By Sybille de La Hamaide PARIS (Reuters) - Bayer said on Wednesday that farmers in France and Germany were digging up thousands of hectares of rapeseed fields after traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) banned for cultivation were found in seeds sold by the company. GMO crops are widely grown across the world, but they remain controversial in Europe, where very few varieties are authorised for growing and some countries like France have completely outlawed their cultivation, citing environmental risks. Checks by the French authorities during the autumn showed minute quantities of GMO seeds, estimated at less than 0.005 percent of the volume, in three batches of rapeseed seeds sold under the Dekalb brand, Catherine Lamboley, Bayer's chief operating officer for France, said. Dekalb was previously a Monsanto brand before the U.S. company was taken over by Bayer last year. The GMO found, which is a rapeseed variety grown in Canada, is not authorised for cultivation in Europe, … [Read more...] about French, German farmers destroy crops after GMOs found in Bayer seeds
Gmos banned in countries
A file photo showing ballots from a previous cantonal vote in Switzerland. Photo: AFP A referendum in Switzerland's northeastern St. Gallen region Sunday is expected to usher in a "burqa ban", making it the second Swiss canton to prohibit all face-covering garments in public spaces. At the same time, voters across Switzerland are being asked to cast their ballots on initiatives aimed at boosting local farming and promoting "ethical standards" in food production, including turning a moratorium on genetically modified crops into a full-out ban. St. Gallen is expected to follow the example of the southern canton of Ticino, where a law was introduced two years ago that appeared to be aimed at burqas and other Muslim veils. St. Gallen lawmakers late last year adopted a text which stipulated that "any person who renders themselves unrecognisable by covering their face in a public space, and thus endangers public security or social and religious peace will be fined." The law passed … [Read more...] about Swiss vote on regional ‘burqa ban’, GMOs
The government of St Gallen says the proposed 'burqa vote' is unnecessary. File photo: Patrick Denker A second Swiss canton will vote Sunday on whether to introduce a regional "burqa ban", a controversial law that would prohibit all face-covering garments in public spaces. The ballot in northeastern St. Gallen is to be held as voters across the country also determine whether a moratorium on genetically modified crops should become a full-out ban. St. Gallen is expected to follow the example of the southern canton of Ticino, where a law was introduced two years ago which appeared to be aimed at burqas and other Muslim veils. Read also: Top Swiss court vetoes cantonal vote on school 'headgear ban' A text stipulating that "any person who renders themselves unrecognisable by covering their face in a public space, and thus endangers public security or social and religious peace will be fined" was adopted by lawmakers in St. Gallen late last year. That law was opposed by the … [Read more...] about Direct democracy: Regional ‘burqa ban’ up for vote in Switzerland
The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party opposes all nuclear power and wants to allow felons to vote as long as they’re not actually in prison, two of a number of official party positions that might surprise some even within the DFL. The positions are contained in the Democratic party’s official “ongoing platform” and “action agenda” — collections of positions on issues ranging from taxes to abortion — that was approved earlier this month at the state convention in Rochester. A word of caution: Party platforms are notoriously skewed toward the fringes of the major political parties because they’re usually drafted by a party’s most die-hard members. They’re living documents from previous years that may or may not feel up to date, depending on your view. For example, the Republican Party of Minnesota’s platform doesn’t just contain bread-and-butter conservative ideas, such as reducing the size of government … [Read more...] about Ban nuclear power and let felons vote? 5 official MN DFL platform positions that might surprise you.
By Anthony Boadle CONQUISTA DO OESTE, Brazil (Reuters) – The savannah scrubland where Chief João Ponce once hunted deer and wild boar in Brazil has given way to neat rows of soy and corn that a tractor sprays with herbicide. In the next field, silver grain silos shimmer in the hot sun. Ponce is head of the Uirapuru indigenous community which has allowed local farmers to produce crops on one-third of its 44,500-acre (18,000-hectare) reservation in southwestern Mato Grosso state. The one-tenth or less share of the harvests has helped the Pareci natives to buy cars and smartphones, replace hammocks with beds and equip their thatched huts with widescreen TVs, freezers and broadband Internet antennas. “We’re surrounded by farmers. We can’t live off hunting anymore. The animals are gone,” he said, sitting in a hammock in his thatched hut. But the partnership with non-native farmers, fuelled by an insatiable demand for Brazilian soy in China and other … [Read more...] about Brazilian tribes fined for GMO soy crops on reservations