In today's edition:
- Vietnam to grow genetically modified crops: reports
- GM crops found to affect reproduction in mice: Austrian study
- GM crops 'to be grown in secret'
Vietnam to grow genetically modified crops: reports
HANOI (AFP) – communist country said on Thursday.plans to test genetically modified (GM) agricultural crops from now until 2010 and then grow them on a large scale, media reports in the
Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat announced the plan in a National Assembly session this week, said the state-run Vietnam News Agency.
Under the government plan, Vietnam would from 2011 plant GM species of maize, cotton and soybean, said the news site Vietnamnet quoting experts attending a recent biotechnology workshop.
Theplans to grow a GM maize variety from the Philippines on a trial basis, the report said.
GM technology has been highly controversial, praised by some for increasing yields and improving varieties, and condemned by others for creating "frankenfoods" that pose dangers to the environment and people's health.
Environmental group Greenpeace has called for a worldwide recall of GM foods, with a spokesman saying this week that distributing them was "like playing Russian roulette with consumers and public health." source
My comment: Are they crazy?! Growing GMos in their beautiful country. I think it's much better to profit from sex-tourism, than to prostitute for a biotechnological company. Because that's what they are doing in case you didn't notice. And just today, I wrote against a ridiculous article in NewScientist that authorities in India decided that Indian farmers didn't suicide because of the sucking GM crops, they did it because of the bad government politics. Ridiculous.
GM crops found to affect reproduction in mice: Austrian study
VIENNA (AFP) – Genetically-modified maize can affect reproduction in mice, an Austrian study has found, although its authors have dismissed warnings by environmental groups that it could also harm humans.
The long-term study, which was commissioned by the Austrian health ministry, found that female mice that had been given a diet consisting of 33 percent genetically-modified (GM) maize had fewer babies and fewer litters than those fed on non-GM food after a few generations.
But the authors of the study were keen to point out that these were only initial findings and that further tests were needed to confirm the effect of GM foods on other animals and on humans.
"Confirmation of these preliminary results is urgently needed through further studies," the study's author, Juergen Zentek, added.
Environmental groups like Global 2000 and Greenpeace were quick to seize on the study to call for a ban on all GM crops.
"Considering the severity of the potential threat to human health and reproduction, Greenpeace is demanding a recall of all GE (genetically-engineered) food and crops from the market, worldwide," the group said in a statement.
EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has requested a copy of the study and will then pass it on to the sourcefor expertise, her spokeswoman said.
My comment: It's no wonder that the research origin in Austria, the only EU country that could withstand the push to allow GM foods on her territory. I'm majorly pleased by this result and I sincerely hope that people won't ruin it out of fear from biotech companies (not only Monsanto, mind you, Bayer is also on the train) . I mean, probably we're too negatice and we're too happy on every such result. Well, we really are. I am. But the reason is that I strongly believe that those foods require much more extensive studying before being allowed on market, nothing else. I believe in the technology, just not in its current application. In any case, that research will come so handy to EFSA and so annoying to France and Mr. Sarkozy who utterly wishes to comfort USA on the GMo scene. Oh well.
GM crops 'to be grown in secret'
Genetically-modified crops could be grown by the Government in secret locations in an attempt to prevent trials being attacked by saboteurs, it has been reported. Trials could also be conducted away from the public in the Government's Porton Down military research site in Salisbury, Wiltshire, it is claimed.
There are currently no GM food trials underway in the country and the more than 50 that have been conducted since 2000 have been affected by vandalism. Opponents of GM benefit from current rules, which dictate that all trials must be disclosed on a Government website.
However, a review of security arrangements for trials has been ordered by Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary and Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary.
The Independent reported that ministers are preparing to scrap the disclosure rule.
Mr Benn said: "We need to see if GM foods have a contribution to make, and we won't know the answer about their environmental impact unless we run controlled experiments. It's important to go with the science."
Lord Mandelson acted to loosen rules on GM licensing in his previous job as EU Trade Commisioner, and it is thought he favours a relaxation of the conditions in Britain.
While the Government has signalled that GM crops hold the potential to prevent future food crises, Gordon Brown has trodden carefully around the issue due to fierce opposition from large sections of the public.
Leeds University, where a trial batch of 400 GM potato plants was destroyed by vandals in June, is planning to make a final attempt to complete the trial, and is asking the Government to fund security fences and CCTV cameras on its farm. source
My comment: Yep. That's the sad truth, governments simply adore GM, universities also do. I wonder why people are so eagerly opposing them. Oh, wait, because they are harmful to both humans and environment. Ok, I can't but be mad on that article, especially on last paragraph that I deleted because it made me furious. It's simply not true that the world cannot feed itself without GM crops. It's not truth! Those crops are not giving that different yield than normal one to be called panacea for starvation. To be correct, this is an outright lie. The key moment with biotech crops are that they are under patent laws and every research center can profit wildly from them. That's why universities are backing so dearly the GMs. But one thing is sure-the experiments must be completed, the world really need to know what GMs are. But not by a 1 year experiment-by a 10 years experiment. Sometimes I think of USA as such, but since it's not a controlled environment, it's hard to know which activities of biotechnological companies damage the population the most-GMs, drugs, health care...