GM NOTIFICATIONS IN EUROPE
EU COMMISSION APPROVES GA21 MAIZE
CHINA TO LAUNCH BILLION-DOLLAR GM PROGRAMME
BIG FUNDING FOR GM RESEARCH
BITKI ISLAH EDEN MEMURUN MAAŞI ÜÇE KATLANACAK
- GDO IN BRAZIL
- A POPLAR RENAISSANCE IN EUROPE?
- GM CREATES CUT FLOWERS WITH NEW COLOURS
- RESEARCHERS FROM CHINA'S OIL CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE DEVELOP TRANSGENIC OILSEED RAPE LINES RESISTANT TO SCLEROTINIA
- SEED TRADE
- UGANDA GIVES GO-AHEAD TO BIOTECHNOLOGY POLICY
- GERMANY APPROVES GMO SUGAR AND POTATO FIELD TRIALS
- EGYPT APPROVES BT CORN CULTIVATION
- INDIA APPROVES LST OF PUBLIC BRED BT COTTON VARIETIES
- JAPANESE FOOD MAKER STARTS BUYING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN
- THE PHILIPPINES URGED TO EXPAND RICE HECTARAGE, USE BIOTECH RICE
1-GM NOTIFICATIONS IN EUROPE
Notifications on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified (GM) for non-commercial use in Europe have been posted online. For this month, these include:
- Testing of NK 603 Roundup Ready corn for economical evaluation in Poland
- Experimental release of GM tobacco lines by the Charles University in Czech Republic
- Syngentas herbicide tolerant GA21 maize field trial in Denmark
- Pioneer Hi-Breds herbicide tolerant maize (DP-Ø9814Ø-6) in Czech Republic
- Several transgenic orange lines modified for insect and pathogen resistance, improved aroma and enhanced agronomic properties by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias in Spain
Visit for detailed information on each event http://gmoinfo.jrc.it/gmp_browse.aspx
2-EU COMMISSION APPROVES GA21 MAIZE
(March 28, 2008) The European Commission has approved the genetically modified maize GA21 for import.
Unprocessed grains of the herbicide resistant maize GA21 may be imported into the European Union for food and feed use, after a Commission Decision of last Friday. Processed products from the maize line already have an EU approval for the use as food ingredient since February 2006. The authorisation does not cover cultivation. The decision on the application of the biotech company Syngenta was up to the Commission by EU law, after the Council of Agricultural Ministers did not establish a qualified majority either for or against the market placement of GA21 in February. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave a favourable opinion in autumn last year. The maize line is grown in Argentina and North America. With the import licence for unprocessed grains the Commission hopes to ease the economic situation of European pork producers. They currently suffer from a combination of low meat prices and high feed costs. Prior to the approval of GA21 they had to rely on imports of the more expensive Brazilian maize
3-CHINA TO LAUNCH BILLION-DOLLAR GM PROGRAMME
Source: Chemistry World 3 April 2008 | EN | ??
The new GM programme will investigate yield and quality of crops
China is set to launch a five-year, 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) research programme into genetically modified (GM) crops, according to the country's top agricultural biotechnology experts.
The first generation of GM crops focused on insect resistance. This new programme will emphasise yield, quality, nutrition improvement and drought resistance, according to Huang Dafang, former director of the Institute of Biotechnologies of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).
Funding for GM safety and ecology monitoring and surveillance will be included, to reduce risks such as undesired gene flow into conventional crops.
Scientists say the programme was originally part of the nation's 20062010 plan for science and technology development, but funding was delayed due to the sensitivity of the area.
Chinese policymakers' attitudes to GM crops are now more receptive, according to Huang.
The injection of funding could lead to quicker commercialisation of GM crops in China, say scientists.
But Liu Xuehua, an associate professor of environment planning at Tsinghua University, says that any commercialisation policy should involve stakeholders and must not be based purely on government funding
4-BIG FUNDING FOR GM RESEARCH
Source:Royal Society of Chemistry
China plans to launch a huge research program on genetically modified (GM) crops by the end of the year, "top agricultural biotechnology advisors" report. Huang Dafang, former director of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences' (CAAS) Institute of Biotechnologies, said the program could receive as much as 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) over the next five years. That would be five times more than the country spent on GM research in the preceding five years. Huang, who was speaking at a news briefing on the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications' (ISAAA) annual report on GM crops, said that yield, quality, nutritional value, and drought resistance will be major targets of the research program. Hu Jifa, a chief research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), China's leading think tank on food policy issues, confirms that the GM research program is set to go ahead. Funding for research on safety and environmental monitoring will be included in the program, Jifa reports. He says that the GM research program was first mentioned two years ago in China's 11th Five-year science and technology development plan (2006-2010) but was subsequently delayed. Hu says that policymakers are now more receptive to GM technologies, and that could lead to more GM crops receiving authorization for commercial cultivation. The article can be viewed online at the link below.
