2018-03-17 |

Kenya’s top GMO labs filthy and pose serious health risks

Three top laboratories handling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Kenya are highly contaminated with disease-causing germs. A study published early this month (March 7) found the three laboratories highly contaminated with bacteria and harmful fungus.

The study also reports laboratory workers are not observing basic safety measures, hence putting themselves and others in danger. In October, the Biosafety Appeals Board also made similar claims against the same labs, saying workers had become too lax in observing safety measures.

Escaping into environment This, laboratory experts say, raises doubt whether GMO materials held in these facilities are secured well enough to prevent them from escaping into the environment. The new study was led by Dennis Nyachae of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Kenyatta University (KU).

2018-03-16 |

GMO directive : the origins of the mutagenesis exemption

In his opinion on the « Mutagenesis » case [1], the Court of justice Advocate general considered there is no link between the mutagenesis exemption and the recital which states that the directive should not apply to organisms obtained through certain techniques of genetic modification which have conventionally been used in a number of applications and have a long safety record. However, the study of the preparatory work shows the mutagenesis exemption appeared at the same time as the recital in question...

The European Union GMO legislation does not apply to all organisms obtained through genetic modification. Since the first European GMO directive, genetically modified organisms obtained through mutagenesis are exempted, under certain conditions, from the obligations laid down in the directive. As a consequence, these GMOs can, under certain conditions, be cultivated without having been subject to an environmental risk assessment and they can be marketed without traceability or labelling.

2018-03-15 |

Objection to Application by Dow for general release of GM maize: MON89034 X TC1507 x NK603 with the intention for cultivation in the entire region of South Africa

The ACB has played an essential watch-dog role on new GMO permits in South Africa for a decade now, adding substantially to the discourse about the scientific assessment of GMOs as well as about issues of socioeconomic impacts and democratic decisionmaking, through lodging substantive comments on at least 30 permit applications.

We are objecting to the general release of MON 89034 x TC1507 x NK603, due to concerns surrounding lack of safety to human and environmental health of this GM maize variety and its associated pesticides, glyphosate and glufosinate. This latest variety will serve to further increase exposure by the peoples of South Africa to yet more chemical pesticides, consolidate the corporate control of South Africa’s already corporatized food systems and entrench inequities and food insecurity.

Under these circumstances, we urge the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to decline approval.

2018-03-14 |

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Keep Declining

The annual count of Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico shows declines from last year’s numbers—a 15 percent decrease –according to figures from an official Mexican government count in the winter of 2017. These numbers underscore how at risk the iconic animal is, with a possible collapse of migration if populations are critically low.

Monarch butterflies (also known as Eastern Monarchs) embark on an impressive migration every year. Roughly 99 percent of all North American monarchs migrate each winter to oyamel fir forests on 12 mountaintops in central Mexico. Scientists estimate the population size by measuring the area of trees turned orange by the clustering butterflies. But for the second year in a row, its numbers are declining — 2.48 hectares of occupied winter habitat is down from 2.91 hectares last winter. Apart from partial rebounds in the winters of 2001 and 2003, numbers have gone down steadily since 1996. Overall monarchs have declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades.

2018-03-14 |

Japan: 2018 GMO-Free Zone Movement Report

Report from the 2018 GMO-Free Zone Movement Event Held in Nagoya, Japan

The 13th annual event to celebrate the Japanese GMO-Free Zone movement was held in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, on March 3, 2018. During the past year, many groups participated in the preparation of the event, including members of the Seikatsu Club co-operative movement, local citizens and farmers groups in and around Nagoya, as well as the No! GMO Campaign.

Some 300 people joined this year’s event. We welcomed five participants from South Korea’s National Korean Anti-GMO Movement and two participants from Taiwan’s Anti-GMO School Lunch Movement. Starting From Seed to Otowa Rice, the research council that promotes the Otowa variety of rice, the Aichi Network to Promote Sustainable Organic Agriculture, and the nation-wide grass-root movement to test wild-growing GM canola reported about their respective activities in Japan. Also, the latest figures from Japan’s growing GMO-Free Zone movement were announced.

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