Saturday, July 7, 2012
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.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Expert warns of illegal GM papaya on EU market
June 29, 2012
The food and fruit industries to be vigilant against a banned variety of genetically modified papaya coming into the EU from Thailand, say experts.
The warning comes after a ‘wave’ of genetically modified (GM) papaya was rejected by European Union Border Controls in June.
Richard Werran, Managing Director of Cert ID Europe, noted that Thailand is an important global producer of papaya – with a significant percentage exported primarily to Europe.
“Although genetically modified crops are not permitted in Thailand, there is support for GM technology and it would appear that GM seeds for an EU banned variety of papaya have been illegally distributed to farmers across Thailand,” he suggests.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Canada receives request for approval for GE non-browning apple
By Tom Karst
May 16, 2012
Still facing market skepticism, Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is seeking Canadian approval for the genetically engineered ”Arctic’ non-browning apple.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking comments on a request for unconfined environmental release for commercial planting purposes in Canada.
The CFIA said it received the request for apple events GD743 and GS784, which have been genetically engineered to be non-browning.
In 2010, Okanagan Specialty Fruits submitted a risk assessment petition for non-browning apples to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
That represented the first petition for that the agency had ever received for a genetically engineered apple, and the request is still pending before the agency.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Company is already growing other medicinal plants in mine
By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press
April 22, 2012
WHITE PINE — In a brightly lit chamber 250 feet below the earth’s surface, where hard-rock miners once blasted for copper, no marijuana is growing, but two other types of plants are.
SubTerra is using genetically modified forms of a legume called tarwi and a tuber called oca to produce an enzyme needed to fight Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, commonly known as bubble boy disease.
If successful, physicians say the research could mark significant advances in treatment for a disease that affects about one in every 100,000 births.
Children born with SCID have immune systems so compromised that some must live behind plastic to protect them from germs.
The disease takes several forms. The second most common type results from a genetic defect that results in too little of a germ-fighting enzyme called adenosine deaminase, or ADA.
The tightly controlled chamber in the former White Pine Mine — where the tarwi and oca grow — is lit by 64 specially designed 1,000-watt bulbs and serviced by an automated system for delivering water and nutrients. The two types of plants have been modified to produce the human form of ADA.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
BT brinjal row: National Biodiversity Authority decides to prosecute Monsanto
By Savita Verma
April 17, 2012
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), the country’s biodiversity-preservation watchdog, has finally woken up to its job.
It has decided to prosecute multinational seed company Monsanto for allegedly using Indian brinjal varieties for commercial purposes without permission.
The decision was taken in a vote at a meeting on February 28, 2012. The majority of the members voted in favour of initiating action against Monsanto for violating India’s biodiversity law.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, too, is in favour of prosecuting the seed giant.
The vote was essential as some board members of the NBA were against holding Monsanto to task, sources said.
The decision is bound to send a clear cut message that any attempt to fiddle with the country’s biological wealth will not go unpunished.