Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

GMO News

Up to date news and comment about GMO issues.

November 30, 2008

Britain tries to block vital GM safeguard
Britain is this week single-handedly setting out to sabotage a vital safeguard against farmers unwittingly growing GM crops, a secret document seen by The Independent on Sunday reveals. The document – the final version of a negotiating text to be finalised by ministers from across Europe on Thursday – shows that the UK government is alone in opposing a provision that would keep GM contamination of seed to the "lowest possible" levels. Without the safeguard, European farmers could sow billions of GM seeds every year without realising it, causing the modified crops to spread throughout the continent, which is at present almost entirely free of them.
Read article in the Independent on Sunday (UK)

November 17, 2008

GM crops to be grown at military sites
THE Government is drawing up plans to grow genetically modified crops in top secret military locations to thwart saboteurs. The campaign may see crops grown at sites such as Porton Down in Salisbury, which carries out military research and includes a science park. The police could also be asked to target opponents of GM crops in the same way they have clamped down on some animal rights protesters. Ministers intend to scrap a rule that says scientists must disclose the location of GM crop trials on a government website.
Read article in the London Evening Standard (UK)
Comment: As poll after poll shows that consumers do not want to eat genetically modified food, the pro-GM lobby is growing increasingly desperate.

November 10, 2008

GM Papaya Should Not be Deregulated
USDA's environmental assessment is based on obsolete opinion and ignores published findings of serious potential hazards.
Read report on the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

October 29, 2008

GM is Not the Way to Sustainability
GM crops are unsound and unsafe; the biotech corporations are still making promises that they cannot keep while their real aim is to tighten their stranglehold on seeds to starve the world.
Read press release on the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

October 26, 2008

Europe's secret plan to boost GM crop production
Gordon Brown and other EU leaders in campaign to promote modified foods
Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal. The documents – minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments – disclose plans to "speed up" the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to "deal with" public resistance to them. And they show that the leaders want "agricultural representatives" and "industry" – presumably including giant biotech firms such as Monsanto – to be more vocal to counteract the "vested interests" of environmentalists.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

October 6, 2008

GM is Dangerous and Futile
We Need Organic Sustainable Food and Energy Systems Now
New genetics research invalidates the science underpinning the $73.5 billon global biotech industry and confirms why genetic modification is futile and dangerous; we must implement organic sustainable food and energy systems now.
Read lecture by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

October 5, 2008

Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet
In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

September 16, 2008

Ban GMO rice, Greenpeace asks Senate
MANILA, Philippines - Environmental group Greenpeace asked the Senate to ban the sale of genetically modified organism (GMO) rice, as it opened a photo exhibit highlighting the importance of rice. The group cited the importance of rice to Filipino culture, saying this is why it must be protected from risky genetic modification. "Greenpeace is here at the Senate to lobby our senators to enact a legislation to protect our most important staple food from the inherent risks of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is an unproven, unpredictable and unnecessary technology. The resulting genetically-modified food crops threaten human health, the environment, and farmers' livelihoods," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo, in a statement on the group's Web site (www.greenpeace.org.ph).
Read article on the gmanews.tv website (Philippines)

August 26, 2008

Bayer on defensive in bee deaths
German authorities look into allegation that RTP maker's pesticide harms environment
Bayer CropScience is facing scrutiny because of the effect one of its best-selling pesticides has had on honeybees. A German prosecutor is investigating Werner Wenning, Bayer's chairman, and Friedrich Berschauer, the head of Bayer CropScience, after critics alleged that they knowingly polluted the environment. The investigation was triggered by an Aug. 13 complaint filed by German beekeepers and consumer protection advocates, a Coalition against Bayer Dangers spokesman, Philipp Mimkes, said Monday.
Read article at newsobserver.com

August 20, 2008

Why Prince Charles is Right
We are grateful to Prince Charles for cautioning the world on the blind, head long rush to spread GM seeds and crops worldwide, especially in the Third World. It has become necessary for him to do so because the biotechnology industry is using the current food and fuel crisis to push GM crops on grounds that they will increase yields. This is doubly false. First, the current crisis is a result of speculation and diversion of food crops to biofuels, it is not a crisis of production, at least not yet, even though industrial monoculture has been failing through decades of unsustainable practices. Second, genetic engineering so far has only achieved the transfer of single gene traits such as herbicide resistance and Bt-toxin production. Yield and environmental resilience – most relevant for food security - are complex multigenic traits, and there is no GM crop currently engineered for high yields or that produces higher yields. Quite the opposite is the case. GM crops have been a disastrous failure on all counts.
Read press release on the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

