cultivation tagged posts

EU opt-outs on GM crops contradict history of safe use

By Brandon Mitchener

Under the European Union’s newly updated law on the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) seeds within the Union, individual EU member states have the option to “opt out” of the scope of the authorisation for the cultivation of individual GM “events” (traits) on their national territory, or even just part of it. Since Monsanto and other companies who sell GM seeds globally or intend to sell them are responsible for securing authorisation for the sale of those seeds, we were given the opportunity to object to these requests.

As of the expiration of the start of November, when the deadline for our response to those requests ran out, Monsanto has not opposed any of the requests received...

Read More

Monsanto sponsors an Italian maize maze (EN/IT)

By Rachel Moore

This July, a maize maze has opened in Jesolo, Italy, a popular tourist town near Venice.

Monsanto Italy is a sponsor of the attraction and provided the seed used to grow the 3.7 hectares of maize.

With only one entrance and exit, the maze is actually a labyrinth, making it fun for people of all ages. It’s located near Piazza Nember, which has many parking options and access to public transit and other tourist activities. To recognise the efforts of Jesolo on this project, the pattern of the maze resembles a logo customised specially for the city.

The entrance features an information section complete with signs that show and explain sustainable maize irrigation and cultivation methods...

Read More

Dawn of a new era for GM crop cultivation in Europe? We wish it were so (EN/FR)

On March 2, the European media once again will be full of highly contradictory spins on the expected decision by European Union governments to let each country in the Union decide for itself whether to allow or ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops within its national territory.

Based on previous experience, some non-governmental organisations will 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.

Monsanto’s seed business in Europe is—and has been for years—more than 99% non-GM maize, oilseed rape and vegetable seeds, and we do not expect that to cha...

Read More

Calls for innovation grow louder in the UK

Big_ben_closeupWhilst the European Parliament last week voted to endorse a proposal that would allow European governments to restrict or prohibit cultivation of safe genetically modified (GM) crops, calls to allow GM crops to be cultivated in the UK–conversely–have been gaining momentum.

Earlier this month, two senior UK politicians publicly discussed their views on the benefits of GMO cultivation. At the UK’s annual Oxford Farming Conference, The Right Hon. Liz Truss, MP, the UK’s Environment Secretary, and Lord Krebs, the UK government’s advisor on climate change adaptation, both spoke out to support the scientific facts on why growing GM crops is actually a good thing–for farmers, the climate and a growing population. That is quite the list of reasons to support cultivation…

In her speech to ...

Read More

Triomphe de la démocratie or triumph of public relations spin?

Triumph of democracy – or triumph of PR spin?

Earlier this month, Pervenche Berès, a French Socialist member of the European Parliament, issued a press release with a headline that would be funny if it weren’t so sadly misguided: “La démocratie contre Monsanto” or “Democracy against Monsanto.”

The ostensible motive for this attention-seeking headline was a vote in the Parliament’s Environment Committee amending a proposal by the European Commission to change the rules regarding approvals for the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe...

Read More

Vandana Shiva, The New Yorker, and cold hard facts: Debunking the myths behind GMO “debate”

Genetically modified cotton grown from Monsanto seeds.

For years, media coverage of genetically modified foods (GMOs) has been dominated by simplistic coverage that media watchdogs would fondly describe as “he said, she said” stories, or stories that quoted one person making a sensationalist claim of some sort (e.g. “The earth is flat”), and another person responding to it, and just leaving it at that. It’s no wonder that such journalism has left the world little wiser in in its understanding of GM seeds and foods.

The latest edition the ‘‘New Yorker’ magazine finally breaks the mould, with one of the most well researched and carefully analysed pieces of investigative journalism in years...

Read More

EFSA slams France — again — for banning MON810 — again

In a continent where populist, antediluvian views about genetically modified (GM) seeds and foods seem to dominate headlines, it is always reassuring that at least the serious scientists agree on their safety.

Last week, the European Food Safety Authority, which is normally independent of political interference (despite the best attempts of certain member states, including France, to meddle with its opinions), declared that France’s latest ban on Monsanto’s MON810 maize was yet another populist, protectionist reflex. Mind you, EFSA can never say that directly. Its opinions are always very carefully worded, such as the latest finding that “based on the documentation submitted by France, there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environmen...

Read More

Talking Nonsense at Sum of Us

MONS09_1729By Mark Buckingham, Monsanto Public Affairs

Agriculture is a practical business.

Farmers plant seeds in the soil and with skill, knowledge and the right tools, plus a favourable climate, bring in a harvest. That harvest yield is measured and tells the farmer if it has been a good season. There is no hiding the result or pretending crops performed differently to how they actually did.

Farming’s tradition of practicality and facts can make it hard to deal with the free-wheeling world of spin and politics that sometimes surrounds public discussion of GM crops.   The latest example of such spin comes from the online campaign machine “Sum of Us”.

Sum of Us launched a petition calling for people to oppose Monsanto’s Roundup Ready maize, which the group claims could be growing in Europe ...

Read More

The day the EU buried science: EU environment ministers put populism before facts

European Union Environment Ministers today endorsed a proposal to let EU governments restrict or prohibit cultivation of individual genetically modified crops at national or regional level for non-scientific policy reasons. The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and is expected, if adopted, to enter into force in late 2014 or during 2015.

Never mind that GM crops are virtually non-existent in Europe outside of Spain and Portugal, where they have been growing for more than 10 years and providing economic and environmental benefits to farmers and society alike. Never mind that Monsanto and other companies that sell GM crops have publicly stated their intention not to try to sell any new biotech seeds in Europe anytime soon.

The proposal makes clear that some EU membe...

Read More