Category Archives: Genetic Engineering

Mexican judge bans Monsanto GMO soybean crops

2013 Monsanto protests in Mexico. Photo: cipamericas

2013 Monsanto protests in Mexico. Photo: cipamericas

A federal judge in Mexico overturned a permit that allowed Monsanto to plant GMO soy when evidence proved that the frankenplants endangered native honeybee colonies.

Victory is sweet!

In his article, “Monsanto in Mexico: Court rules against the Gene Giant in Yucatan,” Devon G. Pena explains the situation:

According to reports appearing in the Mexican print media, a federal district court judge in Yucatán yesterdayoverturned a permit issued to Monsantothe U.S.-based multinational corporation that is a leading purveyor of genetically modified crops (GMOs). The permit, which had been issued by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food on June 6, 2012, allowed the commercial planting of GM soy bean in YucatánThe ruling was based on consideration of scientific evidence demonstrating (to the judge’s satisfaction) that GMO soy crop plantings threaten Mexican honey production in the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. (Read More)

Across the globe, governments backed by corporate cash call for scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful, but when that proof is placed before them, they dodge reality and keep on pushing their agendas. Mexico revoking Monsanto’s permit shows other governments that it is not too late to turn away from Big Ag and back to the people.

 

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by | July 25, 2014 · 3:00 PM

GM agriculture does not deliver higher yields than organic processes

bananas-925216“Failure to Yield,” a study produced by the U.S. Union of Concerned Scientists, shows that the bio-fortification of bananas in Uganda and genetic engineering of bovines in the “1000 bull genome project” does not actually combat hunger, malnutrition or result in higher yields. A recent article in the Inter Press Services by Julio Godoy explains how these two projects fall short when compared to traditional, organic methods.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

GM Eucalyptus: Brazil considers authorizing GM Trees in contravention of COP9 Decision

The Campaign to STOP GE Trees (Coordinated by GJEP) is actively campaigning to prevent the commercialization of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees in Brazil.  A similar proposal is under consideration in the US.  Please sign our petition to the USDA demanding a ban on GE trees here: http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition/

–The GJEP Team

By Jay Burney, June 2014. Source: CBD Alliance

stopge

 

In Brazil, Futuragene, a UK-registered company wholly owned by Brazilian timber giant Suzano, has submitted a request to CTNBio to commercially release genetically modified eucalyptus trees in Brazil.

CTNBio is the governmental institution charged with authorizing commercial release of GMOs in Brazil. Hundreds of social and ecological justice organizations representing millions of people joined forest protection groups from around the world to reject the commercial release of GM trees due to their potentially serious negative effects on biodiversity and human rights, as well as the complete lack of independent assessments of their social, ecological and economic risks. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Genetic Engineering

Paper claiming GM link with tumours republished

Note: GMOs and their unintended consequences.  Why would we want to take this risk with our native forests by releasing the nightmare of genetically engineered “frankentrees”?  Sign our petition calling on the USDA to ban GE trees.

–GJEP Team

By Barbara Casassus, June 24, 2014. Source: Nature

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A controversial paper linking genetically modified maize to the development of tumours and other severe disease in rats, which was published in 2012 and retracted in 2013, has now been published again, by a different journal.

Four other journals offered to publish the paper, lead author Gilles-Eric Séralini says. He and his team chose the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, he says, because it is open access so would make the study’s findings available to the whole scientific community.

The paper that went online today1 was slightly amended from the original, notably in the way the data were analysed. Four of the authors, including Séralini, also wrote an accompanying commentary2 in which they say that they were the victims of censorship and that that their critics had “serious yet undisclosed conflicts of interests”. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Genetic Engineering

The next generation of GM crops has arrived—and so has the controversy

By Brandon Keim, June 26, 2014. Source: Wired

Photo by Fishhawk/Flickr

Photo by Fishhawk/Flickr

The first of a new generation of genetically modified crops is poised to win government approval in the United States, igniting a controversy that may continue for years, and foreshadowing the future of genetically modified crops.

