GMO news related to Italy

07.06.2021 |

EU Countries Support the Deregulation of New GMOs

Last week, EU Member States welcomed the alarming Commission’s study on “New Genomic Techniques”, which suggests certain new GMOs to be exempt from rigorous safety assessments. Slow Food sees this disappointing conclusion as a proof of the EU’s resort to biotechnologies as a silver bullet for current food system problems and calls on the EU institutions to keep new genomic techniques strictly regulated.

06.06.2021 |

The European Commission’s Working Document on “New Genomic Techniques” POLICY BRIEF

On 29 April 2021, the European Commission published a report in which it concluded that new GMOs or New Genomic Techniques (NGT) “could provide benefits for EU Society” including improving the sustainability of our food systems, and that the current EU GMO rules were no longer “fit for purpose”, paving the way for the deregulation of certain new GMO crops. Such deregulation could entail less stringent safety assessments of new GMOs as well as no longer requiring new GMOs to be labelled or traceable throughout the food supply chain, which currently ensure farmers’ and consumers’ freedom of choice.

What does the report say?

The report summarizes consultation responses submitted by EU member states and stakeholders (including civil society organizations, farmers’ associations and businesses), as well as various EU reports. The Commission’s investigation is clearly marked by an effort to suggest a balanced approach. However, there are clear indications that the study does want to set political accents that are serving industry interests:

11.04.2021 |

The Gmo Revival

A lobbying wave is hitting Europe to deregulate NBTs. The Crispr files detail the Agribusiness strategy backed, once again, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Italy was the first country on the list to deregulate, although civil society organizations were able to stop the government’s first attempt. But the fight is just beginning with the future of Europe’s agriculture at stake.

21.12.2020 |

ITALY: OPENING UP TO GMOs? NO THANKS!

A broad front of environmentalist associations, organic and peasant farming organisations reiterate that introducing new and old GMOs and cancelling farmers' rights over seeds would be suicide for Made in Italy.

Rome, 21.12.2020: At its meeting tomorrow, 22 December, the Agriculture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies will have to give its opinion on 4 decrees proposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Bellanova, which, under the pretext of updating phytosanitary measures, reorganises the national seed system, paves the way for the spread of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the so- called "new" GMOs (New Breeding Techniques - NBT), which the European Court of Justice, in an enforceable ruling in 2018, has equated with traditional GMOs.

Without any public discussion with farmers' organisations, nor with organic farming or environmentalist associations, but perhaps only with professional agricultural organisations that are also owners of seed companies, the MIPAAF is asking the Parliamentary Commission for a positive opinion on the 4 legislative decrees relating to the National Plant Protection Service, the reorganisation of the seed sector, fruit and vegetable propagation material and vines. It is well known that, as regards the reorganisation of the national seed system, there is no need to adapt to European standards since these have not yet been amended, as our Ministry of Agriculture claims.

15.12.2020 |

Seed industry in new push to deregulate GMOs

Italy and France are in the lobbyists' crosshairs

A small but powerful minority of seed and agriculture industry lobby groups continue to push for the deregulation of old and new GMOs (New Breeding Techniques or NBTs), both at European level and in the Member States, reports the peasant farmer network European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC).

ECVC member organisations in Italy and France have denounced the attempts to introduce GMOs by trying to change the Italian legislation on seed marketing without any public debate – and by refusing to apply European regulations on GMOs in France.

27.11.2020 |

The UN in bed with corporate multinationals that put profits over people

In early October, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO) announced a shocking agreement with CropLife International – the global lobby group for corporations that manufacture, sell, and promote mainly pesticides and genetically engineered seeds. Some of the members of CropLife International are Bayer (Monsanto), BASF, and Syngenta, among others. This is why Greenpeace International joined up with 350 other organisations across the world to denounce this agreement.

This agreement’s objective is “to work together and find new ways to transform agri-food systems and promote rural development through on the ground investment and innovation” as stated in the FAO press release.