5-BITKI ISLAH EDEN MEMURUN MAAŞI ÜÇE KATLANACAK
11 Nisan 2008 08:11 A.A.
Tarım ve Köyişleri Bakanlığı'nın Kamu Kurum ve Kuruluşlarında Çalışan Görevlilerin Islahçı Hakkından Yararlandırılmasına İlişkin Yönetmelik'te yaptığı değişiklik Resmî Gazete'de yayımlandı.
Buna göre yeni bitki çeşitlerinin geliştirilmesi ve ıslahına katkı yapan kamu çalışanlarına, buradan elde edilen gelirlerin yarısı 'ıslahçı hakkı' olarak dağıtılacak. Bir personelin ıslahçı hakkı olarak elde edeceği aylık gelir, yan ödemeler de dahil aylık ücret ya da maaşının iki katını geçemeyecek
6-GDO IN BRAZIL
A recent study in Brazil estimated that more than four billion dollars have been saved by the farmers using RR soybean during the last three crop years. Brazil cultivates 23 millions hectares of soybeans, from which more than 60% are with gdo. This technology for soybean came to stay and farmers are waiting for RR soybean II. In relation to cotton there is no data yet, however the expectation in saving and yield increase is high with this first commercial crop year. Cotton is a crop that requires, just for cultivation, more than US$1500.00/ha (in Brazil), so any input that helps the farmer, is practically adopted.
7-A POPLAR RENAISSANCE IN EUROPE
The fast-growing poplar provides renewable raw materials for the paper industry and is becoming increasingly important as a source of climate-friendly, low-cost fuel. GMOSafety spoke with Matthias Fladung from the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products about the benefits of genetic engineering. [ more ]
8-GM CREATES CUT FLOWERS WITH NEW COLOURS
Genetic engineering has created roses with exceptional colours, with added fragrances or with built-in frost-protection and which may be bought in the EU as well. [ more ]
9-RESEARCHERS FROM CHINA'S OIL CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE DEVELOP TRANSGENIC OILSEED RAPE LINES RESISTANT TO SCLEROTINIA
May 2, 2008, Source: CropBiotech Update
Sclerotinia is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes important diseases such as white mold, stem and leaf rot and stalk wilt, in more than 400 plant species. In oilseed rape, it causes rots of leaves and pods resulting to tremendous yield loss. No highly resistant cultivars of oilseed rape have been reported to date, and few genetic sources of resistance to the pathogen are available to breeders.
Researchers from the Oil Crops Research Institute in China developed transgenic oilseed rape lines resistant to Sclerotinia. They introduced a gene, from wheat, which encodes the enzyme oxalate oxidase (OXO). OXO can neutralize oxalic acid, the key to Sclerotinia's pathogenicity. The 'detoxification' reaction also produces hydrogen peroxide, a key elicitor of plant defense. The GM lines showed up to 91 percent disease reduction compared to its non-transgenic counterparts.
The article published by the journal Planta is Expressing a gene encoding wheat oxalate oxidase enhances resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in oilseed rape ( Brassica napus)
Xiangbai Dong, Ruiqin Ji, Xuelan Guo, Simon J. Foster, Hong Chen, Caihua Dong, Yueying Liu, Qiong Hu and Shengyi Liu available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/85k3020164umn247/?p=f28c8e3cbfc34d5bb249e77acf714885&pi=0
Seed world exports can be considered to be 5.4 billion dollars per year where vegetable seeds do represent 25% over the total. Considering the last 15 years, the growth is estimated as being 160 million dollars per year. This trend leads to more increase in the seed trade among the countries where the international organizations are essential to harmonize it.
11-UGANDA GIVES GO-AHEAD TO BIOTECHNOLOGY POLICY
Peter Wamboga-Mugirya 11 April 2008 [KAMPALA]
Uganda's cabinet has approved its first National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy, after eight years of deliberation.
The policy was approved last week (2 April), and provides objectives and guidelines for the promotion and regulation of biotechnology use in the country.
"The policy bears the guidelines on the legal, institutional and regulatory framework," Peter Ndemere, executive secretary of the state-run Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), told SciDev.Net.
But for the policy to be implemented, a bill must be presented to parliament and passed into a law a process that could take many months.
"We've drafted a biotech bill for parliament to discuss and pass into law," says Ndemere. "In order to implement a law, you need a policy instrument, that's why the policy comes first." He adds that the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) crops requires this law. The guidelines in the policy also cover tissue and cell culture, medical diagnostics, industrial microbiology and biochemical engineering.
The policy was drafted by the state-run Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) with extensive consultation with farmers and consumer groups, university dons, policymakers and legislators leading to considerable re-shaping of the regulations.
Research into genetically modified crops is already underway in the country (see Uganda approves Bt cotton trials), overseen by the National Biosafety Committee, and researchers are hopeful that the approval of the policy will translate into law.
"Cabinet has made my day. They have provided this country with the necessary policy guidelines that shall give our research a proper way forward. Roles which institution does what have been well spelt out," says Andrew Kiggundu from the National Agricultural Biotechnology Centre in Kawanda, which is researching high-yield GM cotton and cassava.Robert Anguzu of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), which was consulted on the bill, says the legislation allows Uganda to cope with rapid biotechnology developments in neighbouring Kenya.
