As I have started to emerge from the awards frenzy of the last few months I have been catching up what has been happening in the rest of the world… And I thought that these three bits of news deserved a wider airing.
Russia not interested in genetically modified products
The first comes from the RT Russian news channel site. (RT, they say, provides an alternative perspective on major global events, and acquaints international audience with the Russian viewpoint. It is also the first TV news channel in YouTube’s history to reach one BILLION views!) RT reports that, in the future, Russia will not be importing any GMO products. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a congress of rural deputies last week that:
‘If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.’
At the end of February, the Russian parliament had asked the government to impose a temporary ban on all genetically altered products in Russia.
The second report comes from Eco-Watch and is less encouraging. The French Agriculture ministry is, apparently, prosecuting an organic, nay biodynamic, wine grower, Emmanuel Giboulot, for failing to use an insecticide to control the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus which the authorities fear may spread to other vineyards. M Giboulot believes that that the pesticide is ineffective and that there are far more successful, natural ways of controlling the disease.
Check in to the Eco-Watch site for the full story.
Vermont passes bill requiring all GM foods to be labelled
And finally, from Natural News, a report on the battle to label GM foods in the US. This is a long-running fight which, up till now, the ‘GeneGiants’ have been winning. (They successfully killed Prospositon 37 in California at the end of 2012 which would have required GM foods to declared that they were indeed genetically modified.)
Campaigners (and indeed the Gene Giants themselves) believe that if consumers actually knew that the foods they were buying/eating were genetically modified, they would not buy them. Moreover, if they realised that many of the foods that are labelled as ‘natural’ are actually genetically modified (which is the situation at the moment) they would be very angry. Which is why the campaigners and the Gene Giants have been so desperate to get – or prevent – laws requiring the foods to be labelled onto the statue books.
Campaigners have not been entirely unsuccessful; they have got legislation passed in Connecticut and in Maine requiring GMO labelling – but only when other states pass similar legislation. The mandatory labelling now scheduled to come into force in 2016 in Vermont will have no such ‘trigger’ clause.
The hope, or fear, depending on which side of the fence you sit, is that once foods can be labelled as ‘not containing GM’ in Vermont the ‘infection’ will spread as ‘national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as “natural” or “all natural”; while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets’.
Natural News quotes the Monsanto executive who admitted, 20 years ago that ‘if you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.’
Check in to the lengthy Natural News report for more on the kind of money and corporate effort that has so far been invested in keeping GM on the road….