling, say scientists

“Compounds that are particularly toxic to vertebrates have been replaced by compounds with less vertebrate toxicity and that is indeed a success,” said Prof Ralf Schulz, of the University Koblenz and Landau in Germany, who led the research. “But at the same time, pesticides became more specific, and therefore, unfortunately, also more toxic to ‘non-target organisms’, like pollinators and aquatic invertebrates.”

Schulz said: “GM crops were introduced using the argument that they would reduce the dependency of agriculture on chemical pesticides. This is obviously not true if you look at toxicity levels.”

01.04.2021 |

Small changes made with gene editing cause severe deformities in plants

New study points to unintended effects of gene editing in plants and potential negative effects on ecosystems

Gene editing causes drastic unwanted effects in gene-edited plants including severe deformities, a new scientific publication in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe shows. This is the case even when the changes are intended by the gene editor to be small tweaks to existing genes rather than, for example, the introduction of new genetic material.

More broadly, the study provides an overview of the negative effects on ecosystems that can result from the release of gene-edited plants. These unintended effects result from the intended changes induced by genome editing, which can affect various metabolic processes in the plants.

01.04.2021 |

Techno Fixes will not Save our Planet

In his latest book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lays out a plan to stop global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero. A fact that seems a little ironic coming from one of the world’s largest emitters[1], whose “guilty pleasure” is flying on private jets and who just joined a bid to acquire the world’s largest private jet services company[2]. Though he attempts to waves this fact away by claiming to make sure that his miles are offset, and his jet uses only “sustainable fuel”. But this sort of contradiction, of placating a severe root problem with a superficial or false solution, is nothing strange for Gates, as a closer look into his million-dollar investments, billionaire and private company partnerships, and his political agenda show little alignment with the goal of truly curving climate change, helping alleviate world hunger, or lifting the poor out of poverty.

31.03.2021 |

Christopher Walken Is Taking on Monsanto in 'Percy Vs Goliath' Trailer

Percy Vs Goliath follows the true story of a small-town farmer who is sued by Monsanto for allegedly using their patented seeds

Christopher Walken's newest film is tackling an industry giant.

In a PEOPLE exclusive look at the first trailer for Percy Vs Goliath, the 77-year-old actor stars as Percy Schmeiser in the real-life story of a small-town farmer who is sued by the Monsanto Company for allegedly using its patented seeds.

30.03.2021 |

OPINION POLL ON THE LABELLING OF GM CROPS

An Ipsos opinion poll shows that the vast majority (86%) of Europeans who have heard of genetically modified (GM) crops want food produced from these plants to be labelled as such. It also shows that the majority (68%) of respondents who have heard of new GM techniques, such as CRISPR, want food produced with these techniques also labelled as GM. The polling organisation, Ipsos conducted the representative survey between 11 February and 5 March 2021 in all 27 EU countries on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament.

30.03.2021 |

Food security? The real stakeholders are food providers, workers, and the food-insecure

Why now for a Long Food Movement? What's the controversy over tech in food systems anyway? And how can social movements possibly alter the course of "agribusiness-as-usual" by 2045?

To mark the launch of the Long Food Movement report, we asked lead author Pat Mooney (ETC Group and IPES-Food) for his take on who the real stakeholders are when it comes to the world's food security.

This report calls for a ‘Long Food Movement’. But why are our food systems in need of such a radical overhaul?

30.03.2021 |

Genome-edited plants: negative effects on ecosystems are possible

New scientific publication shows the need for detailed investigation of ecological risks

30 March 2021 / A new scientific publication in the Environmental Sciences Europe journal provides an overview of the unwanted effects the release of genome-edited plants can have on ecosystems. These result from the intended properties induced by genome editing and can contribute to various metabolic processes. The publication is based on Project Genetic Engineering and the Environment (FGU) findings, and is one of the first worldwide to focus on ecological risks associated with specific CRISPR/Cas plant applications.

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