Dr. Rath Health Foundation

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GMO News

Up to date news and comment about GMO issues.

December 29, 2011

The billion-dollar pest: U.S. beetle is developing resistance to one of the most widely used genetically modified crops, say scientists
Crop pests appear to have developed resistance to an insect toxin inserted into GM corn plants. As a result, these 'superbugs' are surviving efforts by farmers to kill them and so are damaging food crops on farms in the U.S. The revelation is a blow to supporters of the technology and raises questions over whether the regime that approves and polices genetically modified crops is sufficiently rigorous.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

December 28, 2011

GM crops banned in Peru
Peru has banned GM production for 10 years. In a bid to protect its local food producers, the country has approved a law establishing a moratorium on income and production of genetically modified organisms.
Read article on the Farmers Guardian website

December 19, 2011

Responsible approach to GM fish is to assume escape: Committee hearing
The responsible approach to considering whether genetically engineered (GE) salmon pose a risk to the environment is to assume that the fish will escape and disregard assurances from the company that they would not, said Senator Mark Begich at a committee hearing on Thursday.
Read article at foodnavigator-usa.com

December 14, 2011

Bt Crops Failures & Hazards
The claim that genetically modified organisms are the most promising way of increasing crop yields is falsified by many independent scientific studies, as well as direct experience with GM crops in India, China, Argentina and the United States.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

December 6, 2011

GM risks loom for wheat industry
Australia is heading at breakneck speed towards the commercialisation of genetically modified wheat. According to CSIRO, 2015 is a realistic date. This means within five years, consumers face the possibility of eating genetically modified bread, whether they like it or not. This year, West Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh lost his organic accreditation after his neighbour's GM canola seed blew on to his property. This month, another WA farmer in Cunderdin fears his crop is contaminated after a recent thunderstorm washed tonnes of his neighbour's GM canola on to his farm. He stands to lose his GM-free canola premium if this is confirmed. There is nothing in place that will protect these two farmers or others for the loss of income that may result.
Read article in The Canberra Times (Australia)

November 28, 2011

Monsanto Defeated by Roundup Resistant Weeds
An explosion of glyphosate resistant weeds forces Monsanto to run away from farmers' rising weed control costs
Monsanto is surrendering to glyphosate resistant weeds, according to a new briefing by UK based GM freeze. They are spreading at “exponential” rates in US farms and are increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa. While Monsanto grandly claims that its GM technologies help the environment by reducing pesticide use, resistant weeds springing up across the world paints a different picture. Glyphosate resistance has developed as the result of large-scale use of their pesticides. Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Monsanto's world best-selling herbicide, Roundup. And now, Monsanto aims to combat this serious agronomic, environmental, socio-economic, and health problem with even further increases in pesticide use.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

November 25, 2011

India's New GM Crops Bill is a Gross Example of Corruption
India's agricultural future looks bleak as the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2011 is scheduled to pass in the current session of Indian parliament. This highly controversial bill calls for the formation of a new regulatory body that is the ultimate authority on the introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in India. This body makes a mockery of both consumer protection as well as farmer rights, as it stipulates that the body will be made up of five members based within the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the very body that funds GM crop research in the country. To add to the irony, the DBT is also the main agency for channelling funds from foreign governments to GM crop development projects.
Read article at policymic.com (USA)

November 15, 2011

International biotechnology conference calls for a moratorium on genetically modified foods
Dar es Salaam – An international conference on Food Sovereignty calls for Government to suspend plans to spread GM biotechnology across Tanzania. The conference, hosted by international NGO SWISSAID, explores why communities around the world are rejecting GM foods and standing up for the rights of farmers and consumers to choose what they grow and what they eat.
Read article at swissaid.ch (Switzerland)

November 13, 2011

Locals still opposing gene-modified eggplant
DAVAO CITY -- Communities around the University of Philippines (UP) campus in Mindanao have stood firm against the new round of field testing for a genetically modified eggplant after the ban was lifted by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
Read article on the BusinessWorld Online website (Philippines)

November 10, 2011

Insects Developing Resistance to GM Bt Crops
GM Freeze today published a review of insect resistance to Bt toxins in GM maize and Bt cotton crops around the world. It shows how, contrary to promises from GM companies, pesticide use is increasing to keep up with insects in GM crops. Scientists have confirmed five incidents of insects evolving resistance to Bt toxins in the field to date: Bt cotton in India (2010) and US (2008), moth pests in maize in Puerto Rico (2007) and South Africa (2007) and a beetle pest in maize in the US (2011).
Read press release at gmfreeze.org

