technology tagged posts

Monsanto launches #RootedInScience campaign

Darwin_misrepresentationEvery day in Europe seems to bring a new attack by non-governmental organisations, Greens and others on everything from plant breeding techniques to pesticides (think: glyphosate) to genetically modified seeds and ingredients. Yesterday, European governments failed to reach an agreement on the renewal of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicide, as the result of an epic onslaught of NGO spin and fearmongering ominously echoed by some misinformed European politicians. Tomorrow marks the annual March against Monsanto, in which angry mobs–especially in France–plan to demonstrate against Monsanto for presumed grievances, most based on conspiracy theories.

Given this context, it’s probably timely that Monsanto is launching a social media campaign celebrating the...

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

Global Warming: New report warns of food security threat

By Aoife O’Halloran 

Global warming leads to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme drought in some areas and severe flooding in others around the globe. Together, they could conceivably wreak havoc with global food security, a new study warns.

According to a report by experts from the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, global food production will decrease dramatically in the next 25 years as a result of extreme weather conditions. Unless we do something, fast, this will lead to more people going hungry every day, since more than 800 million people – or one in every nine people on the planet – already suffer from hunger and our planet’s population continues to grow rapidly.

Image of a maize field decimated by drought. Global Warming.

A maize field decimated by drought.

We will not have enough food to feed t...

Read More

AquaTEK precision farming project will help make maize production more sustainable (IT/ES)

By Rachel Moore

An excellent product does not always mean an excellent process. Food “made in Italy” is one of the undisputed jewels of the country, but there is ample room for improvement in the fields.

“Italian agriculture, and in particular maize production, is not making full use of the innovations made available by technology,” said Federico Bertoli, the commercial director of Monsanto Italy. Bertoli presented the AquaTEK water conservation project at the Milan EXPO workshop organised by the National Research Council on 1 July at the Italy Pavilion.

The project, focused on water conservation in cropping systems, began in 2013 as a public-private partnership between Monsanto Italy, Netafim and the University of Milan...

Read More

Hungry for Change – Why does chronic hunger still exist in 2015? – Encore la faim – Pourquoi la faim chronique existe-t-elle encore en 2015?

For many of us, thankfully, hunger is not an everyday reality we face, however for approximately 795 million people worldwide, chronic hunger is not only daily reality, but also–tragically–the future.

On 27 May, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) released its annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report. The results are startling and saddening. What is even more unsettling is the fact that the 795-million figure is seen as triumph. 25 years ago, one billion people were suffering from starvation. How jubilant can we be, though, when such a large number of people still go hungry every day? José Graziano da Silva, the director general of the FAO, stated that the “near achievement” of the Millenium Development Goals was a step in the right direction...

Read More

Food for thought from this year’s Forum of the Future of Agriculture

On Tuesday, we attended the 9th Annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) in Brussels. The FFA addresses key issues relating to food and environment security agendas throughout Europe and the world. This year, key speakers included European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, Cass Sunstein, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy professor at Harvard, and UN Special Advisor on post-2015 Development Planning, the formidable Amina Mohammed.  Whilst the day-long conference raised a number of challenging issues, for us, three issues really stood out.

We are the first generation able to end hunger, the last to be able to avoid the worst impacts of man-made climate change

MVI_4125.MOV.Still003It’s a pretty startling thought. We have at once a foot on the mountain top, and a foot on the precipice...

Read More

DEKALB® unveils a new look and brand promise to Europe’s farmers: SEED YOUR SUCCESS

DEKALB electric wing and Seed Your SuccessUnderlining a significant investment in production capacity in Europe, Monsanto’s DEKALB® seeds brand now has a new look and promise to the region’s farmers: DEKALB will help SEED YOUR SUCCESS.

The 100-year old seed brand is being relaunched in Europe with a modern upgrade of its iconic winged maize cob look, new seed bags, new websites and new, improved online services for customers.

The start of a new year marks the launch of the first websites to sport the new look and feel in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Slovakian, Russian and Ukrainian. Other sites will follow in coming weeks and months.

“The investment in new marketing and communications tools underlines our commitment to helping ensure farmers’ success with a broad range of solutions for better harvests with less waste...

Read More

Monsanto is a seed company, not a GM company, European Vegetables Business Lead says

Ibrahim El MenschawiWhen many people think of Monsanto, they immediately think ‘Biotech’ and ‘GM’. Whilst we are proud of our global leadership position on GM crops, it will no doubt surprise many that GMOs are not actually Monsanto’s only focus.

Monsanto is a seed company. That’s what we do. The majority of Monsanto’s innovations are in crop and seed improvement, and in advanced conventional breeding techniques.

In fact, of the more than $4 million (USD) invested by Monsanto in R&D worldwide each day, less than half is spent specifically on GM technology.

Speaking to the IFAJ (International Federation of Agricultural Journalists) Congress in Aberdeen today, (5th September),  Monsanto’s EMEA Vegetable lead Ibrahim El Menschawi underlined this point and highlighted some of the many examples of no...

Read More

Biodiversity and the role of agriculture

In light of the upcoming UN Seoul meeting on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in October, the European Council has put forward a position paper stating that it will be supporting a number of conservation targets under the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, including shaping the role of agriculture in the protection of the environment.

Since over half of the EU’s territory is managed by farmers (EU Biodiversity Strategy), member states have long upheld the view–reflected in the CAP and the Natura 2000 project–that a closer focus on rural development, including improving resource efficiency, limiting deforestation and imposing minimum mandatory spending on environmental measures in farms, will help restore biodiversity.

However, the problem is much more complex...

Read More

The Second Green Revolution

The latest in a raft of recent articles on the need for innovation in agriculture comes from this week’s Economist. In their leader, “The Second Green Revolution” they use the example of new, flood-resistant rice to argue that embracing this kind of technology will allow those left behind by the last agricultural revolution to catch up.

We have long argued that R&D into better seeds is money well spent and this article supports this view. It’s a shame that this support is not always widespread. As the article points out,

“Governments, though, are nervous. Some politicians worry about publicly backing genetic research, despite all the lives it could save. Other health ministers have moved on to sexier causes, such as fighting obesity. They should think again...

Read More