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Sainsbury's Genetically Modified Tomato Paste - on sale in the UK, 20 years ago. Photo: via Beyond GM.

20 years ago today ... What have we learned since the GMO Flavr Savr tomato?

Pat Thomas

5th February 2015

Two decades ago the world's first GM foods went on sale, writes Pat Thomas. The consumer flirtation with GMOs soon died away, yet the biotech industry has grown into a global behemoth, driving agricultural intensification and sending agro-chemical sales through the roof. It's time for us to take a stand once again and insist: there are better, healthier ways of growing food. more...
Construction of the São Manoel Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saying 'No!' A last chance for the world's forests

Bill Laurance, James Cook University

5th February 2016

Roads, mines, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure projects are fast eating into the world's 'core forests', writes Bill Laurance. These rare and precious places where wildlife and ecological processes can flourish undisturbed must come before the evanescent gains of 'development'. To save what's left, governments and funders must learn the word 'No!' more...
The TPP is none too popular in New Zealand, where trade ministers are signing it today, either. No TPPA! march in Wellington, NZ, 31st March 2014. Photo: Peg Hunter via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Promises be damned: TPP 'benefits' are strictly for the corporations

Pete Dolack

4th February 2016

Boosters of 'free trade' agreements - like the Trans Pacific Partnership that's being signed today - like to make big promises, writes Pete Dolack: trillions of dollars of economic gains, billions of dollars of investment, millions of new jobs. But there's only one certainty, and it's one they never mention: the permanent redistribution of power and income from working people to capital. more...
With this lot behind TPP, what's not to trust? US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with national leaders in Bali, Indonesia, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

Never mind today's signing charade: TPP is heading for the rocks

Sam Cossar-Gilbert / FOEI

4th February 2016

Trade ministers will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership 'free trade' deal today, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert. But don't be fooled by the razzmatazz. Resistance to the agreement is growing fast, and the more people find out about it and its devastating impact on jobs, health, human rights and environment, the less they like it. more...
Earth and Moon. Photo: NASA ESA via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

A sustainable UK needs a 'one planet' Budget

Alan Simpson

5th February 2016

When Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget next month, we can be sure that climate and environment won't take a high priority, writes Alan Simpson. All the more reason for the Labour leadership to develop a new 'one planet' economics for the 21st century that delivers social justice and respects ecological limits. more...
There's the pollution you can see, and the even more dangerous pollution that's invisible: the high levels of nitrogen oxides produced by many modern diesel cars. Photo: Adrian Midgley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

MEPs vote for killer car pollution at double the legal limit

EurActiv

3rd February 2016

Right wing MEPs in the European Parliament including UK conservatives today voted car makers a 'get out of jail free' card over air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of citizens a year, allowing their vehicles to emit double the legal limit for nitrogen oxides. more...
In Germany, it's not just flashmob protestors opposing TTIP. The German Judges Association is in on the act now too. Photo: campact vius Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'No legal basis' for TTIP corporate courts, say German judges

Nick Dearden

3rd February 2016

Germany's association of judges and magistrates has condemned the EU's plan to create a special court for investors and corporations to sue national governments, writes Nick Dearden. The proposed new court would: have no legal basis; supplant the sovereignty of member states; and usurp the role of national courts. The chances of TTIP and CETA ever being agreed just took a big step back. more...
View from Diyarbakir hotel window, with bullet hole. Photo: William John Gauthier via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Turkey's war on Kurdish cities - clearing the way for 'urban regeneration'?

Defne Kadıoğlu Polat

3rd February 2016

Erdogan's horrific 'war on terror' in the Kurdish cities of Eastern Turkey may have a silver lining, writes Defne Kadıoğlu Polat - at least for property developers and ruling party insiders. Plans are already under way for 'urban renewal' projects that will see the valuable real estate cleansed of buildings and people by the war developed into luxury apartments and shopping malls. more...
Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

'Renewable energy highways' offer quick fix for US emissions

Tim Radford

2nd February 2016

Scientists say interstate energy 'highways' offer a simple approach to delivering low-cost electricity to where it’s needed throughout the US, writes Tim Radford. The best part? It's using clean, renewable energy sources, and it can be achieved in the near future using only existing, mature technologies. more...
'BP - World's bniggest corporate criminal'. Time for the Science Museum to stop taking their filthy money. Photo: BP or not BP.

