Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hundreds back resolution

Hundreds back council crop resolution
By Matthew Hoekstra
Richmond Review
May 28, 2012

Supporters of a council resolution banning genetically modified crops packed city hall Monday calling the practise of growing such foods “immoral” and “dangerous.”

“The motivation of the companies that create this is profit, which is fine except that it’s not for the benefit of the community,” said Sandra Bourque, a former school trustee, one of dozens of speakers at the council meeting.

Opponents to the crops turned out by the bushel after getting wind that CropLife Canada was set to delegate to city council before its final vote.

That vote, which took place about three hours after the meeting started, was unanimous.

[Read More…]

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mexican farmers block law

Mexican farmers block new law to privatize plants
By Alfredo Acedo
Americas Program
May 19, 2012

Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents. When the corporations pushed their bill to modify the Federal Law on Plant Varieties through the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on March 14, organizations of farmers from across the country sounded the alarm. By organizing quickly, they joined together to pressure legislators and achieved an agreement with the legislative committee to remove the bill from the floor.

What’s at stake is free and open access to plant biodiversity in agriculture. The proposed modifications promote a privatizing model that uses patents and “Plant Breeders’s Rights” (PBR) to deprive farmers of the labor of centuries in developing seed. The small farmers who worked to create this foundation of modern agriculture never charged royalties for its use.

Although the current law, in effect since 1996, pays little heed to the rights of small farmers, the new law would be far worse. Present law tends to benefit private-sector plant breeders, allowing monopolies to obtain exclusive profits from the sale of seeds and other plant material for up to 15 years, or 18 in the case of perennial ornamental, forest, or orchard plants–even when the plants they used to develop the new varieties are in the public domain.

[Read More…]

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Destroy GMO-tainted papaya!

Destroy GMO-tainted papaya crops, researcher says
By Pongphon Sarnsamak
The Nation
May 18, 2012

Academics yesterday called on the Agriculture Department to destroy farms growing Hawaiian papaya in Kanchanaburi province after a recent study found that these crops might be contaminated with genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The move came after a study conducted by Piyasak Chaumpluk from Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Botany revealed on Wednesday that 29 samples of Hawaiian papaya tested in Kanchanaburi province were tainted.

”Tests show that papaya grown in 50-rai in Kanchanaburi province have GMO,” Piyasak said. ”The department should destroy these farms in order to prevent the contamination from spreading.”

Piyasak said he had all the information ready, but did not want to make any of it public as it would affect the farmers. He also called on the department to compensate farmers whose farms would be destroyed, adding the authorities should not blame the farmers for this.

”I don’t think they knew that the papaya seeds were tainted with GMO,” he said.

[Read More…]

Monday, May 14, 2012

Field trials stopped

Supreme court stops field trials of genetically modified eggplant
By Virgil Lopez
Sun Star
May 13, 2012

MANILA — Cultivation of genetically modified eggplants–perceived to be dangerous for human consumption–will be put on hold after the Supreme Court issued a writ of kalikasan in favor of petitioners led by environment group Greenpeace.

Details of the writ issued last Friday however were kept private by Greenpeace while the High Court has yet to post the resolution on its website.

“As per advice of our lawyer, we cannot share the copy with the media. Basically, the writ is for respondents to justify the field trials. I cannot go into the details for now,” Daniel Ocampo, sustainable agriculture campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said in a text message to Sun.Star.

[Read More…]

Jackson County ban

Group hopes county will ban plants with genetic alterations
By Ryan Pfeil
Mail Tribune
May 13, 2012

A group of local farmers and food activists hope to convince the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to ban the planting of genetically engineered plants within Jackson County.

But commissioners said the feasibility of such an ordinance has yet to be determined.

Brian Comnes, representative for GMO-Free Jackson County, presented a proposal to the commissioners Wednesday, requesting the board pass an ordinance without a citizen initiative.

Commissioners said the issue is already on their radar and they are looking into it.

“We’re in the process of getting all of the facts,” said Commissioner C.W. Smith. “We want to get as much information as possible.”

[Read More…]

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