Seed companies urge court to block pesticide, GMO disclosure law

A local Hawaiian law that aims to restrict pesticide use and require disclosure of which genetically modified crops are grown in Kauai County is illegal and should be struck down, four biotech seed companies say in a brief filed with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Food Chemical News reports.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

Warning new law might not let countries ban GMOs

Friends of the Earth Europe is warning that the future Commission proposal to revamp the EU authorisation procedure for genetically modified food and feed might not allow Member States to introduce national bans as intended.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Policy, Environment

Proposals to change EU GM food approvals system by end April

The Commission will publish its much-awaited review of the EU’s current approval system for genetically modified organisms by the end of next month, European Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis promised this week.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards, Approval & Certification

Testbiotech complains to Ombudsman over GM feeding study

Campaign group and research body Testbiotech has filed a complaint to the EU Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, asking her to investigate maladministration at the Commission over its handling of a controversial rat feeding study on genetically modified organisms.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

The EU Council’s decision to allow individual member states to ban the cultivation of EU-approved GM crops on their own territories won’t change much, US seed company Monsanto has said. In a blog prior to last Monday’s vote, the company said it expected some non-governmental organisations to paint this as a “victory” for Monsanto and other companies that sell GM seeds in Europe and other parts of the world. “Some will even say that we will begin selling GM seeds in EU countries where they haven’t previously been planted as soon as next year. This is rubbish,” the company states.

The EU Council formally adopted new rules on March 2 allowing individual Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their territory, a move criticised by industry but welcomed by environmentalists.

The Norwegian climate and environment ministry has not actively banned two types of genetically modified maize approved in the EU, but there are limitations in place. The maize types currently cannot be grown in Norway or sold as food.

Biotech industry association EuropaBio has hit out at the future directive that would allow Member States to ban cultivation of EU approved genetically modified organisms following the European Parliament’s 13 January vote in favour.

The European Parliament’s plenary on 13 January voted to approve a law that will allow individual Member States to ban cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified organisms on their territories.

On January 13, the European Parliament is due to debate then vote on the directive that would allow Member States to ban cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories even when the crop is authorised at EU level.

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee has approved the 3 December agreement on a future directive allowing Member States to ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories, even if authorised at EU level.

EU Member States have given the go ahead to a deal that the Italian Presidency struck with European Parliament and Commission representatives last week, allowing them to ban cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories.

Critics of mandatory labels for genetically modified foods found a sympathetic audience at a House hearing on Wednesday, as both Republicans and Democrats on the panel voiced scepticism of the need for the federal government to require such labels.

Spain’s Antama Foundation, a Madrid-based non-profit organization that promotes development of new technologies applied to agriculture, has warned against at any new European regulations that would allow bans on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for ideological or political reasons, instead of relying exclusively on scientific evidence.