New books/reports/studies/films/talks etc.
Development expert Dominic Glover shows the cognitive dissonance that has existed since the earliest days between the kinds of GM crops Monsanto was actually developing and the company's rhetoric about their relevance to the needs of farmers in the developing world.
+ NEW BOOK: HOPE NOT HYPE
Background info and details of Jack Heineman's new book, to be released February 2009:
+ NEW BOOK: GM FOOD FRAY
Food Fray author Lisa Weasel, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, discovered that Americans absolutely do care about GM food; they simply don't know what's happening. Planning to focus primarily on science and ethics, Weasel soon discovered the issue's inextricable intersection with politics. The public relations claims that GM foods will help solve world hunger is revealed to be a gross overstatement at best and at worst an outright lie. Likewise, the claim that GM foods are healthy to eat is as unfounded as the counter-argument that they aren't healthy, while the 'We've eaten it, and nothing has happened to us' argument many pro-GM scientists offer is exposed as a most unscientific reassurance.
+ NEW REPORT: RECENT VICTORIES IN THE BATTLE OVER GM CROPS
Gaining Ground in the Courts: The Center for Food Safety's Recent Victories in the Battle Over Genetically Engineered Crops.
+ YOUTUBE: RED, GREEN OR GM?
Film about how chillis are threatened by genetic engineering in New Mexico.
+ NEW REPORT ON GOLDEN RICE
A new report for Food Watch on the Golden Rice Project reveals that after nearly 10 years of development reveals wildly exaggerated claims of "benefits" for Golden Rice, dubious science and technical data which has been systematically kept hidden from the public. The commercial aspirations of Syngenta and other GM multinationals have taken precedence over solving the real problem of Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries.
+ SICK CHILDREN USED AS GM GUINEA PIGS
GM-Free Cymru has revealed that a team from Tufts University is using sick children in a trial of GM "Golden Rice". Details are to be found on the US Government Clinical trial web site.
A clinical trial was cut short in China last month when the government found that 24 children of 6-8 years of age at a primary school in Henyang in Hunan province were to be used as guinea pigs to test Golden Rice.
+ NEW STUDY: BILLIONS FACE FOOD SHORTAGES
Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, according to a study in the US journal Science. In many countries, a combination of poor farming practices and deforestation, exacerbated by climate change, may steadily degrade soil fertility, leaving vast areas unsuitable for crops or grazing. In 2007, scientists warned that poor soil fertility meant a global food crisis was likely in the next half-century.
SOIL ASSOCIATION COMMENT: "There exist practical farming methods that can provide communities with resilience to climate challenges while halting further damage to the environment, as confirmed by a recent UN report. An analysis of 114 projects in 24 African countries found that yields had more than doubled where organic practices had been used, along with benefits such as improved soil fertility and water retention leading to greatly increased drought resistance. Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme stated that, "organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and that it is more likely to be sustainable in the long-term."
+ NEW REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY
*GMOs in South Africa - 2008 Overviews
*Public participation in context of Patent Laws in South Africa
*Agrofuels in South Africa - projects, players and poverty http://www.biosafetyafrica.net/portal/images/ACB/files/agrofuelsbooklet%281%29.pdf
*Marine Bioprospecting - key challenges and the situation in South Africa
+ NEW STUDY: "BIOFUELS" THE WORST OPTION
An "ambitious" new study, which attempts to rank the desirability of 11 possible future energy sources, has found "biofuels" to be the least desirable. Ethanol use was found to cause the most climate damage, air pollution, damage to land and wildlife, and chemical waste. The study has been published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
+ NEW STUDY: CROPS ABSORB LIVESTOCK ANTIBIOTICS
For half a century, meat producers have fed antibiotics to farm animals to increase their growth and stave off infections. Now scientists have discovered that vegetables such as corn, potatoes and lettuce absorb antibiotics when grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure, according to tests conducted at the University of Minnesota.
+ PUSZTAI PRESENTATION IN CANADA
Safety Issues of Genetically Modified Food Crops, Thursday, January 15 2009, 7 pm at Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto (at Bloor, one block north on Bedford).
+ MASTERCLASS IN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
Two veteran reporters present The One-Day Masterclass in Investigative Reporting: David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian and professor of reporting at City University, London; and Nick Davies, special correspondent of The Guardian and author of Flat Earth News. Saturday February 21st 2009, 10am to 6pm, City University, London.