November 7, 2011

Approving the GM potato: conflicts of interest, flawed science and fierce lobbying
In March 2010, the European Commission approved BASF's genetically modified Amflora potato for cultivation in the European Union. CEO has investigated the background to this decision, including the controversial scientific advice provided by the European Food Safety Authority on the use of antibiotic resistant marker genes. CEO found that more than half of EFSA's GMO panel had conflicts of interest, as defined by the OECD. Their advice, which contravened WHO guidelines, contributed to the approval of the GM potato - and is likely to lead to the approval of similar GM crops in the near future.
Read article on the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) website

November 5, 2011

Peru’s Congress approves 10-year GMO ban
Peru’s Congress announced Friday it overwhelmingly approved a 10-year moratorium on imports of genetically modified organisms in order to safeguard the country’s biodiversity. The measure bars GMOs — including seeds, livestock, and fish — from being imported for cultivation or to be raised locally.
Read article on the Capital FM News website (Kenya)

October 31, 2011

Gates Foundation “Swimming Against a Tide of Informed Opinion”
Gates plan spends 40% of R&D funding on risky “silver bullet” GM projects with DFID help
As the world population reaches 7 billion GM Freeze says in a new report published today that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policy on agricultural development to tackle hunger is “swimming against a tide of informed opinion”. The report reveals the Gates Foundation has allocated over 40% of its committed research expenditure from 2005 to 2011 on projects involving risky “silver bullet” GM technology.
Read news release at gmfreeze.org

October 21, 2011

Super weeds 'run rampant in fields near GM crops', scientists warn
GM crops have failed to deliver higher food yields but have created dangerous super weeds, a report warns. Health and conservation groups from Africa, Asia and Latin America say that the fast-growing weeds smother other crops planted in fields near where GM crops have been grown.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

October 17, 2011

Hundreds rally in Washington to demand GMO labelling
WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of people from around the United States rallied in front of the White House on Sunday, urging the government to require compulsory labeling of food made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). "Most Americans agree they have a right to know what is in the food they put in their own and their children's bodies, but current federal policy favors the pesticide industry and hides the facts," said Katherine DiMatteo of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements.
Read article on the Xinhua News Agency website (China)

October 12, 2011

How India squared up to Monsanto’s 'biopiracy'
Following allegations of defying India's Biological Diversity Act (BDA), Monsanto faces a lawsuit from the Indian government, reports Rosie Spinks.
Read article in The Ecologist (UK)

October 6, 2011

IFOAM Requests UN Require Members to Label Genetically Modified Foods
Representatives of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) presented a special declaration October 1, 2011 to the United Nations (UN), requesting that the international organization commit all of its member nations to a world without genetically modified (GMO) foods and to identify existing GMO foods on product labels. The UN declaration was written in anticipation of the GMO Right2Know March which kicked off at the UN headquarters in New York on October 1 and will end at the White House on October 16.
Read article on the ENews Park Forest website (Illinois, USA)

October 5, 2011

Petition demands US label genetically engineered food
Supporters and producers of organic foods petitioned the US government Tuesday for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, and encouraged consumers to go online and join the cause.
Read article at medicalxpress.com

October 4, 2011

Breaking News—California May Require Labeling of GE Food Products!
An exciting new ballot initiative, if California voters approve, could turn the tide against genetically engineered foods in America.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (USA) website

September 30, 2011

Are Monsanto's Days Numbered?
50+ Organizations Urging GMO Ban
A document signed by more than 50 civil society organizations (CSOs) is asking the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled to take place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, to ban the use of genetically modified foods.
Read article on the Huffington Post website (USA)

September 25, 2011

China says "no" to the commercialization of GE rice?
China's major financial weekly the Economic Observer quoted on Friday, Sept 23rd, 2011, an information source close to the Ministry of Agriculture that China has suspended the commercialization of genetically engineered (GE) rice.
Read article on the Greenpeace East Asia website

September 15, 2011

France retains ban on GM Maize despite EU Court opinion
The French government still refuses to lift its ban on growing genetically modified corn in France, despite the European Court of Justice saying that France's 2008 prohibition against Monsanto's MON810 variety was out of line on procedural grounds.
Read article at allaboutfeed.net

