GMOs 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...

Read More

A Top Court Strikes Down French MON810 Ban – for Fourth Time (EN/FR)

You might think the first three high court rejections would send a clear enough message to the French government that it can’t just ban things on a whim. Think again. Although Monsanto wasn’t even selling the product in the country and had no intention to do so, the government in March 2014 tried a fourth time to ban Monsanto’s MON810 genetically modified (GM), insect-resistant maize on dubious scientific grounds. Now France’s top administrative court has struck the ban down–again–for being scientifically baseless.

On August 1st, 2013 and November 28th, 2011, the Conseil d’Etat had already found that the French government’s 2008 and 2011 bans on MON810 cultivation were illegal. Furthermore, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Sept 8th, 2011 found the French ban on the cultivation...

Read More

More fearmongering about glyphosate: Who drinks 1,000 litres of beer a day? (EN/DE)

You may have seen alarmist stories about the alleged discovery of glyphosate, an herbicide used for weed control, in 14 German beers. Time to give up beer for good? Well, not because of this study at least…

The levels the authors claim to have detected are well below any levels deemed relevant by regulatory authorities. An average person (60 kg) would need to drink more than 1,000 liters of beer in a day, or that amount over many years, before consuming glyphosate levels that are considered potentially relevant, according to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

Who drinks 1,000 liters of beer a day?

Also, the BfR confirmed there are no health concerns and questioned the study process used by the authors.

Glyphosate is approved for use on barley, hops and other grains i...

Read More

Monsanto responds to Zembla broadcast about glyphosate (EN/NL)

Monsanto employees in the Netherlands saw a Dutch television programme about glyphosate broadcast this week on Zembla that presents a seriously distorted picture of reality. The report that was previously broadcast in Germany was rife with misinformation. Monsanto appreciates the important role played by the media in informing the public. Unfortunately, Zembla denied Dutch viewers some facts that could help them achieve a well-informed opinion.

Monsanto invites viewers and others who are interested to also do their own research. We do our best to help provide additional information and perspectives.

Glyphosate has a history of more than 40 years of safe use as a weed killer and is among the most commonly used and extensively tested agro-chemical substances in the world...

Read More

You ask, we answer: Can you keep vegetable seeds?

We get lots of questions from individul citizens via our corporate websites. We can’t answer all the questions we get, but we try to answer as many as we can. Very often, different people ask the same sorts of questions, so we’ve decided to start publishing that kind of correspondence for the benefit of everyone, just like we do with some of our correspondence with journalists. Here’s a first exchange, with Maria from Sweden, about patents on vegetable seeds. The letter has been edited for spelling and grammar and to protect the author’s privacy.

Name – Maria

Country – Sweden

Message – Hello. My name is Maria and I live in Sweden. There is a huge debate right now about patents on common vegetables...

Read More

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

Innovation? No, thanks! Some EU countries opt out of GM seed cultivation under new law (EN/FR) 

by Brandon Mitchener

Since the European Union first authorised GM crops for cultivation in 1998, EU-level approval was enough to plant them anywhere in the Union, which now counts 28 countries. Several individual nations weren’t happy with that and banned GM crops on political grounds. These bans were systematically struck down as lacking any legitimate scientific basis.

Now, under a new EU law passed earlier this year, countries require no scientific justification for bans on the cultivation of GM crops on their territory and can do so for arbitrary reasons. In fact, some EU countries have begun doing just that.

Monsanto has been made aware of requests (“demands”) to the European Commission from Latvia and Greece to be removed from the scope of our request for EU re-authorization allowi...

Read More

The letter that Lausanne Cité didn’t want you to read

You have to  appreciate the irony of Lausanne Cité, which has the gall to insist that readers’ commentaries on their articles and editorials avoid “messages full of hate, defamation, slander or character assassination.” They continue: “We invite you to maintain, at all times, a tone and proposals that are respectful.” (French original below)

Votre avis nous intéresse. Mais Lausanne Cités refuse toute forme de message haineux, diffamatoire, calomnieux ou attentatoire à l’honneur. Les propos racistes ou xénophobes, les menaces, injures ou autres incitations à la violence seront immédiatement supprimés de notre site. Nous vous invitons donc à toujours garder, en toute circonstance, un ton et des propos respectueux. Lausanne Cités

And yet, the very same Lausanne Cité, that apparen...

Read More

Monsanto response to activist video published by The Guardian

The Guardian has published Monsanto’s response to an activist video rife with misinformation that was presented as news. Our response follows a fruitless exchange with The Guardian’s Readers Editor, who refused to remove the video from the Guardian’s website despite its being a piece of blatant propaganda. It’s a shame that the Guardian couldn’t even introduce our response without mistakes, misidentifying the author of the Monsanto letter, Daniel Kruithoff, as “Managing editor of Monsanto Australia & New Zealand.” Actually, he’s the head of our business in those two countries. Monsanto is not yet a publishing organisation. But sadly facts and accuracy don’t always seem to be top priority for the Guardian these days.

Here is what we said:

Last week the Guardian published a video called “...

Read More

“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...

Read More