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An article by the editor of Nature journal about a genetic containment system for GMOs misleads the public by implying that it will solve the problem of GM crops proliferating in the environment. There’s more about the two new studies that set off this discussion here.
The USDA has approved Monsanto’s soybean and cotton varieties genetically engineered to withstand applications – and drive up sales of – the company’s drift-prone herbicide, dicamba. Farmers and NGOs have condemned the move. And an article for Wired says the new crops will create more problems than they solve.
The US EPA’s approval of the commercialization of corn and soy genetically modified to tolerate both 2,4D and glyphosate is a public health disaster, writes Prof David Schubert.
A new report on the decline of the monarch butterfly lays much of the blame on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops and Roundup herbicide.
A wave of new GM crops, such as the Simplot potato, are evading environmental regulation due to loopholes at the USDA. Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman says the USDA has clear legal authority to regulate these crops, but is choosing not to use it.
Groups from around the world have joined together to denounce the US government for allowing a GM tree, a loblolly pine, to be legalized with no government or public oversight.
Improved animal health and simple economics are pushing farmers towards non-GMO crops and feed.
Farmers are getting into the legal fray over Syngenta's premature release of a GM corn variety, which led to China stopping imports of US corn and distillers grains.
In response to growing pest resistance to GM Bt crops, biotech companies have introduced Bt crops making use of “pyramids” – producing multiple Bt toxins in the same crop. But the strategy doesn’t work well, according to a new study. A separate study by a Russian researcher shows that Bt crops have no future because the rate of evolution of pest resistance to the Bt toxins is comparable to the resistance to chemical insecticides.
DuPont acknowledged a dent to seed sales in Brazil from the resistance of the fall armyworm to GM traits and unveiled the fourth successive quarter of declining agriculture sales.
66% of Americans favour mandatory GMO labelling and only 7% are opposed, shows a poll.
Independent lab testing has found high levels of insecticide-producing GM corn in Kellogg’s Froot Loops.
Kudos to Zen Honeycutt of Moms Across America, who took on Monsanto at its annual shareholders’ meeting. She won a vote on a call for the company to reform its practices and safeguard the health of millions of children exposed to its toxic products - Roundup in particular.
A powerful coalition of groups demonstrated at the State Capitol on the opening day of the Legislature, hoping to pressure lawmakers to pass a law controlling the use of pesticides near schools.
Drinking water from abandoned wells where the concentrations of glyphosate and metals are higher and spraying glyphosate increased the risk of chronic kidney disease by up to 5-fold, a new study found.
Glyphosate residues in ready-for-market Roundup Ready soybeans had negative effects on Daphnia magna (water flea) at levels that people and animals regularly eat and that are deemed safe by regulators, a study shows.
A statement signed by over 300 scientists and legal experts to the effect that there is “No consensus” on the safety of GM crops and foods has been published in a peer-reviewed open access journal.
In a BBC interview, former EU chief scientific adviser Anne Glover’s claims of scientific consensus on GMO safety collapsed in the face of the “no consensus on GMO safety” statement. It’s clear that Glover’s ubiquitous presence in the media in the past few days is due to a Science Media Centre publicity blitz, which appears to aim at getting the post of chief scientific adviser (CSA) renewed. The CSA role is a handy one-stop shop for corporate lobbyists. In 2013 Glover was reportedly manipulated by corporate interests into actions that will effectively delay the regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals for years.
The scientist who exposed the dangers of atrazine explains how scientists get corrupted and how the GMO industry is really the agrochemicals industry.
Civil society groups have denounced the intervention by transnational corporations like Monsanto in stopping the implementation of a GM foods prohibition law. But Peru’s minister of environment has confirmed the country’s strong stance against GMOs.
In a ruling lauded by Costa Rica’s anti-GMO activists, the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court struck down the government’s regulatory framework on GMOs, declaring the process of approval for GMO projects unconstitutional.
MEPs have rubber-stamped controversial rules permitting EU member states to decide themselves whether to allow the cultivation of GM crops. But the Green Party warns that the new rules will allow GM crops to be fast-tracked through the EU approvals process without addressing flawed authorisation system. The new rules also fail to require countries to ensure that any GM crops grown will not contaminate GM free farms, and fail to ensure that the cost of any contamination will fall on the shoulders of the GM companies. The Soil Association’s Peter Melchett has analysed what might happen next in Europe in the wake of the development.
Hungary is planning to initiate a joint alliance of European Union member states to render the entire EU free from GMO crops.
