GMO Digest: Organic Pest Control Bests Pesticides, GE Trees and Potatoes, and More

Here are the latest GMO and sustainable agriculture stories from the last week:

Organic Pest Management Works Better — Beyond Pesticides looks at a USDA-funded study confirming that organic farming practices produce high yields while fostering biodiversity and reducing pest problems without toxic chemicals.

Shut Up and Eat Your Pesticides? — Chemical farming interests, represented by the Alliance for Food and Farming, take aim at Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Shopper’s Guide To Pesticides In Produce”, but EWG is grateful for publicity dedicated to their healthy message.

GE Tree Field Trial in New Zealand — The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand has sounded the alarm on new GE tree field trials taking place there.   Another trial of GE trees originating from New Zealand recently made big news in the United States.

GM Blight-resistant Potatoes — Brits are asking if testing of GM potatoes is a waste of tax-payer money. Potato blight is a serious disease, but GMOs are not the solution. Dr. Novotny shows that non-GM potatoes represent an existing economically and environmentally viable alternative.

Key UK Scientist Admits Monsanto Ties — After a storm of public comments, a UK scientist overseeing the first public trials of a GM potato admits to a Monsanto link, but promises independence.  It’s hard to believe Prof. Jones, given his biotech industry past.

Bayer CropScience Pays for GM Contamination — A jury in St. Louis awarded a Louisiana farmer over $500K of compensation for the loss of income due to a plunge in rice prices and exports in a case over 2006 GM contamination of rice seeds. This is a fifth straight loss for Bayer with about 500 additional lawsuits still pending.

Brazilian Farmers’ War Against Monsanto — In one Brazilian state farmers are preparing for a court battle against Monsanto over seed royalties they are forced to pay on conventional seeds contaminated with GMOs.  Déjà vu.

Act Now! Avoid Herbicide Immunity — Stop using RoundUp and mix your pest control methods tells Iowa State University agronomist in a Des Moines Register article as he warns Iowa’s corn and soybean farmers of the looming weed immunity problem.

Becoming a Locavore — Kimberly Hartke provides a personal take on the benefits of a local, traditional food diet.

Food Sovereignty in Africa: The People’s Alternative — An in-depth look at agriculture in Africa and socio-economic, environmental and cultural challenges faced by African states in part due to globalization and development of GMOs, bio-piracy and the privatization of genetic resources.  Read on here.

This is our first roundup (no pun intended) of the latest GMO and sustainable agriculture news from around the web.  We hope to do one weekly going forward.  Stay tuned!  Let us know what you think.

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