Civil society groups have expressed alarm at an increase in dengue incidence, leading to an emergency decree, in a town in Brazil where releases of GM mosquitoes are taking place. This development is the opposite to what was promised – to create GM mosquitoes that would end dengue. Read more
In the wake of attempts by British pro-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas to deny local reports that Bt brinjal (eggplant/aubergine) failed in Bangladesh, the Guardian newspaper has published an article confirming the widespread failure of the crop. The Guardian visited or spoke to all but one of the 20 farmers growing the Bt brinjal crop and established that of the 19 farmers, nine had had problems with the crop, with a failure rate of four out of five farms in Gazipur, the region closest to Dhaka.
The IB (Intelligence Bureau), India's top intelligence agency for internal security, has spent time and public money authoring a report that accuses citizens' groups, NGOs, and individuals of threatening the national economic security of India. Their crime, according to the IB, is to oppose socially and environmentally destructive "development projects", including the introduction of GMOs. Dr Pushpa Bhargava, the father of modern biotechnology in India, joined Indian citizens and civil society organisations in condemning the report.
GM soybeans are losing their appeal for farmers in Latin America because of the intractable spread of herbicide-tolerant superweeds, according to former Dupont agronomist Alberto Bianchi.
A new study confirms that the spread of GM herbicide-tolerant crops in the US is indirectly killing the monarch butterfly by destroying its food plant - milkweeds. This past winter, the number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico fell to its lowest since 1993, when records first started being kept.
The toxicology section of the German report on glyphosate that will pave the way for the pesticide's re-approval in Europe was written by a consortium of chemical and GMO firms, writes Nancy Swanson. Swanson explains how toxicity problems found with glyphosate are explained away in the report. Swanson's more detailed analysis is here. And hereis an Institute of Science in Society article on the "Scandal of glyphosate re-assessment in Europe".
Pesticide regulators are refusing to release to the public the key industry studies on glyphosate that underpin regulatory authorisations and safety limits set for the herbicide.
A new farm study by Brazilian researchers shows that glyphosate herbicide applications increased infection with the pathogenic fungus that causes leaf blight and may decrease the yield of GM Roundup Ready soybeans. Also the percentage of normal seedlings decreased with increased applications of glyphosate.
A new study in rats found that Roundup altered testicular function after only 8 days of exposure at a concentration of 0.5%, similar to levels found in water after agricultural spraying.
A coalition of organizations has submitted over 500,000 comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it not to approve Dow’s registration for its new version of the pesticide 2,4-D. Dow’s "Enlist" package includes the Enlist Duo herbicide, composed of 2,4-D and glyphosate, that is intended to be used with Enlist 2,4-D and glyphosate-tolerant corn and soybeans.
Scientists and health and environment groups warn that 2,4-D resistant crops are a recipe for escalated herbicide-resistant weeds and toxic impacts on human health and the environment. Agronomist Chuck Benbrook has called for a move to multi-tactic weed management and an end to systems depending entirely on herbicides.
Herbicide-resistant superweeds are a real threat to US agriculture and the GMO industry "solution" of GM crops resistant to different herbicides like 2,4-D will only add to the problem, writes Neil D. Hamilton, director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University.
A public interest group has asked the US Environmental Protection (EPA) to deny an emergency request by Texas cotton growers to use a controversial pesticide on GM cotton to control glyphosate-resistant weeds.
Although an EU Commission decision on the cultivation of GM maize 1507 has been expected for several months, it has still not been published – and new information suggests that the biotech industry is pulling out of the cultivation of GM crops in the EU.
A joint scientific report by Germany's nature conservation agency BfN and the environment agencies of Switzerland and Austria highlights many problems with GM crops, including herbicide-resistant weeds, the rising amounts and toxic effects of herbicides used on the crops, proneness to Fusarium mould infection, biodiversity losses from herbicide use, and absence of yield benefit.
A European Union proposal is being sold to member states under the guise of offering them a choice of whether or not to plant GM crops - but it would in fact make it much easier and quicker for GM crops to get the go-ahead for cultivation in the EU.
A report by a committee of the Westminster government supports environment secretary Owen Paterson's plan to push ahead with growing GM crops in England, but fails to mention that the crops that would actually be grown are herbicide-tolerant crops, which have caused mayhem for farmers in the US and perform less well than non-GM varieties.
