[img_assist|nid=168|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]On 27 November 2005, the majority of the Swiss population voted in favour of a 5-year moratorium for commercial cultivation of genetically engineered plants and animals. The moratorium does not apply for research into GMOs, nor does it stop import of GMO-food or feed.
This moratorium is an important step in a global opposition against GM crops because it shows that a country can take such a step, even if companies, politicians and scientists might be against it.

[img_assist|nid=170|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]Food in the EU doesn't have to be labeled as containing GM ingredients if it contains material of less than 0.9% content as long as it is "adventitious" or "technically unavoidable". But companies have to label it, if they have done nothing to avoid the contamination. The clause "adventitious" or "technically unavoidable" in the EU Regulation 1829/2003 on GM labelling is not a simple threshold.

[img_assist|nid=171|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=40]Scientists on the Philippines work on a GM coconut but their aim is not one to improve local food production. It is to compete with (GM) canola oil on the world market. There couldn’t be a better example for a GMO pure developed as cash crop in a global commodity market of interchangeable products.

[img_assist|nid=178|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=43]GM plants are often put forward as a chance for developing countries to combat hunger. However, the evaluation of GM plants grown in developing countries or developed for them show that they fail to reach this goal. The examples of virus-resistant sweet-potatoes, pro-vitamin A rice and Bt maize show that these GM crops are an inappropriate approach to solve the issues that cause hunger and poverty.

A. Lorch, Die richtingen Maße für die Nahrung. Ethik in den Wissenschaften, October 2005.

Promises but no results

[img_assist|nid=178|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=43]GM plants are often put forward as a chance for developing countries to combat hunger. However, the evaluation of GM plants grown in developing countries or developed for them show that they fail to reach this goal. The examples of virus-resistant sweet-potatoes, pro-vitamin A rice and Bt maize show that these GM crops are an inappropriate approach to solve the issues that cause hunger and poverty.

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[img_assist|nid=172|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]Scientists in the UK put 16 lines of three different GM potatoes under a range of stress situations and then studied the quantities of two main groups of secondary, toxic metabolites. They found significant differences. An argument why it is necessary to study GM crops under realistic conditions.

[img_assist|nid=107|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=43]Some more details on recent findings on the EFSA opinions about the MON863 hybrids MON863xMON810, MON863xNK603 and MON863xMON810xNK603 (EFSA 2005):

A. Lorch, Background paper for Greenpeace, September 2005

[img_assist|nid=107|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]Once again no qualified majorities could be found to approve the import of GM crops. However, under EU regulation it is not important whether enough countries are in favour of it, but whether enough countries are against it. Is the EU ministers’ impasse once again favouring the biotech companies?

[img_assist|nid=173|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]Monsanto advices framers to use three additional herbicides to deal with herbicide resistant palmer amaranth. What happened to the promise that GM crops would reduce the herbicide applications? Is this the confirmation that such promises were just a sales pitch?

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