News

2019-04-08 |

Gene Drive Symposium Which path do we want to take as a society?

Gene Drive Symposium Gene Drive Symposium

Fri, 24 May 2019
09:15 – 18:15 CEST

Eventforum Bern
12 Fabrikstrasse
3012 Bern
Switzerland

Gene drive technology raises fundamental ecological, social, ethical and legal questions which will be discussed on the symposium.
Gene Drives have the potential to circumvent the rules of inheritance in order to quickly and fundamentally alter wild populations or species or to exterminate them altogether. An idea that has long existed, may soon become reality with the help of new genetic enigineering techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9.

It has been claimed that gene drive technology may be used to combat infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue or zika, as well as to reduce the threat posed by agricultural pests and ecologically harmful invasive species.

However, a crucial difference with conventional gene technology is that gene drives intentionally target wild populations in order to permanently alter them. Gene drives are a technology that raises fundamental ecological, social, ethical and legal questions:

Are the promised goals achievable?
What environmental implications could we face if we were to eliminate populations or species using gene drives?
Are there dispensable species?
Who gets to decide?
What are the consequences of making such attempts if they are unsuccessful?
Are the appropriate regulations in place?
Which path do we want to take as a society?

A working group of international scientists, philosophers and legal experts has extensively considered these questions. The outcome of this process will be presented for discussion at the Gene Drive Symposium.

Get more information about the symposium on our website.
https://genedrives.ch/

With

Ignacio Chapela, Lim Li Ching, Kevin M. Esvelt, Thomas Potthast, Christopher J. Preston, Klaus Peter Rippe, Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ricarda Steinbrecher, Helen Wallace and Fern Wickson

2019-04-07 |

Roundup causes kidney toxicity but glyphosate does not

Another study shows that glyphosate-based herbicide formulations, such as Roundup, are far more toxic than the isolated "active ingredient" glyphosate

An important study in rats compared the toxicity to the kidneys of the herbicide formulation Roundup with that of its active ingredient glyphosate. The study found that Roundup caused kidney toxicity, whereas glyphosate alone did not.

The study is one of several showing that the complete glyphosate herbicide formulations, which contain additives called adjuvants, are more toxic than glyphosate alone.

The problem is that regulatory approvals of glyphosate-based herbicides are based on long-term toxicity studies that are carried out with the active ingredient glyphosate alone and not with the formulations.

2019-04-05 |

French rapeseed farmers destroyed 18,000 hectares over GMO risk: Bayer

PARIS (Reuters) - French farmers destroyed a total of 18,000 hectares of rapeseed, more than double the area initially expected, following the discovery of a non-authorized genetically modified organism (GMO) in seeds, German group Bayer said.
(.....)
A spokeswoman for Bayer, which had previously estimated around 8,000 hectares of rapeseed would be lost in France, said on Friday the area had reached 18,000 hectares after further precautionary removals of crops, for example when there were doubts over the traceability of seeds.

The latest figures in Germany showed the area of rapeseed destroyed there was 2,150 hectares, slightly lower than initial expectations of 2,500-3,000 hectares, Bayer said on Monday.

2019-03-31 |

Gov’t urged to be ‘coherent on GMO policy’

Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) has called on the government to be coherent on its policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO).

FSG, a food safety campaigner, has also urged the government to be vigilant against deceptive media messages on alleged benefits of GMO introduction into Ghana’s food chain.
(.....)
The Daily Graphic newspaper last week reported the minister Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie as describing GMOs as a controversial subject which a section of Ghanaian society was seriously against.

He told a meeting of 19 African country directors of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Accra that “indeed, we don’t need it,” because Ghana is sufficient in terms of improved seeds.

2019-03-31 |

Where is Glyphosate Banned?

Updated March 2019

A number of cities, counties, states and countries throughout the world have taken steps to either restrict or ban glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

The following countries have issued outright bans on glyphosate, imposed restrictions or have issued statements of intention to ban or restrict glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, over health concerns and the ongoing Roundup cancer litigation.

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