Friday, July 20, 2012
GM animals coming soon to Europe despite public distaste
By Mute Schimpf
Public Service Europe
July 20, 2012
There is one thing genetically modified foods always bring to the table - controversy. And there is one thing European Union authorities and biotech companies seem intent on ignoring: the fact that nobody wants GM crops or animals on their plates. Last month, European food authorities took steps to open our markets to genetically modified animals, by publishing guidelines for their introduction. The guidelines, commissioned by the European Commission on behalf of the European Food Safety Authority give biotech companies the capability to seek permission to develop GM animals like salmon, pig, sheep and chicken.
This move by the commission comes even though there is no appetite among consumers for GM milk or meat, and no appetite from food processors or retailers to sell them - and for good reason. Nowhere in the world is any GM animal authorised for food production. Even in the United States, where there is less resistance to GM than in Europe, the planned introduction of the first GM animal - a salmon - caused widespread concern. Environmental, human health and economic problems have been identified with GM salmon.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Ocean-farmed fish, brought to you by Monsanto and Cargill
Food & Water Watch
July 07, 2012
Soy Industry Stands to Gain Hundreds of Millions Annually from Open Ocean Aquaculture
Washington, D.C. and Brussels - If proponents of soy in aquaculture have it their way, soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters, a move that would negatively impact the marine environment as well as the diets of both fish and consumers.
Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe’s new report, ”Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea,” shows how a collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea —the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively—could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health. And since much of the soy produced in the United States is genetically engineered (GE), consuming farmed fish would likely mean eating fish that are fed GE soy.
”Our seas are not Roundup ready,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. ”Soy is being promoted as a better alternative to feed made from wild fish, but this model will not help the environment, and it will transfer massive industrial farming models into our oceans and further exacerbate the havoc wreaked by the soy industry on land—including massive amounts of dangerous herbicide use and massive deforestation.”
Monday, May 28, 2012
Conservation bodies alarm at US Senate failure over genetically engineered salmon
May 28, 2012
In a move that has alarmed a number of conservation bodies, the US senate failed at the end of last week to approve an amendment that could have stopped genetically engineered salmon from being available for human consumption in the United States.
In response to the proposed amendment Matt Tinning, Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, said: “Today, forty six Senators stood with our nation’s fishermen and seafood lovers and opposed the precipitous approval of Frankenfish.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Death knell may sound for ‘Enviropigs’
April 03, 2012
Group pulls funding, genetically modified animals may be euthanized
Pigs that might have become the world’s first genetically modified animals approved for human consumption may instead face an untimely end, as key backers of Canada’s “Enviropig” project withdrew their support for the controversial engineered animal.
Scientists at the University of Guelph, 90 km west of Toronto, bred the first GMO pig that was developed to address an environmental problem in 1999. The animal - known as Enviropig - digests its feed more efficiently than naturally bred pigs, resulting in waste that may cause less environmental damage to lakes and rivers.
The project has produced eight generations of Enviropigs, including the current herd of 16 animals. But they may be the last of their kind, after Ontario Pork - an association of hog farmers in the eastern Canadian province - yanked their funding last month.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Chimera monkeys born in US
January 05, 2012
The world’s first chimeric monkeys have been created in the US, with researchers fusing cells from up to six different embryos
Until now, rodents have been the primary creatures used to make chimeras, a lab animal produced by combining two or more fertilised eggs or early embryos together.
Scientists have long been able to create “knockout” mice with certain genes deleted in order to study a host of ailments and remedies, including obesity, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Attempts to do the same with more complicated primates have failed in the past, but scientists in the western US state of Oregon succeeded by altering the method used to make mice.