September 8, 2011

EU court bans honey contaminated by GE crops
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that honey contaminated with genetically engineered pollen cannot be sold on the market. This means that if beekeepers keep beehives in areas where genetically engineered crops are cultivated, they will have no hope of selling their products. The ruling will have a significant impact on the future of agricultural genetic engineering (GE) – and on beekeepers.
Read article on the Greenpeace International website

September 8, 2011

French ban on GM crop challenged on a technicality
The Court of Justice of the European Union today challenged a French national ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize Mon810. The court argues France based its ban on the wrong legislation. Greenpeace EU policy adviser Stefanie Hundsdorfer said: “Monsanto based this case on a technicality, which doesn’t change the fact that France and the six other countries banning Mon810 have the legal right to do so, given the scientific concerns about the crop’s safety. We urge France to improve the legal details of its ban as soon as possible.”
Read press release at greenpeace.org

September 5, 2011

GM Feed Toxic, New Meta-Analysis Confirms
A meta-analysis on 19 studies confirms kidney and liver toxicity in rats and mice fed on GM soybean and maize, representing more than 80 percent of all commercially available GM food; it also exposes gross inadequacies of current risk assessment
A team of independent scientists led by Gilles-Eric Séralini at Caen University in France carried out a meta-analysis combining the results of 19 previous studies, and their report concluded: “From the regulatory tests performed today, it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species, especially since there is growing evidence of concern.”
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

August 26, 2011

Polish minister calls for Europe-wide ban on GM crops
Poland’s stance on genetically modified crops has been thrown into confusion after its agriculture minister called for a European-wide ban on GMO. “We are now proposing to completely prohibit not only the cultivation of GM plants, but also imports of feed and food that is genetically modified,” Minister Marek Sawicki told TVP public television. “And not just in Poland,” he added.
Read article at thenews.pl (Poland)

August 24, 2011

Are the legal tables finally turning on GMOs?
Pesticide contamination of organic crops ruled 'trespass' by US courts
After many years of having the legal odds stacked against them in favour of the companies making genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the farmers who grow them, organic farmers in the USA recently won two landmark cases. Both rulings set a precedent that organic farmers can sue neighbouring farmers if pesticides drift across and contaminate the organic crops. Pesticides, of course, are central to the GMO issue, with Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed – engineered for resistance to the company's pesticide Roundup – the most famous example.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (Europe)

August 24, 2011

Polish president vetoes bill allowing GMO seeds
Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski on Wednesday vetoed a new legislation that would allow some genetically modified seeds in the country, saying it ran against European Union rules.
Read news report at reuters.com
Comment: With the majority of Poles known to be opposed to GMOs, and protestors having recently been gathering outside his Presidential Palace chanting “No to GMO”, President Komorowski has been forced to bow to the will of the people. Despite this step in the right direction, however, nobody should be in any doubt over the fact that the GM industry’s fierce lobbying of the Polish legislature will continue.

August 12, 2011

India Sues Monsanto Over Genetically-Modified Eggplant
The already-explosive politics surrounding genetically-modified (GM) eggplant (brinjal) in India is getting still more explosive with a government agency’s decision to prosecute the developers of the insect resistant-eggplant eggplant.
Read article at forbes.com

August 9, 2011

“Monsanto quit India” day observed across the nation
Citizens say no to GM food and multinational seed corporations promoting them
NEW DELHI: On Quit India day, Greenpeace projected “Monsanto Quit India” on the India Gate highlighting the national opposition to the multinational seed companies like Monsanto. They were also joined by scores of Delhiites observing a candle light vigil and taking a pledge to protect the food safety and sovereignty of the country.
Read press release at greenpeace.org

August 4, 2011

Herbicide tolerant GM crops pose serious health threat: Greenpeace
Introduction of herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops, which are at the field trial stage in India, can pose serious threat to health and environment, according to a report released by Greenpeace Thursday.
Read article at daijiworld.com (India)

July 20, 2011

Bangalore: No Permission for Trials, Research on GM Crops: Katti
With farmers launching a determined campaign against genetically modified (GM) crops, Karnataka’s Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti has firmly ruled out giving permission for private companies for undertaking trials and research on GM crops. Addressing presspersons after a meting with bankers and officials of the Agriculture Department here on Wednesday, the minister said action would be taken against those who had undertaken trials on GM crops in Bijapur and other districts without the permission of the Government. The department had not given permission to undertake trials to any multinational or local companies, he said.
Read article at daijiworld.com (India)