August 14, 2008

Fleeing Famine, Bees Seek Asylum in Cities
BERLIN, Aug 14 (IPS) - For German bees, the countryside is no longer what it used to be. They are fleeing insecticides and genetically modified crops to take refuge in cities. On Jul. 15, six German apiarists moved their 30,000 bees into Munich city, some 500 km south of Berlin. They were trying to save their bees from genetically modified maize crops near their village Kaisheim, some 80 km from Munich. "If our bees were to come in touch with the genetically modified maize, and the honey was contaminated with it, we would not be allowed to sell it," Karl Heinz Bablock, one of the six apiarists who resettled their beehives, told IPS.
Read article at ipsnews.net

August 13, 2008

Prince Charles says GMO crops will be "disaster"
Britain's Prince Charles said on Wednesday the widespread use of genetically modified crops would be the biggest environmental disaster of all time. The 59-year-old heir to the British throne is well known for supporting organic farming, but his comments published in an interview with the Daily Telegraph were his most outspoken yet on GMO foods.
Read news report at reuters.com

June 19, 2008

Gordon does 'a Tony': falls for GM hype
Fact: GM crops don't increase yields, do have negative health impacts
Against all the evidence and in direct opposition to the recommendations of his Chief Scientist, Gordon Brown, like his predecessor, is being bamboozled by PR from the Agrobiotech lobby that GM crops 'can feed the world'. Contrary to the claims of some government ministers that are 'there are no scientific arguments' against GM crops, there is a strong body of published evidence that shows GM crops do not increase yields and also indicating negative health impacts for livestock eating GM feed and potentially for humans consuming produce from those animals.
Read press release on the Soil Association website (UK)

June 2, 2008

Premier urges halt to GM food approvals
West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has called for an immediate halt to the approval of all genetically-modified (GM) foods in Australia. Mr Carpenter also is asking for federal government support to enforce better labelling of foods containing GM ingredients. He wants Australia's national food regulator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, to stop approving any more GM foods for human consumption until independent scientific trials prove their safety. "I find it unbelievable and unacceptable that the national food regulator relies principally on the say-so of the GM companies when assessing GM foods as safe to eat," Mr Carpenter said.
Read article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

June 4, 2008

Ban GMOs Now
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho warns that further indulgence in GMOs will severely damage our chances of surviving the food crisis and global warming; organic agriculture and localised food systems are the way forward.
Read press release on the Institute of Science in Society website (ISIS) (UK)

May 29, 2008

GM crops banned in Switzerland until 2012
The Swiss Federal Council (government) has voted to extend the country's moratorium on genetically modified (GM) plants for a further three years beyond the current expiry date of November 2010, Dow Jones reports. The extension is to allow time for a national research programme into the benefits and risks of GM crops to be completed and the results assessed. Questions over the biological safety of GM plants and the coexistence of GM, conventional and organic crops are being addressed.
Read article at allaboutfeed.net

May 29, 2008

The Battle to Save the Polish Countryside
Julian Rose exposes the scandal of EU's deliberate policy to get rid of family farms for the benefit of the corporations and gives a personal account of his battle with the GMO dragon that threatens to devastate rural Poland.
Read press release on the Institute of Science in Society website (ISIS) (UK)

May 16, 2008

Terminator seeds are "grossly immoral" say theologians
Three widely respected theologians have condemned Terminator technology - which produces genetically engineered plants with sterile seeds - as "grossly immoral". Writing in a new publication, commissioned by Catholic development charity Progressio, Jesuit Priest Roland Lesseps, Father Sean McDonagh and Father Donal Dorr say the controversial GM technology, which is currently restricted by a temporary UN ban, offers "no benefit for farmers and consumers" and would have "long-term consequences for the environment".
Read article on the Independent Catholic News website (UK)

May 8, 2008

Parliament denies Canadians mandatory labelling of GE foods
Ottawa, Canada - A private member's bill giving consumers the right to know if the food sold in Canada contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients was defeated in the House of Commons today by a vote of 101 to 156. The defeat of Bill C-517 effectively protects the economic interests of GE companies like Monsanto over the rights of Canadians to know what they eat.
Read news story on the website of Greenpeace Canada

April 30, 2008

Mass Protests against GM Crops in India
India-wide coalition against GM Brinjal in the wake of toxic GM cotton
As India edges closer to what is probably the last year of field trials for Bt Brinjal (eggplant, aubergine) before commercial approval may be granted, large scale resistance has been building up all over the country. Bt Brinjal, if allowed in India, would be the first food crop in the world with the Bt gene inserted into it that is to be directly consumed by human beings. Indians feel that they are about to be made guinea pigs by USAID, and by Monsanto and Cornell University that have developed this crop.
Read press release on the website of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) (UK)

April 24, 2008

Study Based on Farmers' Experience Exposes Risks of GM Crops
The first study of its kind in North America, possibly in the world, shows how the risks of GM technology outweigh the benefits especially in the longer term.
Read press release on the website of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) (UK)

