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2014-09-15 |

India: GM field trial monitoring committees exist only on paper, members unaware of its existence

The apparatus responsible for monitoring field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops is in a shambles, an investigation by The Statesman has revealed. The State Biotechnology Coordination Committee (SBCC) in Maharashtra, which is supposed to monitor these trials, has not met in years, with some members being unaware even of its existence. The situation in neighbouring Gujarat is also similar. On the other hand, the District Level Committee (DLC), which is supposed to monitor trials as well as prepare off-site emergency plans, is virtually non-existent. In effect, the story of monitoring of GM crop trials is a story of monitoring and regulation falling through the cracks of laid-down procedures on paper and functioning of processes on the ground.

2014-09-15 |

USA: Monsanto Settles Some GMO Wheat Cases

Monsanto has reached a settlement with wheat farmers in the Pacific Northwest in a lawsuit over genetically modified wheat. But plaintiffs in the Midwest and other parts of the country are still in negotiations.

2014-09-11 |

Uganda: GMO Bill not withdrawn - Minister

The minister of state for Finance in charge of Planning, Matia Kasaija, has refuted claims that government has withdrawn the National Biotechnology and Bio safety Bill, 2012 (BSBT). He said government fully supports the Bill.

2014-09-11 |

Media Attacks Directed against the Critics of Biotechnology and GM Agriculture

Hot on the heels of a much publicised article in the New Yorker that set out to attack Vandana Shiva comes another on the Scroll.in website (on September 3). Girish Shahane mounts an attack on Shiva and what he believes to be her false and misleading statements about farmer suicides in India (access the article here). Shahane deems it necessary to question Shiva’s qualification as a scientist, claiming she has never been one. He says this could be overlooked if she was scientific in her approach to farmer suicides, but he claims that her approach is anything but scientific.

2014-09-11 |

Sorry Hipsters, That Organic Kale Is a GM Food

Food has become a battleground, and one of the fiercest fights involves genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. With the aid of genetic engineering, we have created corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops with specific genes that help them resist pests, diseases and herbicides. Supporters trumpet the reduced costs and increased yields, especially in the developing world. They also point to the ability of GMOs to prevent diseases from ruining entire industries, such as Hawaiian papayas and Florida oranges.

2014-09-11 |

Canada, You Have Two Days Left To Tell Health Canada to Label GMOs

You might recall that in my last two blog entries, I mentioned that Health Canada has given us Canadians an opportunity to voice our opinion on nutrition labels through their online survey. Have you participated in this survey yet? The deadline is just two days away --Wednesday September 11th

2014-09-11 |

Loss of habitat, milkweed cited in fall of monarch butterflies

As many as 50 people could attend the monarch butterfly tagging event on Saturday in Moraine State Park. Yet the group will be lucky if it tags a single one, park officials say.

2014-09-11 |

EU: Monsanto Lobby Pushes GM Food into Europe

Before beginning to read this article, bear in mind that we do not need GM food. The world is quite capable of feeding itself without GMOs: for example, look, here, here, here, here and here for the evidence. Now to the article…

2014-09-09 |

USA: Consumers call on Starbucks to stop sourcing milk from cows fed with GMO

Starbucks customers and activists came out to participate in a demonstration calling on the company to stop sourcing milk from cows fed genetically modified crops. GMO Inside, a campaign led by Green America, a national consumer advocacy group, held this demonstration as part of a national campaign to increase awareness and visibility around the issue of genetically modified crops used for animal feed.

2014-09-09 |

UK: Genetically modified crop harvested at Rothamsted

Britain’s first trial of GM crops enriched with nutrients to improve health has been successfully harvested.

2014-09-09 |

Mexico Had a Wealth of Corn; Now It's Left With a Genetically Boring Monocrop

Corn was first domesticated in Mexico and quickly spread throughout the Americas, beginning in about 2,500 B.C. Over the centuries, around 20,000 or more different varieties emerged as ears of corn were transported around the world.

2014-09-09 |

USA: GMO experiments receive questionable oversight

Worker Javier Alcantar tends to corn crops at the Monsanto Co. test field in Woodland, California, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. Monsanto Co., an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate and the largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed.

2014-09-05 |

USA: Cornell University gets $5.6 million grant to promote science-based debate

A new international effort led by Cornell will seek to add a stronger voice for science and depolarize the charged debate around agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

2014-09-05 |

Russia to Introduce Fines for Failure to Mark GMOs

Russia’s Government Legislative Commission has approved consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor’s proposal to toughen sanctions and introduce fines for inappropriate marking of genetically modified food, according to an official statement on the Russian government’s website released Tuesday.