July 14, 2011

GMO maize damage may total billions, says expert
The damage to Hungary's agriculture caused through sowing genetically modified seeds and to the country's GMO-free status will total billions of forints, an expert told MTI on Wednesday.
Read article at caboodle.hu (Hungary)

July 13, 2011

Hungary destroys all GMO maize fields
Some 400 hectares of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added. Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary.
Read article at allaboutfeed.net

July 11, 2011

Nijmegen Declared GM-Free through Citizen Action
The Community Council of Nijmegen declared the city GM-free on 29 June 2011. This is only the third GM-free region after Culemborg and the province of Friesland in the Netherlands, a country in close competition with the UK for the most pro-GM national government in Europe. In both Culemborg and Friesland, the initiative came from the Netherlands green party, GroenLinks. In Nijmegen, however, it came from a group of citizens that started in 2009 to raise awareness on GM food and agriculture.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

July 7, 2011

Voluntary Guidelines Set to Allow Labeling for Genetically Modified Food Worldwide
After nearly two decades of struggling for consensus within the global food safety body, the Codex Alimentarius Commision, the U.S. ended its opposition to the genetically modified (GM) labeling guidance document on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, allowing it to move forward to become official Codex text. Though this new agreement does not require mandatory labeling, it will allow countries wishing to adopt GM food labeling without fear of legal challenges from the World Trade Organization (WTO), because national measures based on Codex guidelines cannot be challenged as a barrier to trade.
Read article on the eNews Park Forest website (Illinois, USA)

July 7, 2011

GM wheat a threat to farmers: Greenpeace
Australian wheat farmers stand to lose billions of dollars if the CSIRO's trials of genetically modified wheat are allowed to continue, Greenpeace says. A report by the environmental group accuses the government research organisation of "serious oversights" when it comes to managing the risks of its field trials currently taking place across the country.
Read article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

July 5, 2011

EU lawmakers give backing for national GM crop bans
European Union lawmakers voted on Tuesday to strengthen proposals to let governments decide whether to grow or ban genetically modified (GM) crops, designed to break a deadlock in EU GM crop approvals. Despite the majority backing of the European Parliament for the plans, continued opposition from several large EU member states means the draft legislation is unlikely to be finalized this year, if at all. EU lawmakers agreed that governments should be free to ban the cultivation of GM crops based on environmental concerns, such as to protect biodiversity or prevent the spread of "super weeds" that are resistant to herbicides.
Read news report at reuters.com

July 1, 2011

Kenyans protest over GM maize imports
Hundreds of people have marched in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, against government plans to import genetically modified (GM) maize. They were protesting at reports that Kenya would lift its restrictions on GM crops following a recent drought, leading to maize shortages. The demonstrators said they believed a shipment had already arrived and feared it could contaminate the soil.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

June 20, 2011

African Alliances Challenge Introduction of GM Technology
Civil society and private sector organisations come together to fight introduction of GM technology
The recent introduction of GM (genetic modification) technology into Tanzania has prompted local and international campaign groups to join forces in expressing concern for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity, which is crucial for food security and food sovereignty.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

June 2, 2011

Gene alarm on GM crops
Indian scientists have discovered that the genetic modification of plants with a gene already used in crops worldwide may severely damage the plants, a surprising finding that may stir a debate on current crop biotechnology science. The scientists at the University of Delhi have shown that inserting a bacterial gene that makes a protein named Cry1Ac into genomes of plants appears to cause developmental defects, growth retardation and sterility in the plants.
Read article in The Telegraph (Calcutta, India)

May 31, 2011

Victory, of sorts, at last
Labeling of GMO foods moves forward at Codex level
After some eighteen years and seemingly interminable debates between two sharply divided camps, the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL), at its 39th session held in Quebec City, Canada, the week of May 9-13, 2011, finally reached a consensus on a watered-down labeling guideline for GMO foods. No thanks to the blocking efforts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Australia, this Guideline does not require mandatory labeling of GMO foods. However, what it does accomplish is to provide protection from the World Trade Organization (WTO) for those countries that require genetically modified organism (GMO) foods to be labeled as such. In that sense, it is a huge victory.
Read news release on the website of the National Health Federation (USA)

