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http://gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14860Worldwide March Against Monsanto

On May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world joined the “March Against Monsanto”. Four hundred events took place in 45 countries, and in over 250 cities. In the US, events occured simultaneously at 11am Pacific Time in 47 states. The March Against Monsanto website averaged over 40,000 visitors a day and the Facebook page reached over 10,000,000 people in seven days. Read more

Live coverage: rt.com and sustainablepulse.com

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The price of cheap GMO soy is human suffering - Take action

Baby affected by Roundup spraying

In April, four UK supermarkets - M&S, the Co-Op, Sainsbury's and Tesco - decided to allow their suppliers to feed GM soy to chickens used in production of their own-brand eggs and poutry. Yet the price of GM soy is terrible human suffering in soy-producing countries, where heavy spraying of Roundup on GM soy leads to high rates of birth defects and cancer in local people.

TAKE ACTION and ask the supermarkets to reverse their policies and ask their suppliers to source non-GM soy, just as Waitrose in the UK and many retailers in mainland Europe are doing.

Major European retailers pledge support for non-GM soy

Major European retailers from five countries, including Germany’s REWE Group, EDEKA, and LIDL have released the Brussels Soy Declaration in which they pledge support for the non-GM soy production system of Brazil.

Augusto Freire, President of the ProTerra Foundation, which administers a certification scheme for non-GM soy, said, “Recently, four British retailers announced that they would no longer require eggs and poultry to be produced using non-GMO feed, giving the reason that there is poor availability of non-GM soy, particularly from the main supply source, Brazil.

The avalanche of press coverage following this announcement demonstrated that UK retailers had been 'misled' about the availability of non-GMO soy and were more likely using this as an excuse to cut costs and avoid more strict sourcing and traceability efforts with regards to their supply chain.” Read more

As UK supermarkets drop bans on GM feed, the industry is accused of caving in to cartels and GM giants Read more

Dutch certifiers question UK supermarkets' claims of non-GM soy shortage Read more

More articles

India: Pro-GM minister's daughter joins BRAI panel Read more

An open door for GMOs? Take action on the EU-US Free Trade Agreement Read more

Unapproved GM rice varieties from US found in Turkish imports Read more

UK taxpayers subsidise Science Media Centre with up to £370k per year to manipulate science agenda? Read more

Corporations made billions on GMOs and all we got was ethanol and an unsustainable diet - Grist Read more

Mexico – ground zero in the fight for the future of maize Read more

Monsanto's chemical war against indigenous Hawaiians Read more

US public overwhelmingly rejects GM trees Read more

Stop synbio pollution Read more

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indian farmer suicides widowIndia: Maharashtra farm widows, activists to oppose GM crops

Widows of farmers who committed suicide in the Bt cotton fields of Maharashtra-Vidarbha, along with tribals and agriculturists, are gearing up to intensify their agitation against the introduction of GM food crops. A series of statewide protests, including hunger strikes and night-long torch marches, are planned in the coming weeks. Read more

Cotton flowerIllegal GM cotton spreads across India

In a replay of Bt cotton saga, Monsanto's Roundup Ready cotton is being grown in at least three Indian states without clearance. It is difficult to see how this could happen except with Monsanto's connivance. Read more

India: Mahyco allowed to sell Bt cotton seeds

After cancelling its licence to sell 12 varieties of Bt cotton seeds last year, the Maharashtra state government has allowed Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) to sell the seeds in the coming season. Read more

India: Crackdown aims to silence dissent from NGOs

Amid an intensifying crackdown on nongovernmental groups that receive foreign funding, Indian activists are accusing the government of stifling their right to dissent in the world’s largest democracy. India has tightened the rules on NGOs over the past two years, following protests that delayed several important industrial projects. About a dozen NGOs that the government said engaged in activities that harm the public interest have seen their permission to receive foreign donations revoked, as have nearly 4,000 small NGOs for what officials said was inadequate compliance with reporting requirements. Read more

African groups challenge G8 and New Alliance

On 8 June, UK Prime Minister David Cameron will host a Hunger Summit in London, where the New Alliance will announce their plans to end hunger in Africa through the corporate sector. The New Alliance will require African countries to change their laws relating to land, seed and trade to open up to investment from corporations. An alliance of African networks have drafted a statement that aims to challenge this privatisation of African agriculture by international corporations. The groups call on the G8 and other international initiatives such as CAADP and AGRA to abandon this agenda for Africa, and to adopt instead agroecological, open source, and farmer-led methods. Read more

