Saturday, July 7, 2012

Richmond passes ban

Richmond resists pitch from biotech group, passes ban on GE crops
The Vancouver Sun
July 07, 2012

Richmond council stuck to its guns, ratifying its ban on genetically modified plants and crops.

Biotech lobby group CropLife Canada sent a representative to speak to council before the vote. Several hundred people turned out for the meeting, many of them carrying signs opposing genetically modified organisms — popularly known as GMOs or GE crops — and calling for labelling of foods with GE ingredients.

CropLife spokeswoman Janice Tranberg told council that biotech crops and foods are carefully regulated in Canada and are tested by scientists around the world.

“I don’t feel that they consulted all the experts that they could have to get a balanced point of view,” she said after the meeting.

In addition to banning GE plants and crops from Richmond, council’s motion calls on senior levels of government to require such foods to be labelled to support informed consumer choice. Richmond will also include fact-based information about GMOs in its own communications with the public.

[Read More…]

Friday, July 6, 2012

Appeal against Monsanto

Organic farmers file appeal against Monsanto
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA
July 6 2012

Farmers and organizations file brief Appellate Court today

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms filed a brief today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s decision from February dismissing their protective legal action against agricultural giant Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed.

The plaintiffs brought the pre-emptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 in the Southern District of New York and specifically seek to defend themselves from nearly two dozen of Monsanto’s most aggressively asserted patents on GMO seed. They were forced to act pre-emptively to protect themselves from Monsanto’s abusive lawsuits, fearing that if GMO seed contaminates their property despite their efforts to prevent such contamination, Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement.

“It’s time to end Monsanto’s scorched earth legal campaign of threats and intimidation against America’s farmers. Family farmers should be protected by the courts against the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots community of more than 300,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming food and agriculture, that is co-plaintiff in the suit.

[Read More…]

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gift to Monsanto

Congress’ big gift to Monsanto
By Tom Philpott
Mother Jones
July 2, 2012

Big Ag’s big bucks get results on GMO labeling

If you want your crops to bear fruit, you have to feed the soil. Few industries understand that old farming truism better than ag-biotech—the few companies that dominate the market for genetically modified seeds and other novel farming technologies. And they realize that the same wisdom applies to getting what you want in Washington, DC.

According to this 2010 analysis [1] from Food & Water Watch, the ag-biotech industry spent $547.5 million between 1999 and 2009. It employed more than 100 lobbying firms in 2010 alone, FWW reports, in addition to their own in-house lobbying teams.

The gusher continues. The most famous ag-biotech firm of all, Monsanto, spent $1.4 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2012, after shelling out $6.3 million total last year, “more than any other agribusiness firm except the tobacco company Altria,” reports [2] the money-in-politics tracker OpenSecrets.org. Industry trade groups like the Biotechnology Industry Organization [3]and Croplife America [4]have weighed in with $1.8 million and $524,000, respectively.

What fruits have been borne by such generous fertilizing of the legislative terrain? It’s impossible to tie the fate of any bit of legislation directly to an industry’s lobbying power, but here are two unambiguous legislative victories won on the Hill this month by Monsanto and its peers.

[Read More…]

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monsanto in Pakistan

US wants to control Pakistan agriculture
Pakistan Observer
June 24, 2012

Islamabad—Chairman Agriforum Pakistan Ibrahim Mughal has claimed that the US agrichemical Company Monsanto has planning to get its control over Pakistan’s agriculture for setting up its monopoly.

While talking to media on Friday Ibrahim Mughal said that for the free economy it was necessary that Monsanto should not be allowed in Pakistan.

[Read More…]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amendment rejected

Senate rejects Sanders’ food labeling amendment
For immediate release
Sen. Bernie Sanders office
June 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, June 21 – The Senate today rejected an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to let states require clear labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients.

The vote on the amendment to the farm bill was 26 to 73.

“This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate. It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country. While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”

[Read More…]

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