Genetically Modified

Ambroise Pierre shows a reporter how strong and tall his corn, grown from his own seed, stands. Credit: Courtesy of Haiti Grassroots Watch

HAITI: Seeding Reconstruction or Destruction?

Last year, tens of thousands of tonnes of tools, seeds and plant cuttings were distributed to almost 400,000 Haitian farming families, perhaps one-third to one-half of the country's farming population.

Save Climate and Double Food Production With Eco-Farming

Eco-farming could double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change, according to a new U.N. report released Tuesday in Geneva.

INDIA: Stemming Experiments in Stem Cells

Hundreds of patients are now streaming into stem cell therapy clinics all over India, despite the controversy surrounding stem cell research and even though, doctors say, no one has yet been cured by this technology.

EUROPE: GM Debate Gets a Polish Twist

In the summer presidential campaign, fake posters of two leading candidates showed up on the streets of Polish cities. "United we stand, divided we fall", the slogan of now president Bronislaw Komorowski, became "United we stand, modified we fall". Equally bombastic "Poland is most important" by opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski turned into "Poland without GMO is most important".

A Shoprite store in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: one among the many that the retail chain owns in some 15 African countries outside South Africa. Credit: Ignatius Banda/IPS

ECONOMY-ZIMBABWE: Consumers May be Happy But Workers Aren’t

South African retail giant Pick-‘n-Pay increased its stake from 25 to 49 percent in TM Supermarkets – Zimbabwe’s largest grocer – in October in a deal worth about 13 million dollars. But, while the champagne corks pop in the boardroom, employees are not upbeat.

U.S. Regulators Omit Wider Implications of GM Salmon

U.S. regulators are poised to decide as early as next week whether to approve a genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

New Staple Crop Varieties Take Aim at Malnutrition

When the Green Revolution took root in the 1960s and 1970s, plant biologists' main concern was increasing the yield of the staple crops on which people in poor countries depended. This, it stood to reason, would increase the amount of food available to the world's poor – and decrease hunger.

INDIA: Many Scientific Reports Plagiarsed

Embarrassing retractions of scientific papers and a thinly-disguised report favouring introduction of genetically modified crops by the country's top science academies have revived calls for more stringent action against plagiarism and unethical practices.

Fernando Funes-Monzote wants transparency for transgenics in Cuba.  Credit: Patricia Grogg/IPS

Q&A: Cuba’s GM Maize Debate Opens Up

The cultivation in several Cuban provinces of genetically modified maize, obtained by the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, endangers biodiversity and contradicts the government's own agricultural production plan, warns Cuban agro-ecologist Fernando Funes-Monzote.

Claims about a certain flood-resistant type of rice being genetically modified have been refuted. Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

AFRICA: Outrage Over Claim that Anti-GM Campaign “Causes Hunger”

Civil society organisations have reacted with outrage to claims that the international campaign against genetically modified (GM) crops is partly responsible for food shortages and food insecurity in Africa.

Despite opposition to genetic engineering, a transgenic banana could be what Africa needs. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

AFRICA: Modified Banana Could Cure Deadly Disease

An innovation by researchers in Nigeria could be a cure for the devastating Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) - responsible for annual losses in excess of 500 million dollars of crop across East and Central Africa. But it has also fuelled debate on the genetic engineering of crops in Africa.

Greenpeace protests in Munich against the patent on broccoli. Credit: Falk Heller/argum/Greenpeace

When Agrochemical Corporations Invented Nature

A civil society protest against a British agrochemical company that claims it has invented a particular sort of broccoli has again focused attention on the question who owns natural biodiversity, especially vegetables, seeds, and many forms of meat and animal food products.

EUROPE: ‘No’ to GM Could Conceal a ‘Yes’

Genetically modified (GM) foods will be introduced more quickly in Europe as a result of a new proposal, some Brussels officials fear.

TRADE: UNCTAD “Forgets” Real Risks Faced by African Farmers

The latest UNCTAD report on science and technology repeats previous calls for a "green revolution" in African agriculture but contains no mention of the real and present dangers that the international trade and financial framework presents to African farmers.

Advantage GM in Europe

Leading biotechnology companies have been granted privileged access to the European Union's policy makers as part of their efforts to speed up the approval of new genetically modified (GM) crops.

GM Crops Go to US High Court, Environmental Laws on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in its first-ever case involving genetically modified crops. The decision in this case may have a significant impact on both the future of genetically modified foods and government oversight of that and other environmental issues.

Agnes Mbuvi from Ebukanga village near Lake Victoria is one of Kenya's growing number of farmers using green "push-pull" technology.  Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

EAST AFRICA: Green Agriculture Growing in Leaps and Bounds

Organic agriculture using natural farming methods rather than fertilisers and pesticides has made significant gains in African countries – not just among farmers but among consumers too.

HEALTH: Potato Drags GM Food Into Europe

Genetically modified (GM) foods appear to be back on the European Union's political menu - thanks to a potato.

BULGARIA: Govt Forced Down on Genetically Modifed Crops

Campaigning by environmental groups and the general public has weakened the determination of the Bulgarian government to allow the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in this country.

BIODIVERSITY: India Bans Farming of GM Aubergine

After India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced Tuesday a ban on the cultivation of Bt brinjal, the country’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop, food security experts and activists said this major farming country has been saved from a biodiversity disaster.

DEVELOPMENT: India Holds Public Meetings on GM Food Crop

As India's central government begins a series of public meetings across the country this month on the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) brinjal – or eggplant - in this country, activists and farmers’ groups are mobilising to oppose such a plan.

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