Thursday, March 31, 2011
We won’t sell clone meat say supermarkets after minister sabotages ‘Frankenfoods’ label plans
By Sean Poulter
March 31, 2011
Supermarkets have pledged to keep meat and milk from clone farm animals and their offspring off their shelves.
The move came after it emerged that the British Government and the European Commission have sabotaged efforts to regulate and label the controversial ‘Frankenfoods’.
The Daily Mail revealed yesterday how EU negotiations designed to draw up a policing regime for clone farming and food had collapsed.
The result is that meat and milk from the offspring of clones could go on to the shelves without any labels in a matter of months.
The Government, led by Caroline Spelman – the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – was in the vanguard of efforts to kill off any attempts at regulation.
Ministers claim that food from clones and their offspring is the same as that from other farm animals and therefore requires no special regulation or labelling.
However, this is completely at odds with public opinion in Britain and Europe, where consumers want to decide for themselves whether to eat this food.
Many also object on ethical and animal welfare grounds.
Yesterday the UK’s major supermarkets said that – regardless of the view of Mrs Spelman and the Government – they will not stock food from clones or their offspring.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
A proposal would require labels for genetically modified food
By Gregory B. Hladky
New Haven Advocate
March 30, 2011
The revolving door between agri-conglomerates like Monsanto and the federal government has been spinning for decades.
Letting Connecticut consumers know if the food they’re buying has been genetically modified seems like an innocent enough idea. After all, U.S. government experts say it’s safe, the agri-industrial giants say it’s safe, and so do the food manufacturing conglomerates.
So why do you suppose everyone is expecting an all-out legislative Blitzkrieg to be waged against a little proposal in Connecticut’s General Assembly to require labeling of genetically modified foods?
“Anytime you step on somebody’s toes, you’re going to stir up a hornet’s nest,” explains state Rep. Richard Roy, the Milford Democrat who attached the labeling proposal to a bill that came out of the legislature’s Environment Committee last week.
The toes in this case belong to some of the biggest, baddest agricultural and food industry players in the world. And the reason they don’t want products labeled as “genetically modified” is they know more and more consumers are worried about their food and how it’s produced.
US farmers sue Monsanto over GMO patents, demand right to conventional crops
By Catherine Saez
Intellectual Property Watch
March 30, 2011
The Public Patent Foundation filed suit yesterday against Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds with farmers asking to be protected against the biotechnology giant’s potential lawsuits in case of accidental contamination from plants grown with its seeds.
On behalf of 22 agricultural organisations, 12 seed businesses and 26 farms and farmers, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) is suing the biotech company in the federal district court in Manhattan and assigned to Judge Naomi Buchwald.
The organic plaintiffs had to pre-emptively protect themselves from potential patent infringement in case of accidental contamination of their crops by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), said PUBPAT.
“This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto’s transgenic seed should land on their property,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s executive director and a law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. PUBPAT is a non-profit legal services organisation based at Cardozo law school. Its stated mission is “to protect freedom in the patent system.”
“It seems quite perverse that an organic farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement, but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement, so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients,” he said in a press release.
According to the lawsuit, “coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seeds.”
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Organic farmers sue, seek protection from Monsanto
By Carey Gillam
March 29, 2011
- Plaintiffs seek protection from Monsanto’s patent claims
- Group says contamination a given as more GMOs approved
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers filed suit against global seed giant Monsanto Co. on Tuesday, in a move to protect themselves from what they see as a growing threat in the company’s arsenal of genetically modified crops.
The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed the suit on behalf of more than 50 organizations challenging the agricultural giant’s patents on its genetically modified seeds. The group is seeking a ruling that would prohibit Monsanto from suing the farmers or dealers if their organic seed becomes contaminated with Monsanto’s patented biotech seed germplasm.
Monsanto is known for its zealous defense of its patents on a range of genetically altered crops. Its patented ‘Roundup Ready’ soybeans, corn and cotton are favorites of U.S. farmers because of their ability to withstand herbicide treatments.
But Monsanto has filed scores of lawsuits and won judgments against farmers they claimed made use of their seed without paying required royalties.
Many farmers have claimed that their fields were inadvertently contaminated without their knowledge, and the issue has been a topic of concern for not only farmers, but also companies that clean and handle seed.
EU talks over cloned meat collapse
By Alistair Driver
March 29, 2011 |
The EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers had one final chance to reach agreement on updating the Novel Foods Regulation yesterday night (Monday, March 28). The talks failed at around 7am this morning, leaving the status quo in place, where food from cloned animals is subject to a pre-market authorisation.
Parliament wanted a ban on food from cloned animals and their descendents and highlighted negative attitudes towards the technology highlighted in a recent Eurobarometer survey.
MEPs said they were prepared to seek a compromise but said, as a bare minimum there should be a commitment to label all food products from cloned offspring.
The Council and the European Commission agreed that there should be a ban on cloning and that food from these animals should be banned. But they did not want a ban on food derived from the offspring of cloned animals, arguing that such a ban would be impossible to implement.