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1.EU states should be able to stop GMO crops - Germany
2.EU to approve Bayer GM soy imports next week
3.France: Prosecutor seeks eight years in prison for Bove
4.Germany: 5 GMO fields sabotaged in 3 weeks

EXTRACTS: 'I believe that the EU member states should be able to decide themselves whether they actually want [GM] cultivation in their areas.' - Germany's Agriculture Minister, Horst Seehofer (item 1)

'Fences, watchtowers and sentinels did not stop us, nor will they ever...' (item 5)
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1.EU states should be able to stop GMO crops - Germany
Reuters, Sept 3 2008 [edited]
http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/09/03/afx5383694.html

BERLIN - Germany wants EU member states to have the power to block GM crops in their countries, Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday.

Currently the EU Commission takes the decision whether GMOs are safe and has controversially approved several GMO crops for commercial farming. But some EU states including France and Austria have announced bans on cultivation.

'I believe that the EU member states should be able to decide themselves whether they actually want cultivation in their areas,' Seehofer said. 

Seehofer said he has been under pressure to introduce GMO bans in environmentally sensitive areas of Germany.

In Germany, Seehofer said he would give power to decide on GMO cultivation to small local government authorities rather than taking decisions at federal or state level.
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2.EU to approve Bayer GM soy imports next week
Reuters, September 3 2008
http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSL312879720080903?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10216

BRUSSELS - The European Union will next week approve imports of genetically modified (GM) soybeans made by Bayer CropScience, hoping to ease a shortage of animal feed, officials said on Wednesday.

The rubber-stamp approval, permitted under EU law when ministers from the bloc's 27 countries fail to agree after a certain time, will be valid for a standard 10 years and be granted by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, on September 8, they said.

Bayer's soybean, developed to resist glufosinate herbicides, is known by its codename A2704-12 and will be imported into EU markets either as whole soybeans, oil or meal, and then be processed by European companies for use in food and animal feed.

Its EU authorization does not permit cultivation in Europe.

The draft approval, obtained by Reuters, refers to the "placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting or produced by A2704-12 soybean".

The soybean is of particular interest to Europe's livestock and feed manufacturing industries since they depend heavily on imported soy products -- beans, meal -- as a source of protein-rich and high-quality feed.

The approval, which follows on from an inconclusive debate by EU farm ministers in July, may also allow the Commission to avoid proposing a controversial ceiling for amounts of unauthorized GM material tolerated in imports, officials say.

After a tortuous debate in May on how to push biotech policy forward and end years of deadlock between EU countries, the Commission said it would look at finding a "technical solution" to end the EU zero-tolerance policy on unauthorized GM products.

While the EU has approved a string of GM products -- mainly maize types -- by default rubber-stamps since 2004, it does not permit the presence of any other GMO on EU territory, even in tiny amounts, until the EU approval for that product is granted.

For major GM crop-growing countries such as the United States, Canada and Argentina, that policy has led to cargoes of rice and grain arriving at EU ports being impounded by local authorities if sampling shows the presence of unauthorized GM material.

Allowing imports of Bayer's GM soybean, along with a few pending GM maize applications, should help achieve the aim of raising supply of raw material for animal feed, officials say.

It might also allow the Commission to avoid embarking on a legal proposal to allow unauthorized GM material into Europe that would certainly be controversial and divisive, they say.

EU countries rarely agree on GM issues and discussions on authorizing imports of new GM products usually end in deadlock.

The EU's zero tolerance of unauthorized GM material has been a major headache for feedmakers and livestock producers.

Soy, an ideal high-protein raw material for feed, mainly enters Europe from Argentina, Brazil and the United States, the world's top three soybean producers.

Since these countries mainly grow GM varieties, non-biotech soy is becoming increasingly difficult to source.
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3.France: Prosecutor seeks eight years in prison for Bove
RFI, 28 August 2008
http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/104/article_1444.asp

Former presidential candidate Jose Bove could face eight years in prison and four years probation. In a new court case involving the high-profile activist, he and eleven other ecological campaigners face charges relating to a 2006 attempt to destroy genetically-modified corn.

Marc Giblet, the Belgian farmer whose grain silos were targeted, also faces ten months in prison if he is found guilty of firing a gunshot in the direction of the activists during the incident.

"It's time for Jose Bove to put an end to his compulsive acts that are the result of a poorly-managed Oedipus complex," public prosecutor Jerome Bourrier declared referring to Bove's father, a former agricultural researcher.

Bove came to fame in 1999 when he attacked a local McDonald's fast-food restaurant under construction. He argued that it symbolised the free-market logic of the World Trade Organisation, which had just upheld American sanctions against French Roquefort cheese.

He served three months in prison for the act and became an international figurehead for the anti-globalisation and ecological movements.

Bove now faces charges stemming from a November 2006 episode dubbed a "genetically-modified organism tracking" operation. Bove and a group of "voluntary reapers" contaminated some of the 2,000 tons of genetically-modified corn contained in a silo on Giblet's farm in south-west France.

Called by one of his employees, Giblet arrived on the scene and fired his rifle towards a footbridge on the silo, from which some activists had just unfurled a banner. Giblet was disarmed by some of the protestors before leaving the scene.

Bove remains defiant, saying non-violent actions like this one must be carried out.

"We have no other choice," when faced with "illegal" and "clandestine" crops, he said on Wednesday.

A local politician who is testifying in the trial said that Bourrier is politically motivated and that his statements were "scandalous."
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4.Germany: 5 GMO fields sabotaged in 3 weeks
Infoshop, August 13 2008 [edited]
http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20080813090939740

Amflora potatoes (GMO) cleaned up
Dambeck (M├╝ritzkreis), 22 June 2008

Despite the high surveillance of the field, people managed to mix up seeds of organic-potatoes with the GMO-potatoes present in the field, which means that the GM ones will have to be destroyed, because their uniqueness will not be guaranteed. A few weeks before the field had been squatted by GMO opponents, an eviction followed.
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Liberation of a GMO-field in Westheim
Westheim (Unterfranken), 29 June 2008

Around 60 actvists destroyed the fence around a GMO corn-field and managed to destroy almost all the crop before getting arrested.
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GMO cornfield in Rheinstetten has been destroyed
Rheinstetten, 5 July 2008

During the night of the 4-5 July, some activists managed to destroy again some parts of the Rheinstetten experimental field. Despite strict surveillance, over 5000 square meters of the field were destroyed.

Here's a translation of the communique:

"The technogical center for the rural development of Augustenberg (LTZ) wanted to study the socalled 'co-existence' of gmo and non-gmo corn in Rheinstetten. Every reasonable person knows that such co-existence is impossible... Seed-producers such as Monsanto render farmers all over the world dependent on their products via GM.

The LTZ and the minister for agriculture Hauk, make themselves helpers of the genetic engineering industry. They do not respect the will of the population, which mostly refuses such applications within the agricultural sphere. Fences, watchtowers and sentinels did not stop us, nor will they ever, in defending ourselves by all means against Monsanto and its collaborators."
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NRW free from GMOs!
Werne, 10 July 2008

Declaration:

"Do it yourself
A few days ago, fields full of herbicide-resistent corn have been liberated."
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Another gmo-field liberated
Kitzingen, 11 July 2008

Declaration:

"There steps the bear! Bruno destroys the gmo-field: Bruno the avenger is back."

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