News

11.02.2021 |

America’s biggest retailers and foodservice companies have already agreed not to sell GMO salmon

AquaBounty says its first bioengineered salmon will be harvested in March, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to buy.

For decades, Americans have been teased with the impending arrival of genetically engineered salmon. If a boycott campaign continues apace, they may have to wait even longer.

Earlier this month, a coalition of environmentalists and grassroots organizers announced they had successfully pressured Aramark, one of the country’s largest foodservice companies, into agreeing not to sell the salmon, should it become available in the United States.

03.02.2021 |

CRISPR Tomatoes approved in Japan

Wide range of associated risks

3 Februar 2021 / Japan granted approval in January for the first ‘CRISPR tomatoes’ to be used in food production. There are plans to distribute the genetically engineered (GE) plants to home gardeners. The tomatoes contain a much higher concentration of a plant compound (GABA) compared to those derived from conventional breeding. This is an example of how it is possible to bring about major changes in the composition of food plants without inserting additional genes. The cultivation and consumption of the tomatoes are, however, associated with a wide range of risks.

02.02.2021 |

Nigeria: Kano Farmers Call for Ban on GMOs

Farmers in Kano State have urged the government to place a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), citing their environmental and health detriments.

The call is an aftermath of a farmers’ dialogue meeting organized by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), on the food and farming systems.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, HOMEF’s Programme Manager, Joyce Ebebeinwe, noted that the farmers prefer a natural method of food production and preservation.

This, she stated, was due to the numerous adverse effects of GMOs on health, environment and the economy.

28.01.2021 |

Vandana Shiva on why the food we eat matters

She's been called the "Gandhi of grain", the "rock star" of the anti-GMO movement and an "eco-warrior goddess". For more than 40 years, the Indian physicist turned ecologist and food rights advocate Vandana Shiva has taken on big agriculture, arguing that we can end world hunger and help save the planet while also preserving the unique cultural and culinary traditions that make our world so wonderfully diverse.

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Colonialism and industrialism have destroyed the Earth and indigenous cultures through four false assumptions.

First, that we are separate from nature and not a part of nature. Second, that nature is dead matter, mere raw material for industrial exploitation. Third, that indigenous cultures are inferior and primitive, and need to be “civilised” through civilising missions of permanent colonization. Fourth, that nature and cultures need improvement through manipulation and external inputs. Green Revolution, GMOs, gene editing are rooted in this false assumption.

I wrote Earth Democracy to show that globalisation had created deregulated commerce and unleashed limitless greed, which was leading to economies of ecocide and genocide.

27.01.2021 |

Gene-editing advocates ignore history at their peril

Talk with—not at—the public, or risk losing the argument again, says Jack Stilgoe

British scientists are, it’s safe to say, pro-EU. However, during the Brexit spasms, one corner of the scientific community could see a possible upside.

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Gene-editing also raises new possibilities for modified animals in agriculture, which raises additional concerns about animal welfare. Liz O’Neill, director of GM Freeze, has argued that the process of consultation and public debate looks careless.

A new public debate is welcome, but if the government isn’t careful, it risks having—and losing—the same arguments it lost last time around.

27.01.2021 |

Survey: EU citizens reject genetic engineering of wild species with Gene Drives

European “Stop Gene Drives” campaign demands global moratorium

Brussels, 27.01.2021

Should humanity release genetically engineered gene drive organisms into nature? The response of a majority of citizens in eight European countries is: “No, the risks are too high”. This first opinion poll on the subject shows high levels of opposition to (46% - 70%) and very low levels of support for (7% - 16%) the use of Gene Drive technology in the environment. The survey of nearly 9,000 people is representative of 280 million EU citizens from eight EU countries. It was commissioned by nine NGOs demanding an informed and inclusive public debate and a global moratorium on the environmental release of this new type of genetically modified organisms. The survey also reveals that a large proportion of respondents were still undecided (14% - 27%) or did not know how to answer (1% - 24%).

26.01.2021 |

Genetic breakdown of molecular mechanism underpinning GM "sterile" insect techniques

"Sterile" insects revert back to being fertile, resulting in resistant GM populations persisting in the environment. Report by Third World Network

Genetic engineering techniques designed to make insects "sterile" for disease vector or pest control, have been tested in field releases by the company Oxitec, including in Malaysia, the Cayman Islands and Brazil. A GM mosquito trial was also recently approved in the US for release in 2021-2022. These strategies involve developing so-called "genetic switches" where essential genes can be either turned on or off in the presence or absence of antibiotics, controlling whether the insect survives or not.

26.01.2021 |

European Non-GMO Industry Association

Mission Statement

ENGA is the voice of the non-GMO food and feed sector at the EU level.

ENGA secures and supports the expansion of non-GMO production that has developped an established and trusted quality standard and has become an important European market factor.

ENGA advocates for the strict regulation of old and new GMOs – in order to keep untested and invisible GMOs from entering the EU food and feed chains.

ENGA represents national non-GMO industries and economic operators (agriculture, food and feed processing, retail, certification) as a single European association.

ENGA supports consumers in their choice for a GMO-free agriculture by promoting food that excludes GMO plants in production chains.

23.01.2021 |

Japan's first genome-edited food, a tomato, gets green light for distribution

Tomato is designed to have biological effects on consumers – but there's no safety data or GMO labelling

A gene-edited tomato that is intended to have a biological effect on consumers has been approved in Japan for commercial sale – without safety checks or GMO labelling. The tomato is genetically engineered to contain higher than usual amounts of GABA, a substance that is said to have the ability to lower blood pressure.

15.01.2021 |

Commission at odds with Parliament over GM crop authorisations

The EU executive looks set to press ahead with a “new approach” to genetically modified (GM) crop authorisations in the wake of persistent lack of political support for the technology in the European Parliament.

In December, MEPs voted for a further five objections against authorisations of GM crops for use as food and feed in the EU, including one GM soybean and four GM maize varieties. This has brought the overall number of objections to GM crop authorisations to 51 in five years.

In response to criticisms from the Parliament over authorisations of GM crops, a Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV that the executive is “reflecting on a new approach regarding authorisations of GMOs that is aligned to the political ambition set by the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy.”

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