Science Museum must get out of bed with anti-science Big Fossil funders

Drew Pearce

2nd February 2016

Why is BP sponsoring the Science Museum's 'Late' event? It's all part of creating 'scientific consent' for fossil fuels, writes Drew Pearce, in the face of scientific certainty about climate change and the need for drastic cuts in carbon emissions. That's why we gatecrashed their latest show last week. more...
Biofuel production is just one of the applications of the new 'GMO 2.0' technologies. Photo: biofuel facility in La Jolla, CA, by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

Brussels biotech lobby's last push for 'GM 2.0' technologies to escape regulation

Nina Holland

2nd February 2016

Biotech corporations have invested billions in a range of new 'GM 2.0' technologies designed to redesign the world's germplasm and create new generations of super-GMOs, writes Nina Holland. And powerful investors have no intention of letting tedious EU regulations get in the way of the profits they are now poised to reap - no matter what the laws actually say. more...
Mahatma Gandhi remains a potent symbol of freedom from the oppression of colonialism and overweening corporate power. Photo: wall in Berlin by Marius Watz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

From salt to GMOs - resistance is fertile

Colin Todhunter

1st February 2016

How can progressive movements rise above merely being right, to mount effective mass opposition to corporate rule and the dictatorship of the super-wealthy? By learning from Gandhi, writes Colin Todhunter, and devising new campaigns that engage with people's everyday concerns - like access to safe, wholesome, affordable, 'open source' food. more...

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Aedes Aegypti mosquito feeding on human blood. Photo: James Gathany via jentavery on Flickr (CC BY).

Pandora's box: how GM mosquitos could have caused Brazil's microcephaly disaster

Oliver Tickell

1st February 2016

In Brazil's microcephaly epidemic, one vital question remains unanswered: how did the Zika virus suddenly learn how to disrupt the development of human embryos? The answer may lie in a sequence of 'jumping DNA' used to engineer the virus's mosquito vector - and released into the wild four years ago in the precise area of Brazil where the microcephaly crisis is most acute. more...
Dadjan Wassinatou, 34, holds a basket of freshly harvested cotton in the village of Zorro, Burkina Faso. Photo: CIFOR via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Burkina Faso calls time on Monsanto's GM cotton, demands $280m damages

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

1st February 2016

After a run of low quality GM cotton crops with unusually short fibres, Burkina Faso has ended its love affair with Monsanto's Bt cotton, writes Claire Robinson. In a further blow to the company, growers are demanding $280 million compensation for their losses. more...
'Grandmother Google, what big teeth you have got!' 'All the better to eat you up with.' Larry Page and Sergey Brin urgently require dental treatment. Image: Duncan Hull / Gizmodo via Flickr (CC BY).

UK Tax Dodgers PLC - Google outrage is the tip of an iceberg

Donnachadh McCarthy

31st January 2016

Why are we so surprised at the Google tax heist? It's not because there's anything new about it, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. It's because our own political class have long their noses in the trough, and the tax-dodging billionaires that own our mainstream media are anxious to hide the swindle that's keeping them rich, and us poor. more...
Glyphosate, the 'probable carcinogen' in your shed. But wil the EU re-licence it based on EFSA's deeply flawed, pro-industry scientific assessment? Photo: Kit Reynolds via Flickr (CC BY).

EU must not re-approve glyphosate based on flawed EFSA study

Michèle Rivasi & 65 other MEPs

1st February 2016

The European Commission must not re-approve the 'probably carcinogenic' weedkiller glyphosate so long as its assessment is based on secret industry studies, actual products are not investigated, and in the absence of scientific criteria for endocrine disruption, write 66 MEPs in this Open Letter to Commissioner Andriukaitis, in charge of health and food safety. more...
The future is clean, inexpensive and renewable - if only the government can get over its nuclear obsession. Westmill Solar Park, with wind turbines behind. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Government's nuclear fixation could ruin us all

Caroline Lucas MP

28th January 2016

EDF's unfolding fiasco over the Hinkley C nuclear power station proves that nuclear power can come only at enormous financial cost to consumers and taxpayers, writes Caroline Lucas - and even then, investors are scared off by the risks. The government must get over its nuclear obsession and seize our renewable future. more...
Protestors in Rosario, Argentina, comes out in support of the Monsanto blockade at Malvinas Argentinas, tth January 2016. Photo: Fernando Der Meguerditchian / Cooperativa de Comunicación La Brújula via Facebook.