Richard GoodmanFormer Monsanto employee put in charge of all GMO papers at journal

In September 2012 Prof GE Seralini's study appeared showing that a Monsanto GM maize and Roundup herbicide damaged the health of rats. In early 2013 the journal that published the study appointed a former Monsanto scientist to decide which papers on GM foods and crops should be published. Richard E. Goodman's fast-tracked appointment straight onto the journal's editorial board raises the question of whether Monsanto is now effectively deciding which papers on GM foods and crops should be published and which should not.

Read article...

Read press release...

Scientists from Brazil's GMO regulatory agency protest dismissal of Seralini study

Attempts by government GMO regulatory bodies around the world in trying to discredit the 2012 Seralini study, which found toxic effects in rats from the GM maize NK603 and Roundup, continue to be exposed. Now it's the turn of CTNBio, the Brazilian commission that regulates GMOs. Four pro-GM scientists, two of whom were members of CTNBio, criticized Seralini's study in a report of October 2012. But in March 2013, 15 scientist members and former members of CNTBio wrote a detailed scientific counter-report which debunks the arguments of the four pro-GM scientists' report and supports the validity of Seralini's findings. CTNBio voted against the report and upheld the four pro-GM scientists' original critique. Read more

CTNBio also voted against a request by a group of Brazilian consumer organisations to suspend the cultivation and commercial release of NK603 maize. A lawyer for one of the consumer organisations, IDEC, said CTNBio's decision violates the Brazilian Constitution. Read more

EFSA resists two-year cancer study on GM feed

Members of the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) scientific committee are resisting the long-term carcinogenicity study on rodents fed GM feed planned by the European Commission. EFSA was expected to provide support for a protocol on this study and its advice would help shape the planned research project. But the scientific committee "raised some concern about the usefulness of such a trial with whole foods/feeds without having a clear objective for such a trial". Is it unreasonable to wonder whether the committee doesn't want the carcinogenicity studies because they might find worrying results? Read more

US: Senate Republicans quash repeal of Monsanto Protection Act

Senate Republicans have overturned an attempt to overturn the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act", a measure recently signed into law that circumvents judicial authority concerning the planting and development of GM seeds deemed to be unhealthy for human consumption. An amendment to overturn the provision was put forth by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), but thanks to Republican opposition led by Sen. Roy Blunt ("Monsanto's man in Washington"), it did not receive the unanimous consent required to be considered. Read more

Public health lawyer Michele Simon asks whether the Monsanto Protection Act is a tipping point in Monsanto's domination of US affairs. Read more

US: Monsanto wins Supreme Court case against farmer

The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of Monsanto and against a small-scale farmer from Indiana in a patent case. The court said that 75-year-old farmer Vernon Bowman of Indiana violated Monsanto’s patent rights when he purchased a mix of seeds from a grain elevator that he later planted on his Midwest farm. Read more

US environmental review to delay two GM crops

GM crops that could sharply increase the use of two powerful herbicides are now unlikely to reach the market until at least 2015 because the US Department of Agriculture has decided to subject the crops to more stringent environmental reviews than it had originally intended. The department said it had made the decision after determining that approval of the crops “may significantly affect the quality of the human environment.” The crops in question are Dow's corn and soy that tolerate the herbicide 2,4-D and Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant cotton and soy. Read more

USDA sticks it to Monsanto and Dow - at least temporarily Read more

Historic vote on GM labelling

Despite the New Mexico labelling initiative going down, like California's Prop 37, to massive lobbying, and Hawaii's GM labelling bill being killed by its Senate Agriculture Committee even though it passed the Hawaiian House by a margin of 50 to 1, a substantial step forward has been taken in Vermont, despite reported threats of lawsuits from Monsanto and the food industry. The Vermont House of Representatives voted to require the labelling of all GM food sold in the state, by an overwhelming margin of 99 to 42. The bill now moves to the Vermont Senate. This victory follows on from Alaska where earlier this year a law was enacted requiring the labelling of GM fish. And GM labelling will be on the ballot in Washington State in November. A federal GM labelling bill has also been introduced. Read more

A million acres of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Canada?

