food tagged posts

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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Fighting the hydra of science myths: an interview with Kavin Senapathy

We interviewed Kavin Senapthy on food myths and counter movements, food education and how consumers both in Europe and beyond can be better informed about where their food comes from and how it is produced.

Kavin Senapathy

Who is Kavin Senapathy?

Kavin Senapathy is a science communicator tackling myths on science, health and food. She is the co-Executive Director of international pro-science, pro-biotech organization March Against Myths, and co-author of “The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House,” a book discussing popular food misconceptions and why they proliferate in the face of mountains of evidence against them...

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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...

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10 weeks at ‘MonSatan’: My work for the Dark Side

By Rachel Moore

When I was first offered a summer internship at Monsanto, I’ll be honest – I hesitated.

I knew almost nothing about agriculture, GMOs or biotechnology (although I now know that those last two barely apply to Monsanto Europe, which is focused on traditional seeds). I felt extremely under-qualified for a position at a multinational corporation, much less one so successful. My greatest strengths were long-form journalism, napping and drinking coffee. Could I survive at a billion-dollar company?

The answer is no. I did not survive at Monsanto. I thrived here. This company, this office, these people – they’re all amazing. I learned quickly, read everything I could get my hands on and felt comfortable almost immediately.

However, I will admit that I wasn’t prepared for ho...

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Independent panel to conduct review of IARC monograph on glyphosate (EN/DE/FR/NL/IT/ES/RO)

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Independent panel to conduct review of IARC monograph on glyphosate

Monsanto Co. has asked Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy to convene and facilitate a panel of internationally recognized scientific experts to conduct a review of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) monograph on glyphosate, which is expected to be published in July 2015.  The publication of the full monograph follows IARC’s summary findings which were reported in The Lancet Oncology on March 20, 2015.

The panel will include independent experts ...

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World Population Day: How Do We Feed A Growing Population?

By Brandie Piper

Monsanto Corporate Engagement team

In 1989, the United Nations established World Population Day, on 11 July, to bring awareness to issues that arise with the rapidly growing population. Since then, the world’s population has grown from 5.1 billion people to more than 7.2 billion people today. And by 2050, the world’s population is projected to rise to 9.6 billion people. Sustainably growing enough food for a growing world will be one of the greatest challenges facing humankind, and it’s one challenge that Monsanto is partnering with others to help solve.

The United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs reports half of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 will occur in Africa...

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ARC approves drought-tolerant maize trait for South Africa

By Rachel Moore

On 19 June, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) announced the authorisation of new drought-tolerant maize trait MON 87460 in the Republic of South Africa. The trait was originally licensed by Monsanto as part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, which has been in a public-private partnership with the ARC since 2008.

Dr Kingstone Mashingaidze, Research Team Manager, Plant Breeding and Country Coordinator of the WEMA project in South Africa, called the authorisation “a significant step forward” in the “fight against food shortages” that plague smallholder farmers. “The ARC, with its WEMA partners, is excited to bring this new drought trait to the market for smallholder farmers royalty-free in South Africa,” he said.

WEMA farmerThe ARC previously launched two ...

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Consumers want transparency and authenticity – and so do we

By Rachel Moore

Earlier this month, the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) held its 20 Years Stakeholders Conference entitled “The future of food and health – how will consumers react?” Representatives from 80 organisations across Europe attended the conference, which featured presentations from Dr. Laura Fernández Celemín, Professor Klaus Grunert, Professor Mike Gibney and John Keogh.

EUFIC is a non-profit organisation committed to providing science-based information on nutrition, health, food safety and quality to consumers. More information can be found at www.eufic.org or on their About page.

Dr. Laura Fernández Celemín, the director general of EUFIC, said science communication’s changing media landscape will undoubtedly lead to the movement of information online...

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“Son of Séralini” – Monsanto’s response to his latest PR stunt

By Brandon Mitchener

Three years ago, Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini shocked the world with a PR campaign alleging that feeding lab rats genetically modified (GM) maize and water laced with herbicide lead to the development of terrible tumors. His research was later retracted by the same scientific journal that had published, only to be republished a year later in a lesser journal. We have reacted to that saga elsewhere.

Now, just like the line from The Shining, and using the same scare tactics, “He’s back!”

Today in Paris, Mr. Séralini is telling people that all tests done on lab rats for the past decade or more–including his own–were invalid because of alleged “contamination” by GM ingredients and pesticides...

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From Farm to Fork: Growing, Selecting & Cooking Sweet Maize

Sweet maize is a summertime staple, and it’s delicious no matter how it’s cooked.

We’ve put together some tips about how to choose the best ear at your local grocery store or farmers’ market, as well as some popular cooking techniques. But first, we should probably explain the difference between field maize and sweet maize.

Growing

Maize in Europe is grown primarily in northern Italy, France, Poland, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine. The most popular kind is field maize (also called grain or silage) and is used for livestock feed, ethanol and various food ingredients. The rest of maize planted in Europe is sweet maize and is used for direct consumption or sent through food supply chains.

Field maize is pretty impressive to see, with stalks reaching heights of 1.5 to 2...

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