Balance wanted: European media coverage of GMOs and pesticides often misses it

by Brandon Mitchener

In a year in which the Oxford English Dictionary has named “post-truth” the word of the year, it should surprise no one that the global news media are under increasing scrutiny for failing to hold politicians and others accountable for telling outright lies that leave a mark—sometimes a decisive mark—on public policies. Lies helped fuel the “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom, and lies and fake news played a starring role in the U.S. presidential election.

In the U.S., major news organisations including The New York Times and The Washington Post belatedly ramped up live online fact-checking services in the realisation that most voters couldn’t tell lies from facts. Google and Facebook have belatedly announced plans to ban fake news from their sites...

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Bringing important crop protection tools to farmers requires significant investment

Given the significant investment of time and money required to bring crop protection products to market, regulatory authorities must follow the standard procedures enshrined in EU law that protect investment and support innovation.

Every year, as much as 40% of the world’s potential harvests are lost to weeds, insects and plant diseases. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), these losses could double without pesticides and other crop protection practices.

When it comes to controlling invasive weeds, farmers – as well as governments, gardeners, and other users – have depended on glyphosate for 40 years as a safe, efficient and cost-effective tool. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup® and other popular weed killers.

Like all pestici...

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Climate Corporation Acquires VitalFields to Grow European Digital Agriculture

VitalFields Climate-CorpSAN FRANCISCO & TALLINN, Estonia — Today, The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company, announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company based in Tallinn, Estonia. The VitalFields team will join The Climate Corporation, strengthening the company’s efforts to deliver industry-leading digital technologies to farmers around the world.

Founded in 2011 and available in seven European countries, VitalFields offers an easy-to-use tool for farmers to plan, manage and analyze their field activities, including simplified tracking and reporting of all crop inputs to help ensure compliance with European Union environmental standards.

“At Climate, our vision is to deliver one centralised digital agriculture platform to provide farmers with the tools ...

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Will the EU’s precautionary principle disrupt precision farming?

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

On 26 October 2016 the European Commission announced, with much fanfare, its new space policy. It hopes it will keep the European space industry competitive for decades. The goal is to encourage private companies to use the data generated from EU-funded satellites in low-Earth orbit. This EU Space Strategy will impact every aspect of Europeans’ lives, from creating new jobs for start-ups and improving response times to natural disasters to coordinating self-driving cars. Thirty satellites are expected to be launched in the next 10 to 20 years.

Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, was quoted as saying that this space technology will also be essential ...

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Monsanto Ranked One Of The Best Places To Work in Top 25 Global List

Great Place To Work LogoFor a fifth consecutive year Great Place To Work® names Monsanto as one of the world’s best multinational companies to work for. 

(Oct. 26, 2016) – Today the organisation Great Place to Work® has ranked Monsanto Company on its 2016 list of the Top 25 ‘World’s Best Multinational Workplaces.’ This is based on feedback from employees around the world. Monsanto is the only agriculture company to appear on this year’s list, ranked at No. 23.

“We are honored that our commitment of hiring a diverse workforce and promoting an inclusive culture globally has and continues to be recognized,” said Steve Mizell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Monsanto...

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European Union: Please make up your mind on organic, for the sake of the environment

Derek 's quote on organic farming practicesBy Gary Frewin

Is the practice of organic farming supposed to be about eco-farming at its best or is it supposed to be all natural? It’s important to know because it cannot be both at the same time. Such is the confusion on this question today that everybody seems to have a different answer. Even the European Union (EU) has defined organic in radically different ways depending where you look, for example the Organic Legislation 2007 says this:

1) Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices […] and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.

The appeal to nature should be obvious to most of you...

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AN OPEN LETTER ABOUT THE MONSANTO TRIBUNAL

Image of a farmer on a farm. Monsanto's response to the Monsanto Tribunal.

For The Record: The mock tribunal distracts from real dialogue on the world’s food and agriculture needs and the full realization of human rights.

To people interested in food, the environment and biodiversity, human rights, and Monsanto,

In growing our food, farmers face some tough challenges as the world’s population continues to grow. We work daily to provide farmers with a broad range of solutions so they can have better harvests while making land, water and other natural resources go further, and make a more balanced plate of food more accessible for everyone.

To address these ever increasing challenges collaboratively and advance our commitment to human rights, we welcome a genuine constructive conversation with diverse ideas and perspectives about food and farming...

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Independent experts find glyphosate unlikely to pose human carcinogenic risk

A one litre bottle of Roundup weedkiller.

A one litre bottle of Roundup® weedkiller.

At Monsanto, we’re fully confident in the safety profile of our products. Our confidence is based on rigorous internal safety assessments in addition to safety assessments by regulatory authorities, independent researchers and other experts around the world. On 28 September a new peer-reviewed study reviewing the total scientific evidence of the herbicide glyphosate concluded that it is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.

In July 2015, Monsanto retained a scientific consultant to convene an expert panel to review the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monograph on glyphosate once it published...

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Bayer and Monsanto to Create a Global Leader in Agriculture

(Republished from the Monsanto corporate website: http://news.monsanto.com/Bayer-Monsanto-acquisition)

  • Realizes a shared vision of integrated agricultural offerings, delivering enhanced solutions for growers and creates a leading innovation engine for the next generation of farming
  • USD 128 per share in all-cash transaction, represents 44 percent premium to Monsanto shareholders and an aggregate value of USD 66 billion
  • Significant value creation with expected annual synergies of approximately USD 1.5 billion after year three; plus additional synergies from integrated solutions in future years
  • Bayer shareholders expected to benefit from accretion to core EPS in the first full year after closing and double-digit percentage accretion in the third full year
  • Committed to retaining strong pres...
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Swiss Parliament Rejects Glyphosate Ban

Invasive hogweed

At least decisions are still made on the basis of sound science in some places.

While some European Union governments, led by France and Italy, have proposed new restrictions on the sale and use of glyphosate by farmers, municipalities and others who need to control weeds, the Swiss Parliament has just outright rejected a petition to ban glyphosate.

In a decision recently published on its website, the Swiss Parliament’s Committee on Science, Education and Culture rejected the petition, arguing that “According to current evidence there are no scientific reasons to justify a ban on the use of glyphosate in general, or in agriculture in particular.”

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicides, including Monsanto’s Roundup® brand weed killer.

For ...

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