The agribusiness industry says the plants—soy and corn engineered to tolerate two herbicides, rather than one—are a safe, necessary tool to help farmers fight so-called superweeds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture appear to agree.

However, many health and environmental groups say the crops represent yet another step on what they call a pesticide treadmill: an approach to farming that relies on ever-larger amounts of chemical use, threatening to create even more superweeds and flood America’s landscapes with potentially harmful compounds. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Genetic Engineering

‘Superweeds’ choke farms

By Donnelle Eller, June 23, 2014. Source: The Des Moines Register

Photo by Robert Hartzler/Iowa State University Department of Agronomy)

Photo by Robert Hartzler/Iowa State University Department of Agronomy)

 

Arkansas farmer Tommy Young says Southern growers have lived through nearly a decade of torment, fighting a destructive, fast-growing weed that can carry a million seeds, grow as tall as an NBA player and is unfazed by several herbicides.

Now that weed — Palmer amaranth — is in five Iowa counties on the state’s border, and agronomists are working to determine whether it is herbicide resistant.

It has the power to choke the state’s economy and environment — and increase prices for consumers.

Here’s how: Even a moderate infestation of Palmer amaranth can rob farmers of about two-thirds of their corn and soybean yields, experts say. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy

GMO companies are dousing Hawaiian island with toxic pesticides

By Paul Koberstein. Source: Grist.org

Photo from Grist.org

Photo from Grist.org

WAIMEA, HAWAII — The island of Kauai, Hawaii, has become Ground Zero in the intense domestic political battle over genetically modified crops. But the fight isn’t just about the merits or downsides of GMO technology. It’s also about regular old pesticides.

The four transnational corporations that are experimenting with genetically engineered crops on Kauai have transformed part of the island into one of most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture.

For the better part of two decades, BASF Plant Science, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, and Syngenta have been drenching their test crops near the small town of Waimea on the southwest coast of Kauai with some of the most dangerous synthetic pesticides in use in agriculture today, at an intensity that far surpasses the norm at most other American farms, an analysis of government pesticide databases shows.

Each of the seven highly toxic chemicals most commonly used on the test fields has been linked to a variety of serious health problems ranging from childhood cognitive disorders to cancer. And when applied together in a toxic cocktail, their joint action can make them even more dangerous to exposed people.

Last fall, the Kauai County Council enacted Ordinance 960, the first local law in the United States that specifically regulates the cultivation of existing GMO crops, despite an aggressive pushback from the industry, which contends that current federal regulations suffice. The law’s restrictions will go into effect in August. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Genetic Engineering

Ecover pioneers ‘synthetic biology’ in consumer products

By Jim Thomas, June 16, 2014. Source: The Ecologist

Photo by Lex McKee via Flickr

Photo by Lex McKee via Flickr

Green soap-maker Ecover is the first company to openly admit that that it’s using ingredients derived from synthetically modified organisms – the next wave of GMOs, writes Jim Thomas. So why are they risking their ‘natural’ brand for this experimental biotechnology?

How odd that Ecover thinks the green-minded eco-homemakers that buy its soaps will line up in support of synthetic biology.

Disappointment, surprise, disbelief.

I think I felt a bit of all of these when I discovered that ‘natural’ soap-maker Ecover had become the first company in the world to reveal its use of synthetic biology in the manufacture of consumer products.

The Belgian multinational revealed in April that it has decided to use an algal oil. What it didn’t explain was that the algae oil was produced by biotech company Solazyme using an experimental set of techniques called synthetic biology.

Like many green-minded folks of my generation, I had been using Ecover products as a trusted ‘natural’ brand for over 20 years. Using synthetic organisms to make oil just didn’t jibe with their ‘eco’ image.

Was this a lapse in judgement that Ecover would rapidly rectify once they realised their mistake? I decided to call up Dirk Develter, Ecover’s head of research, to point out the error. Continue reading

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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing