BASF takes GM potato case to EU court
2.Ireland: GM controversy continues
3.UK: Was your takeaway cooked using GM oil?
4.Australia: Trial planting of GM bananas to begin in N Qld
5.Philippines: Enforce GMO ban
EXTRACT: Stefan Marcinowski, a member of BASF's executive board... said the company was "not prepared to accept any further delays". (ITEM 1)
1.Germany's BASF takes GM potato case to EU court
Reuters, July 24 2008
FRANKFURT - BASF has taken legal action against the European Commission for failure to act on its genetically modified Amflora potato, the German chemicals company said on Thursday.
BASF said in a statement it filed the action with the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg because the Commission unjustifiably delayed the approval of Amflora after a 12-year process.
"EU commissioners have postponed Amflora's approval despite repeated positive safety assessments by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority," said Stefan Marcinowski, a member of BASF's executive board.
Marcinowski said the company was "not prepared to accept any further delays".
Amflora is engineered to yield high amounts of starch, eliminating the viscous gel-like substance amylose so it contains only one starch ingredient: amylopectin.
It is not intended for human consumption but rather for industrial use such as in the paper industry to make glossy magazine coatings, in textiles for yarn sizing and as an additive in adhesive or sprayable concrete.
2.GM foods - Letter to the editor of the Irish Times, 20 July 2008
(not published in the newspaper)
Dick Ahlstrom's report on Professor Cunningham's report on GM foods is a perfect illustration of the fact that you can no longer trust anything scientific until you know exactly who paid for it. The report is simply not scientific in the old, ethical sense of the word. Amongst the many inaccuracies in his report are the following.
1. It is well known that GM crops do NOT increase yields.
2. It is well known that the total resistance to specific herbicides comes at huge cost to the quality of the crops that can now be drenched in those chemicals (sold by the same company, of course) before being sold for our consumption. And let's not go into the damage to the environment caused being able to safely smother crops in chemicals for a little bit more profit - they hope.
3. It is well known that the limited research that has been done (guess who is trying to stop such research) shows clearly that there ARE dangers to human and animal health.
4. Simply because lots of people were using asbestos did not mean that it was therefore safe for more people to use it. If Cunningham is really a professor, he is intelligent enough to know well the dishonesty of that circular argument.
5. It is well known that most small farmers will be driven out of business because of the need to buy seeds every year instead of using the old ones. This will be especially cruel to the poorer areas of the world. Admittedly corporations are not in business for human welfare but our politicians should at least pretend to be interested.
5. It is well known that Ireland without GM crops could be the bread basket of Europe because of all the Europeans that don't want them. Ireland without GM crops would have a competitive advantage and that is what the people that pay Cunningham and his like don't want. If we get bullied dishonestly down the same road as the other countries, Irish agriculture can start closing down now.
Yours rather angrily,
(Consultant in nutritional medicine, counsellor and writer)
Kevin Street, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, Rep. of Ireland.
3.Was your takeaway cooked using GM oil?
Cost Sector Catering (UK), 23 July 2008
A Surrey County Council trading standards survey has revealed that customers may be unwittingly eating food that has been cooked in oil produced from genetically modified ingredients.
It is illegal for caterers to use GM ingredients unless they are clearly labelled on their menus or displayed on a prominent notice, despite this 66% of the cafes; restaurants, takeaways and pubs visited by Surrey Trading Standards Officers were using GM oil in their cooking without letting their customers know.
In many cases businesses were not aware of the rules and many unaware of the GM content themselves.
Officers visited 56 catering establishments in the county to determine the extent to which GM ingredients are being used to prepare meals - and whether those ingredients are being declared to customers.
Thirty-seven (66%) of the businesses visited were using vegetable oil produced from genetically modified Soya, but none appeared to be aware of the rules on GM labelling.
David Harmer, Surrey County Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: "Consumers have a right to make an informed choice on the type of food they eat, whether it be GM or non-GM. Caterers need to declare if their foods contain GM ingredients"
Peter Denard, Trading Standards Manager, said: "Following these results we are sending GM labelling advice to caterers in Surrey, and are also looking at ways in which the suppliers of the cooking oils could make their customers more aware of the rules on GM labelling."
If anyone has concerns about the labelling of food they have bought they should contact the Food Team at Surrey County Council on + 44 (0) 1372 371799.
4.Trial planting of GM bananas to begin in N Qld
ABC, July 24 2008
Planting for Australia's first trial of genetically modified bananas will begin later this year in north Queensland.
The Office of Gene Technology Regulator has granted approval to conduct the trial to the Queensland University of Technology.
It will involve tests to improve the nutrient content and disease resistance of Cavendish bananas.
Professor James Dale says the experiments could have important implications for the banana industry.
"Bananas are extremely difficult to breed conventionally," he said.
"Genetic modification offers the opportunity to improve bananas and we know they've got a huge number of problems, particularly diseases.
"This technology really offers the opportunity to significantly improve bananas."
5.Enforce GMO ban
By Carla Gomez
The Virayan Daily Star (Philippines), 22 July 2008
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines - Gov. Isidro Zayco said he has instructed the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and other government agencies to fully implement the ordinance banning the entry of Genetically Modified Organisms into Negros Occidental.
Provincial Ordinance No. 7 Series of 2007 bans the entry, importation, introduction, planting, growing, selling and trading of GMO plants and animals within Negros Occidental.
The first phase of the ordinance implemented on July 19, 2007 banned the entry of living GMOs, and the second phase that took effect Saturday banned the entry of non living GMOs, Renato BaÃ±as of the Negros Organic Agriculture Movement , said.
The NOAM yesterday spearheaded a call for the strict enforcement of the ordinance to make Negros Island GMO free.
Present were Board Members Mae Javellana and Adolfo Mangao Sr.
Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan bared information drives and efforts undertaken by his office to ensure compliance of the ordinance