The World February 2015

March 6, 2015

Each month, the Alliance tracks the world s top news and opinions on agricultural biotechnology. If you or someone in your organization is interested in contributing reports to the Monthly Monitor, please let us know at We always encourage you to submit important news reports from your region.

China Begins GE Food Education Campaign

China will step up efforts to improve public awareness of GE agriculture in 2015 to challenge consumer fears, according to Xinhua, the Chinese government news agency. GM technology is very promising, Chinese agricultural official Han Jun said, and we must stand on top of GM research as China has quite limited agricultural resources.

Uganda Tables Biosafety Bill

Denis Hamson Obua, Chairperson of the committee on science and technology of the Ugandan parliament, has tabled Uganda s National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, according to The bill, whose objectives include providing for development and general release of GE foods in Uganda, also provides a regulatory framework for the application of biotechnology.

New York Assembly Bill Would Defend Farmers Against Lawsuits from Seed Companies

Farmers in New York State would be protected against lawsuits from biotech companies if GM crops inadvertently grow on their fields, according to a bill passed by the NY Assembly in February. Seed producers have sued farmers around the country for allegedly growing their bioengineered crops without buying the seed. Similar legislation is pending in the NY Senate, the Associated Press reported.

India Surpasses China in GM Hectares Grown

India now has as many hectares devoted to GE crops as Canada and more than China, the Hindustan Times reported last month. Unlike Canada, which grows several GE crops, India has only one crop: Bt cotton. But genetically engineered cotton alone accounts for more has 11.6 million hectares.

EU Lobbied for 13 Biotech Approvals

A consortium of U.S. commodity, seed, and biotech groups has sent a letter to the European Health & Food Safety Commissioner asking for quick approval of more than 13 new biotech products, according to Prairie Farmer. Several GE traits have been waiting for more than a year, said U.S. corn, cotton, soy & wheat groups. The groups noted that, while the process for approving new biotech traits had slowed in recent years, it now appears to have come to a “complete stop.”

Scottish Farmer: Rebrand genetic modification as ethical crop breeding .

Nigel Miller, president of Scotland s National Farmers Union, believes that genetic modification should be re-branded as ethical crop breeding, The Courier (UK) reported. Miller also said that patented technology should be used for the greater good rather than to feed the profits of multinational corporations.