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…]

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…]

India: Labeling mandatory

Centre makes labelling of GM foods mandatory
By Gargi Parsai
The Hindu
June 21, 2012

Now, consumers can make ‘informed choice’ on buying packaged food products

Consumers in India can now make “informed choice” on whether they want to buy packaged food products that are genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, in an extraordinary gazette notification, has made an amendment to make labelling of every package containing genetically modified food mandatory from January 1, 2013.

The move will impact the imported GM foods that are flooding the markets.

The notification published on June 5, 2012 says: “Every package containing the genetically modified food shall bear at the top of its principal display panel the words ‘GM.’”

[Read More…]

Monday, June 18, 2012

GM label soon [India]

GM label on packaged food soon
by Jayashree Nandi
The Times of India
June 18, 2012

NEW DELHI - Soon Indian consumers will have the opportunity to know whether the packaged food that they are buying contains genetically modified organisms. But will that help? In India, where a majority of food is unprocessed and non-packaged, labeling on packaged food may hardly cover the huge populations’ right to choose.

A gazette notification issued by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution early this month says that every food package containing genetically modified food shall bear at the top of its principal display panel, the words ‘GM.’

So now consumers in India are a little more empowered and can decide whether they would like to consume genetically modified foods. Greenpeace India, an environmental NGO, welcomed this step by the government but said that it would hardly make an impact. “While labeling does give the consumer a chance to avoid genetically modified food in the market, what our government seems to forget is that it is impractical here as more than 90% of our food is unprocessed and non-packaged and forms a chunk of the unorganized sector,” said sustainable agriculture campaigner, Greenpeace, Shivani Shah.

The gazette notification also lacks clarity on the threshold for the presence of GM ingredients. It mentions no mechanisms on how this will this be monitored, and whether this is applicable to both primary and processed foods.

[Read More…]

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