"Kenya's genetically modified organisms would easily find their way into Uganda. If they found us unprepared, without regulations, it would be a big challenge to manage them when they're already with farmers and consumers," says Arthur Makara, Senior Science/Biosafety Officer and Secretary to the National Biosafety Committee.
12-GERMANY APPROVES GMO SUGAR AND POTATO FIELD TRIALS
By Michael Hogan
HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's state food safety agency said on Wednesday it approved open-air field trials of sugar beet and potatoes containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The company Planta has been given permission to sow 12,000 square metres of GMO sugar beet at two locations between 2008 and 2011, agency BVL said.
BASF Plant Science, part of German chemicals group BASF, has been given approval to plant GMO potatoes on 30,000 square metres divided among three locations between 2008 and 2012.
"The BVL's safety assessment came to the conclusion that the open-air trials would not have any dangerous influence on humans or animals or the environment," the agency said.
The crops may not be sold as food or animal feed.
The GMO sugar beet in the trials is resistant to the weed killer glyphosat.
To prevent GMO organisms being spread by pollen, Planta must check sugar beets every two weeks for flowering and destroy any flowers before they bloom, the agency said. There must be a 10-metre gap between the GMO potatoes and conventional crops.
The potatoes were being tested for resistance to several and for their starch content, it said.
The European Union has legalised commercial production of several GMO maize varieties but field trials on other GMO crops require approval from national governments.
German farmers have registered intentions with the BVL to plant 4,413 hectares of GMO maize commercial production in the 2008 crop, up from 2,753 ha harvested in 2007, the agency said in March.
Although up on the year, the total is only a negligible part of German annual maize cultivation of around 1.8 million ha.
© Reuters 2008 All rights reserved Source: Reuters
13-EGYPT APPROVES BT CORN CULTIVATION
On March 24, 2008, the Minister of Agriculture approved decisions made by the NationalBiosafety Committee (NBC) and Seed Registration Committee to allow for commercialization of a genetically modified Bt corn variety. This marks the first genetically modified crop approved for domestic planting in Egypt. A local seed company, acting as an agent of a multi-national life science company, had originally submitted the request and accompanying
dossier several years ago. During last years growing season, the field trials were conducted and assessed. The local company plans to import seed both for propagation and production. The seed corn will be imported from South Africa. The local company plans to cultivate the
BT corn in 10 governates throughout Egypt and has already started a campaign to market the seed to producers and extension agents.
14-INDIA APPROVES LST OF PUBLIC BRED BT COTTON VARIETIES
The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), an apex biotech regulatory body in India, has approved large scale trials (LST), as well as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) trials, and large scale seed production in an area of 100 hectares of BN Bt cotton expressing Bt Cry 1Ac protein in the North Cotton Growing Zone in India in 2008. The indigenously developed Bt cotton is the first public sector GM crop in India developed by the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), one of the premier public sector institutes of the ICAR.
Farmers in India have planted 131 different Bt cotton hybrids over 6.2 million hectares in 2007 with the first Bt cotton hybrid approved in 2002. The GEAC has also released 21 new Bt cotton hybrids expressing four different events to be cultivated in the North Zone in 2008.
For more information, view http://www.envfor.nic.in/divisions/csurv/geac/decision-dec-83.pdf . Contact email@example.com for news on biotech developments in India.
15-JAPANESE FOOD MAKER STARTS BUYING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN
14.apr.08 Bloomberg Aya Takada
Mikio Shoji, director at Nihon Shokuhin Kako, was cited as saying in an interview that Nihon Shokuhin Kako Co. Ltd., Japan's largest buyer of corn for use in food, is importing genetically modified supplies for the first time this year as high prices deter gene-pure purchases, adding "We have no choice but to use GMO corn, as the grain is becoming increasingly costly and the price differential between GMO and non-GMO supplies is widening.
Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at Tokyo-based commodity broker Okachi & Co., was quoted as saying by phone that given soaring costs for non-GMO corn, it's an inevitable move and will be followed by other food makers in Japan
Shoji was further quoted as saying, "Non-GMO corn is becoming a rare and premium product,'' adding that GMO varieties are expected to represent 80-85 percent of overall corn to be planted in the U.S. this year, rising from more than 70 percent last year.
16-THE PHILIPPINES URGED TO EXPAND RICE HECTARAGE, USE BIOTECH RICE
14.apr.08 BusinessMirror via SeedQuest
MANILA, The Philippines - The Philippines will never be able to achieve self-sufficiency in rice unless it expands land for the cultivation of the staple or plant more genetically enhanced rice strains that yield up to 35 percent more than the traditional varieties.
These two options are the only ones available for the country, which devotes only 2.3 million hectares of irrigated land for rice cultivation, many of them in farms of uneconomic sizes, with little or no mechanization, and with less water.
The country has about 1.9 million hectares of rain-fed rice farms. In contrast, Thailand has 9.9 million hectares of rice fields and Vietnam devotes 7.5 million hectares for the propagation of the staple.