April 20, 2008

Exposed: the great GM crops myth
Major new study shows that modified soya produces 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent
Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

April 2, 2008

GM seeds can 'last for 10 years'
Seeds of some genetically modified crops can endure in soil for at least 10 years, scientists have discovered. Researchers in Sweden examined a field planted with experimental oilseed rape a decade ago, and found transgenic specimens were still growing there. This was despite intensive efforts in the intervening years to remove seeds.
Read article at BBC News (UK)

March 28, 2008

Romania set to join bans on EU-backed modified crop
Romania intends to join six other European Union members in banning the only genetically modified crop approved for use in the bloc, its environment minister said yesterday, in a blow to the biotechnology industry. Attila Korodi called for a moratorium on planting MON810, a corn produced by Monsanto, the US company, and said his country's biosecurity committee would start examining the possibility of a ban on April 15. Romania, a leading agricultural producer, was a big grower of GM crops before it joined the EU last year.
Read article in the Financial Times (UK)

March 20, 2008

Grain Farmer Claims Moral Victory in Seed Battle Against Monsanto
Percy Schmeiser's decade-long legal odyssey has finally come to an end - and he's got a cheque for $660 to prove it. The 77-year-old Saskatchewan farmer and his wife, Louise, became international folk heroes for their legal struggle with agribusiness giant Monsanto Canada Inc., after the company sued them for violating its patent on genetically engineered canola seeds in 1997. Although the Schmeisers eventually wound up losing their court battle with the St. Louis-based company in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2004, the couple have now earned a moral victory that they hope will encourage others to carry on their cause. Yesterday, Monsanto agreed to pay the Schmeisers $660 to settle a small-claims court case they brought against the company for costs associated with removing the patented Roundup Ready canola from their field in 2005.
Read article at commondreams.org

March 10, 2008

Genetic engineering, horizontal gene transfer, and the emergence of infectious diseases
Recent evidence confirms that transgenic DNA does jump species to bacteria and even plants and animals.
Read press release from the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) (UK)

March 3, 2008

Guardian GM coverage “everything biotech companies could want”
The Soil Association’s policy director, Peter Melchett, has criticized The Guardian for using a stereotypical portrayal of opponents of GM as “activists” and “vandals”. He was responding to an aticle in The Guardian on February 16 which reported that GM crop locations may be hidden from the public because of “fears that anti-GM campaigners are winning the battle over the controversial technology”. In a letter to the newspaper, Melchett, a former head of Greenpeace UK, said The Guardian’s coverage characterised two sides of the battle “exactly as pro-GM campaigners would wish”.
Read article at Natural Products online (UK)

February 27, 2008

Non-GM Breakthroughs Leave GM Behind
Non-GM breakthroughs keep coming thick and fast for problems that GM proponents claim require GM, but GM solutions, if any, are years away
Does the mention of allergen-free peanut, salt-resistant wheat, beta-carotene rich sweet potato, and virus-resistant cassava make you think of GM? If so, you’ve missed the great unpublished story of 2007 – all the non-GM answers to precisely the problems (drought-resistance, salt-resistance, biofortification, etc.) that proponents claim only GM can solve.
Read press release on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

February 19, 2008

EU fudges GM potato vote
Yesterday, EU farm ministers voted on whether to approve the use of new GM crops including a variety of potato developed by chemical giant BASF. According to Reuters, they failed to reach a consensus which is good in the sense that the proposed crops weren't approved, but bad because the decision will now be passed back to the European Commission. The EC is heavily pro-GM so it's likely that all five crops under consideration will be approved with a nod and a wink.
Read article on the Greenpeace UK website

February 16, 2008

GM crop trial locations may be hidden from public
Government plans clampdown on vandalism after lobbying from biotech firms
Genetically modified crops may be grown in hidden locations in Britain amid fears that anti-GM campaigners are winning the battle over the controversial technology, the Guardian has learned. Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed they are looking at a range of options to clamp down on vandalism to GM crop trials, after intense lobbying by big crop biotech companies. The firms have warned that trials of GM crops are becoming too expensive to conduct in Britain because of the additional costs of protecting fields from activists.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)

February 8, 2008

Pest evolves resistance to GM crops
An insect pest that is supposed to be killed by a type of genetically modified cotton crop with an in-built toxin gene has developed resistance and is beginning to spread in parts of the United States, a scientific study has found. It is believed to be the first documented example in the wild of an insect pest becoming resistant to this particular type of GM crop, which was thought to be immune from the problems that have plagued conventional pesticides.
Read article in the Independent (UK)
Comment: The US scientists say that it may now only be a matter of time before other insects also adapt to this GM crop.