2014-09-05 |

China: Alleged Illegal GM Rice Trial on Students Leads to Leukemia Boom

According to reports from Huazhong Agricultural University in China, an alleged illegal GM rice trial on the University students has led to an incidence rate of acute leukemia of up to three times the normal rate in China.

2014-09-05 |

China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn

China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China.

2014-09-05 |

GM coffee could be just around the corner

A consortium of scientists announced Thursday in Science that they've sequenced the coffee genome for the first time. By determining all of the genes that make up robusta coffee, a plant variety that accounts for about one-third of the world's consumption, they've opened the door to better breeding practices and even genetic engineering.

2014-09-03 |

Ukraine: IMF loan for Ukraine may give GMO giant a backdoor into EU

Ukraine’s bid for closer ties with the west could come at a cost. With the IMF set to loan the country $17 billion, the deal could also see GMO crops grown in some of the most fertile lands on the continent, warns Frederic Mousseau.

2014-09-03 |

GMO cultivation in the EU

The EU has one of the toughest genetically modified food regulations in the world and the cultivation of GM crops is only allowed following a thorough risk assessment. Yet, as member states are calling for more possibilities to restrict GMO cultivation on their territories, the European Commission has proposed some amendments to the current EU rules. The Parliament and the Council are currently looking at these proposals. Read on to learn more.

2014-09-03 |

Brazil considers transgenic trees

Viewed from above, Brazil’s orderly eucalyptus plantations offer a stark contrast to the hurly-burly of surrounding native forests. The trees, lined up like regiments of soldiers on 3.5 million hectares around the country, have been bred over decades to grow quickly.

2014-09-03 |

German Supermarket Giants Demand Return to GMO-Free Fed Poultry

Germany’s top supermarkets, the powerhouses of Europe when it comes to retail, have delivered a blow to the biotech industry by forcing the German poultry industry to return to the use of non-GMO feed.

2014-09-03 |

Genome Editing Rewrites the Future of Dairy Cattle

Four years ago, Scott Fahrenkrug saw an ABC News segment about the dehorning of dairy cows, a painful procedure that makes the animals safer to handle. The shaky undercover video showed a black-and-white Holstein heifer moaning and bucking as a farmhand burned off its horns with a hot iron.

2014-09-03 |

Microbes Have Been Genetically Engineered To Produce Propane

Scientists have for the first time genetically engineered microbes to produce renewable propane, a major component of liquid petroleum gas.

2014-09-02 |

Swaziland: Minister encourages farmers to grow GMO crops

Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Jabulani Mabuza has challenged local farmers to embrace genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and apply the technology to maximise their produce.

2014-09-02 |

GM tobacco plants aid in new Ebola drug

While research is inconclusive on the effectiveness of the experimental drug ZMapp, which was developed to fight the deadly Ebola virus, it does demonstrate that genetic engineering is emerging as a much more far-reaching technology than we could have imagined.

2014-09-01 |

Golden rice and the struggle over GM food

As the world grapples with malnutrition and famine, some scientists argue that biofortifying food through GM technology is the only way to save millions of lives, but is GM technology safe and should it be embraced by all humanity? Cathy Pryor and Michael Mackenzie report.

2014-09-01 |

Vietnam grants licenses to four GM corn varieties

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) for the first time has granted licenses to four genetically-modified corn varieties to be used for both human consumption and animal feed.

2014-09-01 |

Genetically edited fruit coming soon?

Recent advances that allow the precise editing of genomes now raise the possibility that fruit and other crops might be genetically improved without the need to introduce foreign genes, according to researchers.

2014-08-29 |

Mexico: Monsanto Loses GMO Permit as Judge Sides With The Bees

A number of countries around the world have now completely banned GM food and the pesticides that go with them, or have severe restrictions against them. This comes after the world has experienced a massive resistance against Monsanto and other biotech giants that manufacture GMOs and pesticides.

2014-08-29 |

USA: Colorado GMO-labeling initiative likely to make fall election ballot

“Right to Know Colorado GMO” has collected approximately 167,995 signatures in favor of its ballot initiative requiring manufacturers to disclose which foods contain genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”). The number of signatures obtained is more than enough to present the initiative to the Colorado Secretary of State. Despite this success, the Colorado initiative must still surmount several obstacles.

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