News

2018-07-06 |

Slovakia turns back on ag biotechnology

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Farmers in Slovakia have changed direction on their approach to planting genetically engineered (GE) crops over the past decade, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In 2006, Slovak farmers planted 30 hectares of GE crops, a figure that grew to a record high 1,930 hectares in 2008. Now, there are no GE crops under development in the country.

“Demand for GE products, specifically including meat and dairy produced from animals fed GE-feed, has dwindled under the influence of antibiotech non-governmental organizations (NGOs), retailers, and neighboring countries (Austria, Hungary, and Germany),” the USDA said. “Where the Slovak government was previously supportive of biotechnology, they have since changed their stance, again likely in response to local messages originating from antibiotech NGOs and activist groups.”

2018-07-05 |

The Natural Connection to Cotton-Seed Selection

The apparel and textile industries are under a lot of pressure these days.

Consumers are becoming more vocal about sustainability, where products are sourced and how they are made. Shoppers are more sensitive about the use of genetically modified organisms used in cotton production and often bristle at any mention of GMOs.

On top of this, insects and dry weather in California and Texas have inhibited cotton-crop production in these regions.

But a solution to some of these problems is being developed by Indigo Ag, a Boston-based company that has identified a natural, non-GMO approach to using microbes to ease the burden of problems associated with dependence on cotton-crop yields.

2018-07-04 |

China to launch inspection of GMO labels on cooking oils

China will launch a month-long inspection of labelling on cooking oils on Dec. 21, said a notice posted on Wednesday on the website of the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Inspectors will check production records against labels, punishing producers if the labelling is not accurate or fraudulent, it added.

The notice comes after local media reports about companies in southeastern Fujian province falsely labelling GMO soy oil as a non-GMO product.

2018-07-04 |

Gene Drive: Leading African Biodiversity Advocate Denied Canadian Visa Days Before UN Forum

As international debate on gene drive technology heats up, Canadian immigration officials deny a key voice

MONTREAL, July 4, 2018 - United Nations biodiversity negotiations are underway in Montreal, but a key African expert is missing from the fray. Ali Tapsoba, President of the organization Terre à Vie in Burkina Faso, was planning to speak at two events on behalf of Burkinabé civil society who oppose the release of gene drive mosquitoes, a controversial new biotechnology, in their communities.

His visa application was denied without explanation by the Canadian embassy in Dakar on Friday.

“Tapsoba is probably the preeminent voice in Burkina Faso against the Target Malaria Consortium, which is leading the project towards release of Gene Drive mosquitoes in the wild,” said Mariann Bassey of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

“I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from attending these important negotiations addressing issues of biotechnology at a time when Africa is plagued by multinationals that want to impose GMOs and destroy the beautiful biodiversity of the continent,” said Tapsoba in a written statement. “Don’t Africans have the right to meet other nationalities from around the world in Canada to discuss the future of humanity?”

2018-07-04 |

Leading African Biodiversity Advocate Denied Canadian Visa Days Before UN Forum

As international debate on gene drive technology heats up, Canadian immigration officials deny a key voice

MONTREAL, July 4, 2018 - United Nations biodiversity negotiations are underway in Montreal, but a key African expert is missing from the fray. Ali Tapsoba, President of the organization Terre à Vie in Burkina Faso, was planning to speak at two events on behalf of Burkinabé civil society who oppose the release of gene drive mosquitoes, a controversial new biotechnology, in their communities.

His visa application was denied without explanation by the Canadian embassy in Dakar on Friday.

“Tapsoba is probably the preeminent voice in Burkina Faso against the Target Malaria Consortium, which is leading the project towards release of Gene Drive mosquitoes in the wild,” said Mariann Bassey of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

“I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from attending these important negotiations addressing issues of biotechnology at a time when Africa is plagued by multinationals that want to impose GMOs and destroy the beautiful biodiversity of the continent,” said Tapsoba in a written statement. “Don’t Africans have the right to meet other nationalities from around the world in Canada to discuss the future of humanity?”

Canada’s denial of Tapsoba’s visa comes at a moment when biotech industry backers are spending millions of dollars to promote gene drives, a powerful technology that could be used to render species extinct, or create new kinds of corporate control of agriculture and the environment.

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