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27/January/17
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Dr Kevin Folta of the University of Florida is one of the most prominent GMO and pesticide promoters in the United States. He is also one of the most controversial. GMWatch takes a look at some of the visual evidence that helps explain why Folta has attracted so much criticism. GMWatch
 
 
No qualified majority of member states was achieved in a vote on the EU Commission’s proposal for cultivation in the EU of two GM maize varieties (Bt11 and 1507) and the renewal of one further variety (MON810). While the European Parliament objected to these authorization proposals last October, the Member States were unable to give any direction, leaving the Commission with the choice of pushing the text onwards to the appeal committee, amending it, or withdrawing it. Green environment and food safety spokesperson Bart Staes stated: “This is a clear disavowal of the Commission proposals, but also a sign that Member States are not taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to GMOs. Several Member States banning GM maize on their own territory abstained during the vote (as Germany) or voted in favour (as Italy), showing a remarkable lack of consistency.” The Greens want the Commission to withdraw its proposal. The Greens/European Free Alliance
 
 
Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “Today’s vote is a clear sign that there is still no appetite for GM crops in Europe. Most countries failed to support the Commission’s proposals, despite the fact that they can now ban their cultivation nationally. Given the widespread opposition to GM crops among EU citizens and parliamentarians, the Commission would be blind to interpret this as a green light. GM crops are nothing but a prop for the harmful, intensive agriculture that is promoted by agrochemical companies. Europe should turn the page on GMOs once and for all, and focus its efforts on the urgently needed shift to ecologically sound farming.” [GMW: A breakdown of the votes is at the link above.] Greenpeace
 
 
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The European Commission has failed to get political support for GM crops since the biotech industry first tried to push them through in 1998. President Juncker promised to make decisions about GM crops more democratic, and so it is now time for the Commission to reject them once and for all. This saga is distracting us from the real debate we need on how we make farming resilient to climate change, save family farms and stop the destruction of nature. It's time to close our countryside to GM crops and move on." Friends of the Earth Europe
 
 
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), an association of chemical companies, has launched a campaign against the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm IARC, for concluding that the herbicide glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Reuters; comment by GMWatch

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