Gm Food

Potato power peddlers promote organic farming

Posted by jamie — 21 May 2009 at 3:35pm - Comments

Mr Potato Head makes an appearance in Amsterdam

It sounds like something that would have appeared on the late, lamented Eurotrash but giant potatoes have been spotted recently cycling through the Netherlands. However, it isn't an offbeat continental cultural outing, but a reminder to the Dutch public about the importance of organic farming and the perils of GM technology.

March 2009 - the Month in pictures

Posted by jossc — 3 April 2009 at 11:03am - Comments

Greenpeace China projects a climate change message in Beijing

Greenpeace China projects a climate change message onto Yong Ding Gate: Beijing, March 23 2009

The latest monthly slideshow of Greenpeace activities around the world has just been published, and it's been a busy time. Lots of action around climate change, as you'd expect, with big events in the US and Brazil, and a symbolic projection onto the Yong Ding gate in Beijing, China. 

Science minister gets the hots for GM food

Posted by jamie — 23 September 2008 at 11:21am - Comments

Government wonks have once again been druming up support for GM food, the latest tub-thumping courtesy of science minister Ian Pearson. He's been saying that if engineered crops can be demonstrated to alleviate hunger around the world, then the great British public will be only too happy to see them being cultivated in our green and pleasant land as well.

EU fudges GM potato vote

Posted by jamie — 19 February 2008 at 1:00pm - Comments

Yesterday, EU farm ministers voted on whether to approve the use of new GM crops including a variety of potato developed by chemical giant BASF. According to Reuters, they failed to reach a consensus which is good in the sense that the proposed crops weren't approved, but bad because the decision will now be passed back to the European Commission. The EC is heavily pro-GM so it's likely that all five crops under consideration will be approved with a nod and a wink.

France bans Monsanto's GM maize

Posted by jamie — 15 January 2008 at 4:28pm - Comments

Sacre bleu. At the end of last week, French president Nicolas Sarkozy took a stand against biotech giant Monsanto and banned a strain of GM maize which has previously been grown by French farmers.

Their MON 810 variety - according to AFP, the only type of GM maize currently being grown in France - has been withdrawn after a committee of scientists, farmers and politicians raised doubts over its continued use. Advocating the precautionary principle, Sarkozy invoked an EU clause to stop Monsanto's maize being grown.

GM crops can help prevent climate change? Shurely shome mishtake

Posted by jamie — 8 January 2008 at 11:25am - Comments

Those pesky biotech companies never give up. After recently spinning the line that GM crops can be used to safeguard food production from the ravages of climate change, their latest wheeze is to try and convince us that GM technology can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Counting the cost of GM contamination

Posted by jamie — 9 November 2007 at 3:13pm - Comments

Indian farmers campaigning against GM rice

Indian farmers campaigning against GM rice near Lucknow earlier this week © Greenpeace

A couple of GM stories have popped up recently over on our international site, one of which requires your help.

France ups the stakes with a green "revolution"

Posted by bex — 30 October 2007 at 11:49am - Comments

A tad belated but I just couldn't let this one pass. Last week, these words emerged from France's environmental policymaking forum:

"From now on, every major public project, every public decision will be judged on its effect on climate, and on its carbon cost. Each public decision will be judged on how it affects bio-diversity. The onus won't be on ecological decisions to prove their merit, but on non-ecological projects to prove they can't be done any other way. Non-ecological decisions must be taken as a last resort. It's a total revolution in the way we govern our country."

Ten years in China

Posted by jamie — 2 July 2007 at 4:37pm - Comments

With Blair's recent departure, recollections of 1997 in the media have been dominated by two things: his ascension to power and the Spice Girls. On the other side of the world in China, that same year was important for a couple of other reasons. Most famously, the lease ran out on a small but strategic piece of land called Hong Kong and the British Empire lost one of its last outposts as ownership return to the People's Republic of China.

But on that same piece of land, about the same time Chris Patten was bidding a teary farewell, something else significant happened (at least, we like to think it was) - Greenpeace China opened its doors. The importance of this particular office to the organisation can't be underestimated and, as this video shows, many of our campaigns can't help but take China's astonishing economic and social development into account. And with China now possibly the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the next ten years are going to be even busier over there.

Consumers say, 'We don't want GM food'; EU says, 'What, not even in organic food?'

Posted by jamie — 14 June 2007 at 1:12pm - Comments

Organic vegetablesA bizarre decision has been made by the EU to increase the maximum limit of GM material allowed in organic food, and effectively legitimise widespread GM contamination.

You might be alarmed to think that any GM ingredients end up in organic food, and you're right to be so. The previous maximum limit of 0.1 per cent was set simply because that was the lowest level that food could accurately be tested for GM contamination.

The new limit is 0.9 per cent, the same that applies to non-organic food, and while this might not sound like much, it does now mean that organic food can be polluted with much greater quantities of GM material before it has to be labelled with a warning. If organic food is tested and found to contain 0.8% GM contamination, it will be labeled as ‘GM free'.

This makes absolutely no sense. The success of organic foods has come about precisely because we trust them not to contain toxic chemicals and GM produce. As our campaigner Ben Ayliffe pointed out in the Independent, the shelves are groaning with organic food because it's what shoppers want, while GM food is conspicuous by its absence for the opposite reason.

For the EU to say it supports organic farming while increasing the level of contamination it can contain smacks of double standards. Do we see the lobbying fingerprints of the monolithic biotech companies all over this? I'll leave you to make up your own mind.

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