Friday, June 29, 2012

Monsanto payout?

Monsanto faces $7.5 billion payout to Brazilian farmers
by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
June 28, 2012

Monsanto, the largest seed corporation in the world, may have to pay as much as $7.5 billion to five million Brazilian soy farmers.

The company has long dealt out severe legal sanctions against farmers it suspects of “pirating” its seed. But now the farmers have turned the tables on Monsanto, by suing the company and winning.

[Read More…]

Thursday, June 28, 2012

G8 corporate power

The fifth horseman of the apocalypse: G8 corporate power
By Glenn Ashton
South African Civil Society Information Service
June 27, 2012

A dangerous international game is being played in the name of assisting Africa to feed itself. What is portrayed as charitable largesse has more in common with reinvigorating neo-colonialism than feeding Africans. This is in fact a misanthropic, multi-pronged raid by the G8 to control African commodities, land and seeds.

Africa presently occupies an interesting niche amongst the emerging, tripartite global realpolitik. First are longstanding, yet waning, relationships between Africa and its European colonial powers – Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Italy and most particularly France and England. Second is the expanding post Second World War relationship between Africa and the global superpower of the USA. Thirdly there is the increasingly important influence of the rapidly emerging BRICS alliance, with South Africa posing as regional superpower along with Brazil, India and China. These three blocs often have conflicting, and conflicted, roles in the development and exploitation of Africa.

Nowhere else is this more apparent than in the field of agriculture. African agriculture remains in the doldrums, beset by twin curses. On the one hand lies its huge vulnerability to climatic variability, which will be exacerbated by climate change. On the other are the market-disrupting impacts of food subsidies amongst the developed world. These combine to render the precarious business of farming in Africa even more treacherous than it needs to be.

[Read More…]

Syngenta criminal charges

Syngenta corporation faces criminal charges for covering up livestock deaths from GM corn
By Ethan A. Huff
June 27 2012

Biotechnology giant Syngenta has officially been outed for deliberately hiding data that proves the company’s genetically-modified (GM) Bt 176 corn is directly responsible for killing livestock. Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji writing for QW Magazine explains that Syngenta is now facing criminal charges for willfully concealing the results of an internal, company-run study on Bt 176 corn from 1996 that was abruptly ended when four cows died after just two days of consuming the “Frankencorn.”

Gottfried Gloeckner, a German farmer from Woelfersheim, originally filed the suit roughly a decade after dozens of his own dairy cows died from exposure to Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn. Gloeckner first began feeding his cattle Bt 176 corn as part of their diet back in 1997 when Syngenta gained government approval to run field trials of the crop on Gloeckner’s property. And by 2000, Bt 176 corn was the only thing Gloeckner was feeding his cows.

As this transition from natural feed to GM feed was taking place, however, Gloeckner noticed that his cows were increasingly developing serious illnesses, many of which resulted in the animals’ rapid death. By 2001, five of Gloeckner’s cows had died, and another seven died by 2002, upon which Gloeckner decided to remove all GMOs from his livestock feed. But most of Gloeckner’s remaining cows ended up suffering intestinal damage, decreased milk production, and other ailments that resulted in their having to be put down as well.

[Read More…]

Monday, June 25, 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…]

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bollworms adapt

Bt cotton toxic, bollworms seek new hosts
By Syed Akbar
Deccan Chronicle
June 23, 2012

The agricultural gains by Bt cotton farmers seems to be at the cost of other farmers. The bollworm, which the Bt cotton is resistant to, has now found new hosts in other varieties of plants, putting them at risk.

Bt cotton is poisonous for the cotton bollworm and it cannot survive on its leaves. So the insect, which belongs to the butterfly family, has migrated to non-Bt plants such as tomato, pigeon pea, chickpea, sorghum and maize.

The agricultural loss, which cotton growers suffered earlier, is now being experienced by farmers growing food crops. This has led to increase in the use of pesticides by non-Bt cotton farmers to reduce the additional loss.

There are no reports of reduction in the population of cotton bollworm and this indicates that it has adapted to non-Bt cotton crops to lay eggs and populate its species.

[Read More…]

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