May 31, 2011

UK Supermarkets to label GM Soybean ‘Sustainable’
Irresponsible labelling of GM soybean by British supermarkets aims to deceive the public over the true hazards of GM crops
A string of British supermarket giants have signed up to the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) including Asda, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, and most recently Sainsbury’s. This scheme will result in GM soybean being labelled ‘sustainable’ despite mounting scientific evidence of health and environmental hazards, and threats to global food security.
Read article on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

May 25, 2011

Farmers reject genetically engineered seed
Farmers have strongly rejected the use of genetically modified (GM) seeds in Uganda, saying with their introduction is detrimental to the indigenous seed. At a meeting of farmers’ groups, organised by Pelum Uganda, held at Colline Hotel in Mukono last week, it was noted that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not the solution to the food challenges in Uganda or in Africa, instead, they pose more problems. They worry because GM crops transfer seed ownership into private hands and because there is great uncertainty surrounding their safety and impacts. However, farmers who comprise 80 per cent of the population face an uphill task to reverse the trend of enacting laws that permit the release of GMOs on the market, because the promoters of GMOs are moneyed companies. “The protection and preservation of indigenous/traditional seed is fundamental in ensuring food security,” read a joint statement from farmers, but the multinational companies pushing GMOs are driven by commercial interests.
Read article in the Daily Monitor (Uganda)

May 24, 2011

With no labeling, few realize they are eating genetically modified foods
When a team of activists wearing white hazmat suits showed up at a Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of genetically modified foods, they picked an unlikely target: Whole Foods Market. Organic foods, by definition, can't knowingly contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation's top organic food retailers says it hasn't been able to avoid stocking some products that contain them. "No one would guess that there are genetically engineered foods right here in Whole Foods," said Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, which organized the protest. The activists dramatically trashed a battery of well-known health food brands outside the store, including Tofutti, Kashi and Boca Burgers.
Read article in the Chicago Tribune (USA)

May 20, 2011

GM food toxins found in the blood of 93% of unborn babies
Toxins implanted into GM food crops to kill pests are reaching the bloodstreams of women and unborn babies, alarming research has revealed. A landmark study found 93 per cent of blood samples taken from pregnant women and 80 per cent from umbilical cords tested positive for traces of the chemicals.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

May 16, 2011

GM corn failure - a lesson for the future?
Years of investment in GM technology have done more harm than good, claims Dr Helen Wallace Last week, The New York Times reported that a new genetically-modified corn maize variety produced by US company Monsanto did not perform any better than conventional varieties. The findings come from a US Department of Agriculture draft environmental impact assessment, produced as a step towards approval of the new GM crop. It could mean that years of investment in this technology has been a failure. The problems highlight an unpalatable truth for advocates of GM crops and foods - the technology has been spectacularly unsuccessful at delivering complex traits such as drought tolerance, which involve multiple genes and complex interactions with the plant's environment.
Read article at publicserviceeurope.com (UK)

May 13, 2011

Drought tolerant GM corn will not feed the world
GeneWatch UK today responded to reports that Monsanto's new drought tolerant genetically modified (GM) corn (maize) does not perform better than conventional varieties. The GM industry has made repeated claims that its crops will be needed to feed a growing population as the climate changes, in order to gain public and political support. "This new report highlights the continuing failure of GM to deliver complex traits such as tolerance to drought", said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK "The GM industry must now stop its cynical attempts to manipulate the public into believing that GM crops are needed to feed the world".
Read article at genewatch.org

May 10, 2011

California Assembly votes to label GM fish
Genetically modified fish in California would have to be labeled as such according to a bill approved by the California Assembly Health Committee last week.
Read article at foodnavigator-usa.com

May 9, 2011

GM maize contaminates non-GM crops in Uruguay
Contamination of traditional maize crops planted near genetically modified (GM) maize fields may be common in Uruguay, where the cultivation of GM maize has been permitted since 2003, scientists have said. A study published in Environmental Biosafety Research (25 March) has found GM seedlings in three traditional maize fields. It is said to be the first report of cross-fertilisation between GM and non-GM maize in South America.
Read article at trust.org

April 28, 2011

Lima to declare itself a GMO-free zone
The city of Lima plans to declare the Peruvian capital a "GMO-free zone" after a controversial government decree that critics fear will see the country flooded with genetically modified organisms.
Read article at france24.com