February 1, 2008

UK and Irish Politicians Denounce Canadian Government Agent's Dirty Tricks over GMOs
Prominent politicians condemn Canadian government employee for fraudulent research, disinformation, intimidation of UK and Irish citizens and attempt to sabotage Irish Government policy.
UK's ex-environment minister, the Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher MP tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the UK Parliament [1] (see Box), now signed by 27 MPs from different parties, the latest being Alex Samond, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and Scotland's First Minister. The EDM succinctly points the finger at the corporate corruption of science, most visible and ruthless when it comes to promoting GM crops, and every part of the corporate structure is complicit, the scientific establishment, the learned journals and big government held to ransom by the biotech industry.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

January 28, 2008

ASA warns GM ban retaliation
The American Soybean Association has warned there could be "massive retaliation" on Europe if the bloc does not speed up a system for approving GM crops. At the moment, industry has been loosing millions because producers who use GM crops are restricted in exporting them to the European Union, because of an EU moratorium on the use of GM crops. Following a complaint by the US in 2003, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that some European countries were breaking international trade rules by stopping the import of GM foods and crops. The EU has still not complied with this ruling and its moratorium has reduced US exports of bulk commodities such as corn and soybeans into Europe.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com
Comment: The "massive retaliation" that the American Soybean Association refers to here is essentially code for preparing to ask the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body for permission to impose trade sanctions on the EU.

January 23, 2008

Poland to hamper GMO planting despite lifting ban
Poland will seek to make planting of genetically modified seeds nearly impossible for local farmers even though it plans to lift an official ban to comply with EU law, the agriculture minister told Reuters on Friday. European Union regulators launched legal action against Poland last month over plans that amounted to a national GMO ban by its biggest ex-communist member. Lawyers for the European Commission said it had no scientific justification. "We will delay the farming of genetically modified animal feed as much as possible because there is no social acceptance for it," Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki told Reuters during a Moscow visit with the Polish prime minister.
Read article at planetark.com

Closing the Barn Door After the Cows Have Gotten Out
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for the eventual sale of meat and dairy products from cloned animals, saying, in effect, that consumers face no health risks from them. The next day, the Department of Agriculture asked farmers to keep their cloned animals off the market until consumers have time to get over their anticloning prejudice. That is one prejudice I plan to hold on to. I will not be eating cloned meat.
Read editorial by Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: As Klinkerborg points out, the real beneficiaries here are the large meatpacking companies – the kind that would like it best if chickens grew in the shape of nuggets. Animal cloning shifts genetic ownership from farmers to corporations, thus putting patents and profits before health.

January 22, 2008

Canadian farmer forces GM giant back to court
· Monsanto accused of pollution over stray plants
· Campaigner believes case could trigger global claims
He was portrayed as an environmental David who stood up to the corporate Goliath, and became a figurehead of the battle against the introduction of genetically modified crops everywhere. When Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto for growing the firm's GM crops, which he claimed blew on to his land, the company's eventual victory in the Canadian supreme court was overshadowed by accusations of aggressive tactics and corporate bullying. Now, Schmeiser, of Bruno, Saskatchewan, is back to launch another slingshot at Monsanto, and this time he is suing the billion dollar business for £300 in his local small claims court. At stake, he says, is millions of pounds of compensation for those who have seen their land contaminated with GM material, and the rights of organic farmers and others to produce GM-free crops.
Read article in The Guardian (UK)
Comment: Click here to visit Percy Schmeiser's website.

January 9, 2008

France one step closer to extending GM ban
The French government declared yesterday that it is willing to apply an EU measure to implement a long term ban on genetically modified (GM) crops if a scientific panel decides their safety is questionable.
Read article at foodnavigator.com

January 8, 2008

Monsanto wins suit over reuse of biotech seeds
Sued farmer over patented soybeans
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand, without comment, a lower court ruling that punished a Mississippi farmer for re-using Monsanto Co.'s patented, genetically modified soybeans. St. Louis-based Monsanto sued Homan McFarling in 1999 for violating its patents by planting biotech seeds that he saved from a previous year's crop. The company won $375,000 in damages, which McFarling's lawyers also challenged as excessive. Since the late 1990s, Monsanto has pursued similar lawsuits against almost 100 farmers, according to the Center for Food Safety, which opposes the suits and urged the court to take McFarling's case.
Read article at bnd.com (USA)

January 3, 2008

French anti-GM activist Jose Bove on hunger strike
French anti-globalisation activist Jose Bove has launched a hunger strike, saying on Thursday he would not eat until the government imposes a year-long ban on genetically-modified crops. The 54-year-old Bove launched his protest action with 15 supporters in a vacant building in Paris' financial district that was taken over last year by the homeless. "I have stopped eating since last night," Bove said. "I made this decision because the GM debate is blocked and the government has not kept its promise," he told France Inter radio.
Read AFP news agency report at google.com