2.Drop in GM crops grown in EU
NOTE: Beautiful example of spin. Following the news that BASF are likely to cut and run from Europe because its such a dire market for their GM products (item 1), comes news that the area of European farmland sown with GMOs declined in 2008 thanks to a ban in France, previously the EU's second-largest producer of GM maize, the only GM crop allowed in the EU.
But the following article (item 2) - largely based on a press release from the GM industry PR body Europabio - is written as if the downturn is a mere blip in an otherwise relentless story of GM success in Europe!
Spurred on by Europabio's press release, pro-GM sources went still further and actually headlined news of Europe's shrinking GM crop acreage as, "More GM crops being grown across Europe" (Farmers Gaurdian) and "Cultivation of GMOs rises in many European countries" (GMO Compass)
The Guardian (Eco Soundings), September 24 2008
The huge German chemical company BASF has been nominated as No 1 in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index - which means that it's the top corporate emission cutter. It gets the Eco Soundings cut-and-run award, too. In a barely noticed statement last month, it said it would cut all research into GM crops for the European market should it fail to get permission for its genetically engineered Amflora potato. "Europe is not mission critical," says Jürgen Logemann, a vice-president at BASF's plant science division. "If Europe doesn't work, we will do this without Europe."
2.Drop in genetically modified crops grown in EU
By Zoe Casey
European Voice, 30 September 2008
The area of European farmland sown with genetically modified (GM) crops declined by just over 2% in 2008, but this decrease was largely due to a ban introduced in France last year due to public opposition.
A report published on 29 September by EuropaBio, an association for biotech industries, said that GM maize was grown on a total of 107,719 hectares in seven EU states, down from 110,007 in 2007.
In 2007, France was the EU's second-largest producer of GM maize, the one GM crop allowed in the EU.
Spain remains by far the largest producer of GM crops in the EU, accounting for some 74% of the total.
The year saw big increases in the area sown with GM maize in a number of countries: in Poland and Romania the increase was ten-fold, in Slovakia the area doubled and in the Czech Republic there was a 68% increase. The Czech Republic is the second-largest cultivator of GM crops in the EU.
Currently, the only type of GM crop grown in the EU is Bt Maize, a crop that was authorised ten years ago. A further 19 GM crops are awaiting EU approval.
While large agricultural producers such the US, Argentina and Brazil grow large quantities of GM crops, Europeans continue to debate their benefit. In September, the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house research body, said that GM crops themselves do not affect human health. However, a study published by Friends of the Earth Europe in January 2008 found that GM crops lead to an increase in pesticide use by encouraging the development of pesticide-resistant weeds, thereby increasing human exposure to chemicals in food.