April 24, 2011

Tanzanian NGOs Challenge GM Biotechnology
Tanzanian civil society and private sector organizations have come together to express their concern about the impact of GM technology on smallholder farmers and the environment. Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity is a coalition of civil society and private sector organizations concerned with the conservation of agricultural biodiversity for livelihood security and food sovereignty. The members of the alliance share the aims of conserving biodiversity and supporting sustainable development, promoting farmers’ self-determination and food sovereignty, facilitating exchange of information and experiences concerning sustainable and healthy agriculture policies and practices, ensuring public awareness on issues of concern to the environment, agriculture and biodiversity, and promoting citizen involvement in the decision-making processes which guide the development of biotechnology particularly GMO.
Read blog entry by Michael Farrelly at mrfarrelly.wordpress.com

April 21, 2011

Scientist Defends Claim of New Pathogen Linked to GM Crops
Senior scientist stands up for his claims amid storm of attacks.
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)
Comment: Earlier this year, an emeritus professor at Purdue University, Don Huber, wrote to the U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, with evidence linking GM soybeans and corn to devastating crop diseases and high rates of abortions and infertility in livestock. The resulting attempts to discredit him mirror the increasing attacks on all independent GM researchers.

April 19, 2011

Half of EU states negative on GM foods
Half of all European Union states see no benefit from genetically modified crops according to an internal survey, the European Commission has said. The commission said 13 out of the 27 EU states gave an unfavourable response to the impact of developing GM crops while others such as Italy did not give an opinion.
Read article in The Malta Independent Online

April 15, 2011

BASF buys rights to another GMO potato
German chemicals group BASF said on Friday it had acquired ownership rights to another type of potato containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
Read news report at reuters.com

April 12, 2011

MEPs want wider scope for national GMO bans
Members of the European Parliament's environment committee have said national governments should be allowed to ban GMO cultivation on environmental grounds. The decision by MEPs on Tuesday (12 April), goes beyond a proposal put forward by the European Commission last July to partially renationalise decisions over GMO cultivation, after years of deadlock in the area.
Read article at euobserver.com

April 9, 2011

Please Stop Dangerous Attacks on ALL Independent GMO Researchers
The attack on Professor G. E. Seralini by biotech advocates is just the latest example of denial, distortion, and harassment that has been institutionalized in the promotion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A quote from the September 2, 2009 Nature article accurately describes this tactic: A “large block of scientists who denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge and is outside the ideals of scientific inquiry." Nature says these “strikes . . . launched from within the scientific community” are sometimes “emotional and personal,” and can even “accuse scientists of misconduct.” These attacks successfully suppress much needed research and therefore put human health and the environment at risk. According to University of California at Berkeley professor Ignacio Chapela, there is a de facto ban on scientists “asking certain questions and finding certain results.”
Read submission by Jeffrey Smith to the French Courts in support of Professor G. E. Seralini

April 7, 2011

GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 19 Studies
A new paper shows that consuming genetically modified (GM) corn or soybeans leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys. By reviewing data from 19 animal studies, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and others reveal that 9% of the measured parameters, including blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses (histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver of females followed, with 30.8%. The report, published in Environmental Sciences Europe on March 1, 2011, confirms that “several convergent data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects.” The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.
Read article by Jeffrey Smith on the Institute for Responsible Technology website (USA)

March 31, 2011

Organic Farm Groups Sue Monsanto
Family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations filed suit against Monsanto in New York court on March 30th. According to the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) which filed on their behalf, the plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from future accusations of patent infringement when Monsanto's genetically modified seed contaminates their crops, something which cannot be prevented once GM seeds are released. "It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.
Read article in the Huffington Post (USA)

March 28, 2011

Unacceptable Death Rates End Cloning Trials in New Zealand
Government lab announced the end to cloning eight years after the scientist who pioneered the technique abandoned it for precisely the same reasons
“Unacceptable death rates” forced New Zealand national science agency AgResearch to end its trials on cloning animals. But it will continue to create more genetically modified (GM) animals using a new research method. The agency has issued reports – obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act - documenting chronic arthritis, pneumonia, lameness and blood poisoning among the causes of death in cattle, sheep and goats. The reports include trials on genetically modified (GM) animals for producing “super milk” as well cloned animals. Cloning and genetic modification are closely linked. Applied biotechnologies general manager Jimmy Suttie said that the decision was made after 13 years of study to find out how to prevent abnormalities in cloned animals, and “enough is enough.”
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

