Tag Archives: GM Corn

Banned GM maize sown in Germany

April: This is my biggest pet peeve of the GMO seed industry: any idiot or black market can get their hands on this stuff. It’s that easy. This leads to a world full of GMO plants, insects and God knows what – where. This is why it is so incredibly important that we speak out – we have the potential to lose this planet or save it.  Ever wondered why there are no GMO seeds in the Norway Seed Vault?

If there are no law suits from Big Biotechs, then is it reasonable to assume that they played a role in the distribution? I hope the farmers sue over this one…

A genetically modified (GM) variety of maize banned in the EU has been sown accidentally across Germany.

The NK603 variety has been planted in seven states. The seed supplier, US firm Pioneer Hi-Bred, called the level of contamination “minute”.

It is not clear how the mistake occurred, but it could cost farmers millions of euros, as crops will now have to be destroyed.

The EU is currently reviewing its tight rules on the cultivation of GM crops.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, based in Buxtehude near Hamburg, says NK603 has been planted on “just under 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres)” of land. The environmental group Greenpeace put the area as high as 3,000 hectares.

Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony are among the states where it has been sown.

Information delayed

Supporters of GM crops argue that they deliver higher yields and resistance to pests, requiring less fertiliser and pesticides.

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Global GM Crop Slowdown

Feb 26, 2010,  Josette Dunn

The annual GM industry-funded survey of global GM crops, by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Applications (ISAAA), shows 7 of the 25 GM countries grew less genetically manipulated (GM) crops in 2009. No more countries adopted GM and just 2.7% of global agricultural land was used for GM soy, corn, canola and cotton.

Canola

This slowdown in GM crops appears to be largely due to the widespread public concern about the safety of consuming GM foods.  “Most GM product goes into animal feed, biofuels or cotton products, as shoppers avoid eating GM foods” says Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.

“GM is not a global industry. Just six countries dominate GM cropping, with the USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada and China growing 95% of all GM crops. Though 20 other countries, including Australia, grow some GM they are just dabbling.

“The Cartagena Biosafety Protocol will be completed this year, giving countries more grounds for saying ‘no’ to GM crops. 156 countries are now members of the treaty but Australia is not among them.”

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  The Biosafety Protocol aims to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.

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Journal article says suppressed study found GM corn killed ladybugs

A recent article in Nature Biotechnology on how biotechnology companies restrict independent research described a study showing that a genetically modified corn killed ladybugs and that the study was suppressed by the corn’s developer.

In 2001, Pioneer Hi-Bred developed a GM corn variety that contained two Bt toxins, Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1, to kill corn rootworms.

The company asked university laboratories to test for unintended consequences on ladybugs. Scientists fed the corn to ladybugs and found that nearly 100% died after the eighth day in the life cycle.

Pioneer forbade the scientists from publicizing the data. A scientist with the group who wants to remain anonymous said “The company came back and said ‘you are under no circumstances able to publicize this data in any way.’”

Pioneer submitted data to the EPA showing no harm to ladybugs and received government approval to commercialize the corn in 2003.

A Pioneer scientist says the commercialized variety contains a different genetic construct than the corn that killed the ladybugs.

The EPA was told about the independently produced data, but did nothing, according to the anonymous scientist. The same scientist also says Pioneer’s data is flawed.
(Source: Nature Biotechnology)