Coexistence of agroecology with GM and chemical agriculture will never work, since toxic agrochemicals and GM organisms spread, writes Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero in an exclusive article for GMWatch.
GMO proponents are pressuring Reuters to remove journalist Carey Gillam, who presents both sides of the GMO debate.
An investment fund is suing DuPont company directors for allegedly promoting herbicide-resistant crop traits even though they knew they didn’t work.
The highly publicized publication of Snell et al. has been widely touted as a definitive proof of the safety of GMOs, but some have strongly criticized the validity of the authors’ conclusions. Two scientific deconstructions of Snell et al. are available here.
A report by the Ministry of Health in Cordoba, Argentina shows that deaths from cancer are double the national average in areas where GM crops and agrochemicals are used.
The obsession with GM solutions for Africa can crowd out non-GM alternatives that are already proven successful, explains Prof Ian Scoones, Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.
Civil society groups in Malawi are strongly opposing the proposed release of Monsanto's GM cotton on scientific, legal, and socio-economic grounds.
The chronic toxicity study on the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and a commercialized GM maize, Monsanto’s NK603, led by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini, has been republished in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. The article was retracted by the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology in November 2013 for reasons that were widely derided by scientists. Some critics now claim the republished paper was not peer reviewed. It is clear that it was, according to accepted definitions of the term.
The republication of the Séralini paper on GM maize and Roundup highlights the need for reform in the safety evaluation of pesticides. Dr Pete Myers, chief executive of Environmental Health Sciences, points out that only "the tiniest fraction of agricultural chemicals" have been studied for health effects by independent scientists. He added, "Over the last two-decades there has been a revolution in environmental health sciences that suggests the proportion of diseases attributable to chemical exposures is far bigger and more significant than previously understood."
After publishing the raw data underlying the findings of his chronic toxicity study, Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini has called for transparency of the industry tests performed in support of regulatory authorisations of GMOs and pesticides.
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been hyping GMOs in a paid speech to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
In Hawaii, Big Island farmers and flower growers, along with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, have filed a lawsuit challenging Hawaii County’s ban on GMO cultivation. Biotech companies are also suing Kauai County over a bill passed last year that requires more disclosure about pesticide use and GMO farming.
In the US, Ben & Jerry's is changing all of its 50 flavours of ice cream to non-GMO ingredients.
China’s food quarantine agency AQSIQ has suspended issuing import permits of GM DDGS (Dried Distillers’ Grains with Solubles, mainly used as animal feed) from the USA.
The continued illegal sale of GM food in parts of China has prompted the Ministry of Agriculture to order officials to track down unauthorised testing facilities. Greenpeace said an independent laboratory’s test of 15 samples of rice bought from markets showed that four contained GM varieties.
In the wake of the field trial failure of GM beta-carotene-enriched golden rice, GMO proponents have gone quiet on that crop and are now focusing on a GM beta-carotene-enriched banana. Following the unethical precedent of GM golden rice, the GM banana appears to be going straight to human trials without prior toxicity testing on animals.
Lab-grown meat is never going to feed the world because it is simply an exercise in translating protein from one form to another, says the expert who created the first petri-dish meat.
Guidelines that forbid patents on a wide array of natural products, phenomena and principles have many in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries worried about the future of their business.
"Concerns about the impact of widespread glyphosate use are not limited to the agriculture community. Demand for soybeans not treated with glyphosate has steadily increased domestically and abroad as consumers become aware of challenges like herbicide resistant weeds and also more closely scrutinize the potential impacts of genetically modified organisms on human and natural systems. As the supply of non-GMO soybeans is relatively limited at this time, they demand a premium price as much as two dollars per bushel greater than their GMO counterparts. Most importantly, this premium can outweigh the additional production costs associated with non-GMO varieties, making them more profitable overall than GMOs." – Michigan State University Extension educator James DeDecker. Read more
"The controversial GMO banana, being grown in Australia, has arrived in the US for human feeding trials. Volunteers will be paid $900 to participate in this feeding trial. Americans have been involuntarily participating in GMO feeding trials without our knowledge or consent for almost 20 years. WHERE'S OUR MONEY????" – GMO Free USA. Read more
The second edition of GMO Myths and Truths, co-authored by genetic engineers Dr John Fagan and Dr Michael Antoniou and researcher Claire Robinson, has been released as a free online download.
"10 reasons we don't need GM foods", a new short report from the authors of "GMO Myths and Truths", has been published as a free download.
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