'No Pasaran!' After two years, Argentina's Monsanto blockade is fighting on

Ciara Low / GMWatch

29th January 2016

Protesters have now blocked a Monsanto seed factory in Córdoba, Argentina for over two years, writes Ciara Low. Another eviction attempt is now imminent, and campaigners are calling for a big mobilization this Sunday to fortify the blockade and send out a strong message to Monsanto and its acolytes: 'No Pasaran!' - 'They shall not pass!' more...
Hinkley C as it would look, if ever built: 'like building a cathedral inside a cathedral', says one nuclear engineer. Artwork: EDF.

Unable to raise Hinkley C nuclear cash, EDF turns to French government

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

Just as EDF was due to make its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C, writes Oliver Tickell, another delay. In spite of incredibly generous subsidies, the company is unable to finance it. Its last hope is to persuade the French state to take a 10% stake in the doomed project. more...
An Amazonian Grey woolly spider monkey feeding in the treetops. As a important seed disperser, it is essential to the forest ecology - and its capacity to store carbon. Photo: UEA.

Hunting in the Amazon threatens rainforest carbon

The Ecologist

27th January 2016

The over-hunting of wildlife in the Amazon has an unexpected knock-on effect: the reduced seed dispersal reduces the forest's capacity to store carbon in its biomass, increasing emissions from apparently 'intact' rainforest areas. more...
Protest rally aganist Monsanto in Toronto, Canada, 25th May 2015. Photo: Nisarg Lakhmani via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Monsanto defeated? That's what the Syngenta merger shows us

Carmelo Ruiz / GMWatch

27th January 2016

Monsanto has acquired a commanding role in the biotech, seed and agro-chemical industries, writes Carmelo Ruiz. So why is the company desperate to merge with its rival Syngenta? The truth is the company is in deep trouble, as its top-selling Roundup herbicide runs out of steam, and its rivals combine to challenge its dominance. more...
As a result of EU environmental law, the UK is being forced to clean up its severe urban air pollution. Air Pollution Level 5 as seen in London, 30th April 2014. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Outside the EU, the UK could again be the ‘dirty man of Europe'

Craig Bennett / Friends of the Earth

25th January 2016

When the UK joined the EU in 1973, it was dubbed the 'dirty man of Europe' thanks to its out of control pollution, writes Craig Bennett. Since then EU laws have forced us to clean up our act. But if we leave, all that may go into the reverse, with terrible impacts on our air, water, health, and wildlife. more...
'Committed to Improving the State of the World' - of course they are! Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Mr. Klaus Schwab at WEF16 at Davos, Switzerland, 22nd January. Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen / DoD via Flickr (CC BY).

The Davos solution to inequality? Another corporate power grab

David Sogge & Nick Buxton

23rd January 2016

Inequality is on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, write David Sogge & Nick Buxton. A good thing, right? But look at the proposed 'solutions': ramp up the neoliberal 'development' model; lighten business regulation; pursue globalisation with greater vigor ... Yes, you got it. They would all accelerate the transfer the world's wealth upwards to corporate elites. more...
It was fun while it lasted, at least for some. But now the 'growth party' is over. And it's time for us to adjust the new reality. Photo: James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Peak stuff: the 'growth' party is over. So what next?

Bennet Francis & Rupert Read

22nd January 2016

Over in Davos world leaders are desperately trying to find a 'fourth industrial revolution' to keep the 'growth' juggernaut rolling, write Bennet Francis & Rupert Read. But their efforts are doomed: the real challenge we face is to build a healthy, more equal society and a green, sustainable future for us all. more...
Here lie the bones of academic freedom and scientific objectivity. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Photo: Katrina Koger via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why is Cornell University hosting a GMO propaganda campaign?

Stacy Malkan

22nd January 2016

Cornell, one of the world's leading academic institutions, has abandoned scientific objectivity, writes Stacy Malkan - and instead made itself a global hub for the promotion of GM crops and food. Working with selected journalists and industry-supported academics, Cornell's so-called 'Alliance for Science' is an aggressive propaganda tool for corporate biotech and agribusiness. more...

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