More than one million acres of Canadian farmland have glyphosate-resistant weeds growing on them, including 43,000 in Manitoba, according to an online survey of 2,028 farmers. Read more

GM drives increase in pesticide use and toxins

GM crops have driven a substantial increase in reliance on pesticides and Bt toxins, according to agricultural economist Dr Charles Benbrook. Compared to the first five years of commercial use (1996-2000), today’s GM corn and soybeans in the US require:

  • About twice as much herbicide per acre, with glyphosate/Roundup accounting for essentially all the growth;
  • In corn, two to six Bt toxins to deal with European corn borer and corn rootworm;
  • Delayed release, systemic seed treatments including at least two insecticides and two fungicides, one of which is a neonicotinoid implicated in bee colony collapse;
  • A return to corn soil insecticide use as a resistance-management method for GM Bt crops;
  • Unprecedented increases in fungicide use on corn (11 percent of crop acres were treated in latest USDA pesticide use survey [2010], no more than 1 percent was treated previously).

Read more

GM crops and water: Recipe for disaster

GM crops are a threat to dwindling water supplies. They are less water-efficient and contaminate fresh water, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji in an article for ISIS. Read more

 

China destroys three shipments of GM corn from US

In May, the Chinese government destroyed three shipments of GM corn from the US. The shipments were illegal under China’s GMO biosafety law. A Chinese citizen, whom we call Mr Li, calls the new government’s decisive move to destroy the illegal GMOs “progressive, encouraging, and satisfying”. He regards it as a sign that it is keeping its promise to work for the people and the nation. Read more

 

Bt eggplant field trials unsafe for humans, environment

The Court of Appeals of the Philippines has ruled that ongoing field trials for GM Bt eggplant in the country pose risks to human health and the environment. The court ordered government agencies to stop the trials. Read more

 

Bad new EU seed law will restrict choice

A draconian new law that creates new powers to classify and regulate all plant life anywhere in Europe has been placed before the Commission. Under the new law, it will be illegal to grow, reproduce or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested and approved by a new "EU Plant Variety Agency", which will make a list of approved plants. Moreover, an annual fee must also be paid to the Agency to keep them on the list, or they cannot be grown. Following a huge public outcry, a few last-minute concessions were made. Home gardeners are now permitted to save and swap unapproved seed, and individuals and small organisations can grow and supply/sell unapproved vegetable seed - as long as they have less than 10 employees. But the law is still overly restrictive. It will make it harder for people to get hold of good seeds to grow at home, and it will threaten the continuation of seed breeding for organic and small-scale growers. Read more

 

The inconvenient truth about GM

GM has mainly been confined to developing crops that tolerate herbicides and resist pests, but has done little to increase yields or deliver desirable agronomic traits, write Geoffrey Lean in an excellent article for The Telegraph (UK). Read more

 

UK Science Media Centre invents "good news" about GM animals

The UK Science Media Centre is promoting the work of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh on GM animals. Roslin claims to have produced a GM disease-resistant pig by "gene-editing" techniques and is talking about producing a GM hornless cow. The cow is promoted on grounds of health and safety and animal welfare, but these arguments have been debunked. While these GM "good news" stories were uncritically reported in some media outlets, the public rejects GM animals, according to polls.

If you don't recognise how political science is, you get played by those who do - Alice Bell comment.

Economic growth is venerated - and too many intellectuals have sold out - George Monbiot comment.

 

Major European retailers pledge support for non-GM soy

Major European retailers from five countries, including Germany’s REWE Group, EDEKA, and LIDL have released the Brussels Soy Declaration in which they pledge support for the non-GM soy production system of Brazil. Augusto Freire, President of the ProTerra Foundation, which administers a certification scheme for non-GM soy, said, “Recently, four British retailers announced that they would no longer require eggs and poultry to be produced using non-GMO feed, giving the reason that there is poor availability of non-GM soy, particularly from the main supply source, Brazil. The avalanche of press coverage following this announcement demonstrated that UK retailers had been 'misled' about the availability of non-GMO soy and were more likely using this as an excuse to cut costs and avoid more strict sourcing and traceability efforts with regards to their supply chain.” Read more