2018-03-14 |

Saint Lucia strengthens capacity for GMO regulation


The Department of Sustainable Development recently hosted a two-day training workshop on the development of Food and Feed Safety Assessments for GMOs currently in trade in Saint Lucia.

The activity is one of many being held to strengthen Saint Lucia’s capacity to regulate GMOs and safeguard human health and the environment from any adverse impacts resulting from GMO use.

Jannel Gabriel, Environmental Officer within the Department of Sustainable Development, said biosafety is one of the department’s main concerns.

“Saint Lucia is a party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. We signed that protocol in 2005, and since then we have been developing a framework for biosafety in Saint Lucia. The framework will regulate the processes through which genetically modified organisms enter the country, or regulate those that are produced in the country or that are being exported out of the country. So the entire framework seeks to ensure that if a GMO is being used, that it is being done in a way that it is safe to human health and to the environment.”

Ms Gabriel explained that the workshop worked towards examining GMOs already on the global market.

2018-03-14 |

Nationwide GMO corn class action lawsuit settled for $1.51 billion

Settlement against Syngenta believed to be largest agricultural litigation settlement in U.S. history.

A $1.51 billion settlement has been reached in the nationwide class action lawsuit filed in Kansas federal court over Syngenta's genetically modified Viptera corn seed. It is believed to be the largest agricultural litigation settlement in U.S. history.

The settlement was first announced in September, but the details weren’t made public until the March 12 filing.

A motion for preliminary approval has been filed. The settlement must be approved by the Honorable John W. Lungstrum, a United States District Judge for the District of Kansas.

If preliminarily approved, the settlement terms and claims process information will be set forth in notices mailed to class members and published in various media outlets across the country, as well as in a settlement website.

2018-03-14 |

EC forced to reopen 2015 decision on allowing GMO soy imports

The EU Commission has been forced to revisit a 2015 decision to allow the import of genetically-modified soybeans after a court rules it breached a technicality on deciding that the modified oilseed had no impact on human or animal health or on the environment.

The European Court of Justice said Wednesday the EU executive must review whether the EU’s food and safety body should have consulted with non-governmental organisations when declaring GMO oilseeds fit for consumption in 2015.

An executive director for the complainant company – Berlin-based anti-GMO lobby group TestBiotech – told Agricensus that the internal review on the environmental impact of GMO beans would now be reopened.

“We are using the law to increase the level of protection but importing these [genetically modified] soybeans will be a political decision in the end,” Christoph Then said.

“The current risk assessment is not in accordance with the law and there are gaps in it,” he added.

In November 2015, the EC rejected an application by TestBiotech to review a decision by its food safety body to allow genetically modified soybeans in the EU market because the body did not consult with civil society - as required under the Aarhus Regulation.

2018-03-13 |

Syngenta GMO Corn Seed Lawsuits: $1.51B Deal Agreed

This is a settlement for the Syngenta GMO Corn Seed Lawsuits lawsuit.

Santa Cruz, CA: A $1.51 billion settlement has been agreed between Syngenta AG and a nationwide class of plaintiffs who allege the chemical company should have delayed the release of its genetically modified corn seed until Chinese authorities, who represent a major corn market for US farmers, approved importing the GMO corn.

The settlement deal for multidistrict litigation (MDL) covers all cases brought by corn growers, grain facilities and ethanol plants across the US, who bought insect-resistant GMO corn seeds from Syngenta during the class period. Only four plaintiffs have not opted in.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the deal is believed to be “the largest agricultural litigation settlement in US history.” The firm also noted that even farmers who may have opted out of previous Syngenta lawsuits are eligible for the settlement, and said funds could be distributed as soon as the first half of 2019.

2018-03-13 |

South Korea: Civic groups demonstrate to demand labeling of GMO products

A diverse group of 57 civic organizations, including the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice and the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, demonstrated in the fountains in front of the Blue House on Mar. 12 to demand explicit labeling of genetically modified organism (GMO) products.

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