In a joint open letter to the European Commission, farmers', environmental and food safety organisations demand that products derived from new methods of genetic engineering should not escape GM risk assessment and labelling.
In an extremely serious development, the European Court of Justice has ruled that environmental NGOs cannot challenge EU institutions’ decisions in court.
The European Union’s production of GM corn fell last year as output of conventional maize soared to a record high.
Health impacts are denied and project leaders have conflicts of interest with industry, shows Testbiotech.
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has sprung to the defence of glyphosate ahead of its expected 2015 re-approval after monitoring studies found the chemical in human urine and breast milk.
In a position paper from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Minister Barbara Hendricks outlines that she does not want to leave any back doors open for genetic engineering.
A new study shows that it is possible to reverse some of the toxic effects of glyphosate by supplementing cows’ diets with charcoal, sauerkraut juice, and humic acid (an ingredient of humus, the organic matter in soil). The supplements stimulated the immune system and improved the health of cows suffering from chronic botulism.
A new study explains possible mechanisms of action.
NGOs using organic methods and traditional seeds helped farmers rehabilitate saline Indian soils ruined by the 2004 tsunami – in a short time period.
The Indian government is holding closed-door meetings with major political groups to end their opposition to GM crops. But farmer organisations in India remain strongly opposed to GM crop trials. Nevertheless, the Maharashtra government has given a “no objection certificate” for field trial of five GM crops – brinjal, maize, rice, chickpea, and cotton – in the state.
The human feeding experiment planned in Iowa with GM bananas is on hold, for unclear reasons.
Modified insects designed to stop dengue fever could make it easier for another disease-carrying species to take root.
Monsanto has announced that its RNAi-based gene-silencing pesticide for control of the Colorado potato beetle will now undergo formal product development.
The Scots farm minister says he doesn’t want to see GM cultivation jeopardising Scotland’s clean green reputation.
The Russian Government’s Commission on Legislative Activities has approved a bill which imposes a ban on the cultivation and breeding of GM plants and animals, except for scientific research. Monsanto plans to open its first plant in Russia in the coming years.
GMO plants have been found growing in South Korea, while the Korean public is growing increasingly worried about GMOs in their food.
China's GM crop planting areas declined in 2014 amid heated discussions over safety concerns.
The UK House of Commons has voted to clear the way for fertility clinics to use controversial germline engineering techniques to create embryos with DNA from three people. Human germline engineering is banned by over 40 countries and several human rights treaties.
The environmental and food movements need to extract themselves from the lie that we need to produce more food, writes Dr Jonathan Latham, who points out in an important article that the food crisis on which the need for GMOs and industrial agriculture is built does not exist and never has.
The Times of London has published an article, “The argument’s over. Let GM crops flourish”. The article claims GM crops are “safer, cheaper and greener” and exults in the prospect that they could be grown in England soon. The article is by Matt Ridley, climate denier, brother-in-law of the discredited former UK environment minister Owen Paterson, and the man who presided over the bankruptcy of the Northern Rock bank.
The trade agreement being negotiated between the US and EU threatens public health, consumer rights and animal welfare standards, shows a new analysis by food and trade experts.
American food producers might be amenable to allowing the insertion of a tag in the barcode used for food products to inform European consumers of GMO ingredients in the absence of GMO labelling in the US. This outrageous idea – which requires consumers to carry smartphones – is what we’ve come to expect in the midst of the TTIP trade deal negotiations between the EU and the US. However, the EU Agriculture Commissioner has said that Europe will keep its GMO labelling, despite TTIP.
A broad alliance of farmers, ethical consumers, and anti-capitalist activists staged a march through Berlin that numbered up to 50,000, to denounce TTIP.
The Environmental Audit Committee in the UK has launched an inquiry into the TTIP trade deal over fears it could weaken rules to protect food and the environment. Meanwhile opposition MPs have warned the House of Commons that “corporate wolves” will exploit TTIP.
A former Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP has been criticised for joining a lobbying firm that represents Monsanto months after losing his seat.
The European Ombudsman has told the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to revise its conflicts of interest rules after the agency failed to provide full details of the financial relationships with the GMO industry of members of its working group on GM insects. The GM mosquito firm Oxitec is named.
A new nonprofit, US Right to Know, has released a report, “Seedy business: What Big Food is hiding with its slick PR campaign on GMOs”.
The GMO industry lobby group ISAAA’s latest report shows that little has changed in global GM crop acreage and adoption in 2014, from 2013, with GM crops still being grown in a small handful of countries.
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