11.03.2019 |

Global Glyphosate Study Pilot Phase Shows Reproductive and Developmental Effects at ‘Safe’ Dose

A new study has found that exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs), including Roundup, caused reproductive and developmental effects in both male and female rats, at a dose level currently considered safe in the U.S. (1.75 mg/kg bw/day).

Exposure to GBHs was associated with androgen-like effects, including a statistically significant increase of anogenital distance (AGD) in males and females, delay of first estrous and increased testosterone in females.

16.10.2018 |

A picture from the FAO in Rome
A picture of some of the signers, who presented the call today at the FAO in Rome, not least also to the chairman of the CFS, Mario Arvelo, who participated in the event.-+--+-From left to right: Aisha Ali (IPACC, AFSA), Neth Dano (ETC), Pat Mooney (ETC), Benny Haerlin (SOS), Elisabeth Mpofu (Via Campesina), Mariann Bassey Orovwuje (AFSA, FoE), Sophia Monsalvo (FIAN), Tom Wakeford (ETC), Azra Talat Sayeed (IWA), Jan Urhahn (Inkota), Antonio Onorati (Via Campesina Europe)

Over 200 Global Food Movement Leaders and Organizations Reject "Gene Drives"

New Report exposes how a controversial genetic forcing technology is targeting the farm

Rome, 16 October 2018 (World Food Day) – Global food movement leaders and organizations representing hundreds of millions of farmers and food workers today set out their clear opposition to "gene drives" – a controversial new genetic forcing technology. Their call for a stop to this technology accompanies a new report, Forcing the Farm, that lifts the lid on how gene drives may harm food and farming systems.

Gene drives are a genetic engineering tool that aim to force artificial genetic changes through entire populations of animals, insects and plants. Unlike previous genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these gene drive organisms (GDOs) are deliberately designed to spread genetic pollution as an agricultural strategy – for example, spreading 'auto-extinction' genes to wipe out agricultural pests. Agri-research bodies now developing these extinction-organisms include the California Cherry Board, the US Citrus Research Board and the private California company Agragene Inc. Next month, the United Nations Biodiversity Convention will meet to discuss measures to control this technology, including a possible moratorium.

"There is no place in a good food system for these deliberately spreading organisms," says Mariann Bassey, chair of the African Food Sovereignty Alliance, whose 34 member organisations are among the 200+ groups and individuals who have signed the call against gene drives. "Gene drives may drive species to extinction and undermine sustainable and equitable food and agriculture," Bassey continued.

Those launching the call for a moratorium on gene drives in food and agriculture include all past and present UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food; the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements; IUF (the International Union representing Food and Farmworkers); and La Via Campesina, the largest network of peasant movements representing 200 million peasants in 81 countries. Signatories also include well-known commentators on food matters including seed activist Vandana Shiva, World Food Prize winner Dr Hans Herren, International President of Friends of the Earth International Karin Nansen, Activist and Food entrepreneur Nell Newman, and environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki.

"Applying gene drives to food systems threatens to harm farmers' rights and the rights of peasants as enshrined in international treaties," explains Dr Olivier De Schutter, who served as the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2008-2014. "Gene drives would undermine the realization of human rights including the right to healthy, ecologically-produced and culturally appropriate food and nutrition."

"La Via Campesina is firmly positioned against the gene drive technology. It is a threat to peasant economies, to people, countries and even the world's food sovereignty – a technique which threatens life, biodiversity and social systems, " said Genevieve LaLumiere, a Canadian young farmer of La Via Campesina. "This uncontrolled technology is dangerous and can contaminate our seeds, our animals and our soil; destabilize our ecosystems; and destroy our fundamental resources." Marciano Da Silva from Brasil Peasant Organisation (also of La Via Campesina) continued, "gene drive technology is, fundamentally, a tool for patentability of native traits of our peasant seeds."

18.09.2017 |

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.

14.02.2017 |

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.

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