News

2018-03-13 |

India slashes Monsanto's GMO seed royalty, says US firm 'free to leave' anytime

India has cut royalties that local seed companies pay to US agrochemical giant Monsanto for the second time in two years. The producer of genetically modified seeds has previously threatened to pull out of the country.

According to a government order released on Tuesday, the country’s farm ministry has decided to reduce royalties paid by Indian seed companies to Monsanto for its genetically modified (GM) cotton by 20.4 percent.

Two years ago, the company’s royalties were cut by more than 70 percent. The move triggered a long-running dispute between the Indian and US governments.

2018-03-12 |

Kan. farmers to benefit from $1.5B settlement on GMO corn seed

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Swiss agribusiness giant has agreed to a $1.5 billion settlement in a lawsuit over genetically modified corn seed variety.

Officials for Syngenta and attorneys for thousands of farmers, ethanol plants and other grain handlers announced the settlement Monday of a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuits were filed after Syngenta introduced its Viptera seed strain to the U.S. market before it was approved by China for imports. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Syngenta’s decision cost U.S. corn producers and handlers access to the Chinese corn market for years.

2018-03-09 |

Illegal GM Soybean: Farmers’ body demands CBI probe into GEAC inaction  

The biosafety regulatory body denies receiving any complain about illegal cultivation of GM Soybean in some parts of Gujarat

After inaction over four months on complaint of growing illegal genetically modified (GM) soybean in Gujarat, farmer organisation, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) demands CBI probe against biosafety regulatory body Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) along with a case of treason against officials. It also demanded ban on Glyphosate—herbicide sprayed on GM crops. BKS claims that it is carcinogenic.

Meanwhile, GEAC has denied receiving any complaint by farmers or civil society body. “We have not received any complain regarding growing and testing report of HT (Herbicide Tolerant) soya in Gujarat,” says Sujata Arora, adviser on biosafety to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to Down To Earth.

The GM crops are not considered safe to grow because of gene manipulation. The inaction of GEAC, which is responsible for regulating introduction or growth of GM crops in country, shows how this regulatory body is in shambles.

2018-03-09 |

EPA wants public comments on GM bugs

If you have something to say about the possible release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys or elsewhere, now’s the time to do it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday opened the month-long public comment period on the possible release of GM mosquitoes by British biotech company Oxitec, which submitted an application with the EPA in December. The EPA now has until July to make a decision on whether it will issue an experimental-use permit for a trial in the Keys.

Oxitec wants to release its male mosquitoes that are reared with a self-limiting gene. So when the males, which don’t bite, are released into the wild to mate with wild females, the gene is passed on and the offspring never survive to adulthood, according to product development manager Dr. Derric Nimmo.

2018-03-08 |

GMO corn, grains not approved in China

China has not approved commercial production of genetically modified corn or any other GMO grain, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

Currently only GMO cotton and papaya are allowed to grow on a commercial scale in China, Pan Xianzheng, ministry spokesman, said at a news conference on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions. Agricultural authorities in China have been strictly adhering to laws and regulations over evaluations and management of genetically modified products to ensure their safety, he said.

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