March 21, 2011

Shoppers kept in dark over GM ingredients
Millions of Britons are unwittingly eating food made using genetically modified soy, a survey of the leading grocery brands has disclosed. Household name brands like Cadbury Dairy Milk and Bird’s Eye use milk, eggs and meat made from animals that could have been fed GM soy, the research shows.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

March 21, 2011

GM alfalfa decision prompts new lawsuit
The Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice have filed another lawsuit against the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) arguing that the agency’s January 27 decision to deregulate genetically modified alfalfa was unlawful.
Read article at foodnavigator-usa.com

March 16, 2011

Cloned Meat & Milk Coming
Be Very Afraid
Cloning by nuclear transplant is completely different from cloning by splitting embryos, and is closely associated with genetic modification of livestock to produce drugs in their milk; in deregulating cloned meat and milk, the European Commission will be approving the sale of highly unethical and unsafe products that are also illegal.
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

March 13, 2011

Watchdog red-flags GM food
New Zealand's Fonterra - the world's biggest dairy exporter - is under scrutiny over potential GM [genetically modified] contamination in the milk products it sells. It comes after Greenpeace Australia questioned the controls on dairy farms run by an Australian company in which Fonterra has a controlling stake. Fonterra refused to answer the environmental group's questions - prompting a red flag in the Greenpeace True Food Guide 2011.
Read article in the New Zealand Herald

March 13, 2011

Malta’s stand on GMOs
Malta has taken up a commendable stand against the latest move to introduce genetically modified organisms in the European food chain. Last month, representatives of 19 member states backed a law to allow a trace level of contamination of conventional animal feed with GMO seeds. The move was widely seen as a bow to the corporate GMO lobby to allow non-authorised GMOs in animal feed imports. Although the vote passed, it was opposed by the representatives of Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia, which put up a joint front against EU pressure to scrap zero tolerance for GM-contaminated animal feed.
Read article in the Times of Malta

March 2, 2011

Scientists Discover New Route for GM-gene 'Escape'
Genetically modified genes can jump species via wounds, yes horizontal gene transfer happens, and at high frequencies; it is the greatest, most underestimated hazard from GMOs released into the environment.
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

March 1, 2011

The GMO Reality Check
When GMOs (genetically modified organisms) were first promoted back in the early nineties, it sounded as if the world was about to be saved from famine. These altered crops would produce much higher yields and the hungry could finally be fed. For regions of the planet where there was little rainfall, plants could be made drought resistant. Vitamins could be introduced, making genetically modified produce more nutritious. Crops would be made resilient to pests and could grow in spite of them. And lastly—the bit of information that would ease all other worries—there would be virtually no difference between these and conventionally grown crops that came before them. Like some experiment from a science fiction movie gone horribly wrong, we now witness the truth of GMOs. And the truth is many miles from the promises.
Read article by Andrew Kimbrell on the Organic Connections magazine website (USA)

February 23, 2011

Evidence stacking up against GM
As the GM industry continues to peddle the myth that GM crops are needed to ‘feed the world,’ scientific evidence is stacking up showing the importance of agroecological farming systems, such as organic, in tackling hunger in the poorest countries. The current model of GM production and sale is just not appropriate for poor farmers in countries where people continue to suffer from hunger - which are not in Europe or North America, but in continents like Africa and Asia. Research from the UN has shown that the adoption of organic and near-organic farming practices in Africa have doubled yields, improved access to food for both farmers and local communities, and raised incomes through the use of low-cost, locally available technologies and inputs.
Read article on the website of the Soil Association (UK)

February 23, 2011

'New dawn' for GMOs after EU vote, green groups warn
EU member state experts have voted to allow tiny quantities of unapproved genetically modified crops into the Union in the form of animal feed, prompting fierce condemnation from environmental groups, who say the decision sets a dangerous new precedent.
Read article at euobserver.com

February 22, 2011

New Report: GM crop cultivation nosedives across Europe
Cracks widen in biotech industry myths
On the day of the release of annual industry-sponsored figures, a new report from Friends of the Earth International reveals that the cultivation of geneticallymodified (GM) crops across Europe continues to decline – with an increasing number of national bans, and decreasing numbers of hectares dedicated to GM crops. The report, ‘Who Benefits from GM Crops?’, reveals that less than 0.06% of European fields are planted with GM crops – a decline of 23% since 2008. Seven member states uphold bans on Monsanto's GM maize due to growing evidence of its negative environmental impacts. Three countries have banned BASFs GM potato due to health concerns, immediately after its authorisation in spring 2010, and for the first time five member states have sued the European Commission over the authorisation of a GM crop. Public opposition to GM food and feed has increased to 61% Europe wide.
Read press release on the Friends of the Earth Europe website

February 21, 2011

Pathogen New to Science Found in Roundup Ready GM Crops?
USDA senior scientist sends “emergency” warning to US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on a new plant pathogen in Roundup Ready GM soybean and corn that may be responsible for high rates of infertility and spontaneous abortions in livestock.
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

February 15, 2011

Intense lobbying could enable unapproved GM crops to enter European food chain
Agribusiness accused of 'scaremongering' lobbying tactics as it pushes for the import of animal feed containing traces of unapproved genetically modified (GM) crops - using the guise of combating feed shortages
The EU is on the brink of allowing a raft of unapproved GM crops into the food chain as it prepares to lift restrictions on animal feed containing trace elements of GM crops.
Read article in The Ecologist (UK)

February 13, 2011

No seeds, no independent research
Companies that genetically engineer crops have a lock on what we know about their safety and benefits. Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola — most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered.
Read article in the Los Angeles Times (USA)

February 9, 2011

Honey Made Near Monsanto GM Maize May Face EU Limits
Beekeepers with hives close to fields of Monsanto Co. genetically modified maize can’t sell their honey in the European Union without regulatory approval, an adviser to the EU’s highest court said. The unintentional presence in honey “even of a minute quantity of pollen” from the maize is sufficient reason to restrict its sale, Advocate General Yves Bot of the European Court of Justice said in a non-binding opinion today. “Food containing material from a genetically modified plant, whether that material is included intentionally or not, must always be regarded as food produced” from modified plants, said Bot. The Luxembourg-based EU tribunal follows such advice most of the time. Rulings normally follow within six months of an opinion.
Read article at Bloomberg.com

February 6, 2011

GM crops to be allowed into Britain under controversial EU plans
Genetically modified crops will be allowed to enter the UK food chain without the need for regulatory clearance for the first time under controversial plans expected to be approved this week. The Observer understands that the UK intends to back EU plans permitting the importing of animal feed containing traces of unauthorised GM crops in a move that has alarmed environmental groups.
Read article in The Observer
Comment: Patents on GM seeds, and the multi-billion dollar potential profits and market control that may result from them, are increasingly acting as powerful incentives for GM manufacturers to find ways of forcing GM foods onto consumers' dinner plates, regardless of the possible dangers to human health. As such, by permitting GM crops to enter the food chain without the need for regulatory clearance, British Prime Minister David Cameron will be sending a clear signal that he sees the profits of multi-billion dollar biotech companies as being more important than protecting the health of the British people and the welfare of the environment.

January 26, 2011

Victory for Independent Science
World-famous independent scientist researching the risks of GMOs wins libel case against biotech association fronting a concerted campaign to discredit and victimise him
Gilles-Eric Séralini, professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen in France, and president of the scientific council for independent research on genetic engineering (CRIIGEN), is a leading researcher into the risks of GMOs. Not surprisingly, he and his team became the target a concerted campaign of vilification, which included Monsanto, EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and scientific societies representing biotechnology in France: the French Association of Plant Biotechnology and the French High Counsel on Biotechnology.
Read article by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) website (UK)

January 21, 2011

Most EU states back trace GM in food imports: paper
A majority of European Union countries want to allow tiny traces of genetically modified (GM) material in food imports for human consumption, according to an internal EU briefing paper seen by Reuters on Friday.
Read news report at reuters.com

January 14, 2011

Monsanto’s Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Human and Animal Health
The following article reveals the devastating and unprecedented impact that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is having on the health of our soil, plants, animals, and human population.
Read article by Jeffrey Smith on the Institute for Responsible Technology website (USA)

January 5, 2011

Genetically modified crops breed economic dependence, new form of slavery, says Cardinal Turkson
VATICAN CITY – If farmers in Africa had greater access to fertile, arable land safe from armed conflict and pollutants, they would not need genetically modified crops to produce food, said the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Making growers reliant on proprietary, genetically modified seeds smacks of “the usual game of economic dependence,” which in turn, “stands out like a new form of slavery,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson. The Ghanaian cardinal’s comments came in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano Jan. 5. It is “a scandal” that nearly 1 billion people suffer from hunger, Cardinal Turkson said, especially since there is more than enough food to feed the whole world.
Read article in The Catholic Review (Maryland/USA)