Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

New GRAIN article: New leaked chapter of Asia trade deal shows RCEP will undercut farmers’ control over seeds

Ever since the ink dried on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), people have become aware of another mega-trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors in the Asia-Pacific region. Like the TPP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) threatens to increase corporate power in member countries, leaving ordinary people with little recourse to assert their rights to things like land, safe food, life-saving medicines and seeds.

Ever since the ink dried on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), people have become aware of another mega-trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors in the Asia-Pacific region. Like the TPP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) threatens to increase corporate power in member countries, leaving ordinary people with little recourse to assert their rights to things like land, safe food, life-saving medicines and seeds.

Groups promote agroecology at international meeting in Uganda

Organizations that are advocating for agroecology among smallholder farmers in Uganda and Africa at large have urged government of Uganda to support small farmers in terms of finances and knowledge to increase food production for their families and income earning, instead of opening Uganda to genetically modified organisms.

Organizations that are advocating for agroecology among smallholder farmers in Uganda and Africa at large have urged government of Uganda to support small farmers in terms of finances and knowledge to increase food production for their families and income earning, instead of opening Uganda to genetically modified organisms.

Sign-on letter: Civil society organisations demand amnesty for Ethiopian land rights leader Okello Akway Ochalla

On 27 April, after a lengthy trial, human rights defender Okello Akway Ochalla was charged to nine years in prison. We are writing to ask you – organizations committed to land, human rights, and development issues – to stand with us in support on this issue. Time is of the essence – there is a 30 day window to appeal Mr. Okello’s sentence, and we have been advised that diplomatic pressure from the US is the best chance for amnesty in Mr. Okello’s case.

On 27 April, after a lengthy trial, human rights defender Okello Akway Ochalla was charged to nine years in prison. We are writing to ask you – organizations committed to land, human rights, and development issues – to stand with us in support on this issue. Time is of the essence – there is a 30 day window to appeal Mr. Okello’s sentence, and we have been advised that diplomatic pressure from the US is the best chance for amnesty in Mr. Okello’s case.

Tanzania launches project aimed at doubling rice production

Tanzania has launched a five-year farming project aimed at doubling its rice production. The move came a few days after the government announced a ban on the imports of rice in order to create a bigger market for locally produced rice.  

Tanzania has launched a five-year farming project aimed at doubling its rice production. The move came a few days after the government announced a ban on the imports of rice in order to create a bigger market for locally produced rice.  

Disobedience, the movie.

May 4-15, 2016: A global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.  "Disobedience", a movie that documents this struggle and forcefully argues that civil disobedience is the way to go. 

May 4-15, 2016: A global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.  "Disobedience", a movie that documents this struggle and forcefully argues that civil disobedience is the way to go. 

GMO cotton failure in Burkina Faso: African farmers speak out

Twenty cotton farmers sit in a circle in their village of Loop de Mouhoun in Burkina Faso to recount their experiences with Bt cotton production. They are among the 500 "farmer-researchers" who documented their experience with genetically modified cotton as part of a three-year research project entitled "Bt cotton and us: the truth in our fields".

Twenty cotton farmers sit in a circle in their village of Loop de Mouhoun in Burkina Faso to recount their experiences with Bt cotton production. They are among the 500 "farmer-researchers" who documented their experience with genetically modified cotton as part of a three-year research project entitled "Bt cotton and us: the truth in our fields".

Photo essay: Demonstrators in Beijing protest acquisition of Syngenta in front of ChemChina headquarters

On Sunday afternoon, 24 April 2016, about 20 Beijing food safety advocates came together in front of ChemChina headquarters in Beijing to protest the state-owned company's acquisition of Syngenta, and the harm that GMOs and toxic agrochemicals will bring to the Chinese people.

On Sunday afternoon, 24 April 2016, about 20 Beijing food safety advocates came together in front of ChemChina headquarters in Beijing to protest the state-owned company's acquisition of Syngenta, and the harm that GMOs and toxic agrochemicals will bring to the Chinese people.

China maps out GMO crops industry development plan

China has released a road map on genetically modified organisms and crops, giving priority to the development of non-edible cash crops. China has a very strict rules on GMO products, but people still question the safety of GMO foods.

China has released a road map on genetically modified organisms and crops, giving priority to the development of non-edible cash crops. China has a very strict rules on GMO products, but people still question the safety of GMO foods.

US state of Vermont seeks documents on GMOs from seed, food companies

[The US state of] Vermont's attorney general has asked a federal court to force big seed and food companies to turn over internal research on genetically modified crops, escalating a legal battle as the state defends its law requiring labels for GMO ingredients. State Attorney General William Sorrell filed motions in several US district courts seeking to compel Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other seed firms to produce studies or research related to "potential health or environmental impacts" of the crops, as well as pesticides used on them.

[The US state of] Vermont's attorney general has asked a federal court to force big seed and food companies to turn over internal research on genetically modified crops, escalating a legal battle as the state defends its law requiring labels for GMO ingredients. State Attorney General William Sorrell filed motions in several US district courts seeking to compel Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other seed firms to produce studies or research related to "potential health or environmental impacts" of the crops, as well as pesticides used on them.

McDonald’s steps up expansion in Asia

McDonald’s plans to open more than 1,500 restaurants in China and Korea with local partners over the next five years, as it refocuses on expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy after a food safety scare there in 2014 hit sales. Once the outlets are opened, the fast-food chain would have more than 4,300 restaurants across the two countries, 54 per cent more than it has now. 

McDonald’s plans to open more than 1,500 restaurants in China and Korea with local partners over the next five years, as it refocuses on expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy after a food safety scare there in 2014 hit sales. Once the outlets are opened, the fast-food chain would have more than 4,300 restaurants across the two countries, 54 per cent more than it has now. 

Thai people’s networks oppose opening to GMOs in Thailand

In 2015, at a time when Thailand’s latest dictatorship was limiting the rights and freedoms of people to assemble and mobilise, a group of corporations led by Monsanto saw this as an opportunity to start growing GMOs in open field trials and even to begin intensive commercial trials once more. It lobbied hard for the Biosafety Bill, a draft piece of legislation that we might as well call a “GMO Liberalisation Bill”.

In 2015, at a time when Thailand’s latest dictatorship was limiting the rights and freedoms of people to assemble and mobilise, a group of corporations led by Monsanto saw this as an opportunity to start growing GMOs in open field trials and even to begin intensive commercial trials once more. It lobbied hard for the Biosafety Bill, a draft piece of legislation that we might as well call a “GMO Liberalisation Bill”.

Burkina Faso seeks $84 million from Monsanto over GM cotton strain

Burkina Faso's cotton association is seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs ($83.91 million) in compensation from US seed company Monsanto after it said genetically modified cotton led to a drop in quality, association members said on Monday. Cotton is the second-biggest source of revenue for the West African country after gold.

Burkina Faso's cotton association is seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs ($83.91 million) in compensation from US seed company Monsanto after it said genetically modified cotton led to a drop in quality, association members said on Monday. Cotton is the second-biggest source of revenue for the West African country after gold.

Plan to dump US-grown peanuts into Haiti represents yet another failed policy

"USDA Provides Nutritious U.S. Peanuts in Humanitarian Effort for Haiti", read the headline on an article on the Department for Agriculture’s website. It continued: "the surplus peanuts will help feed nearly 140,000 malnourished kids for a full school year," which sounds great—however, there’s much more to this story. The USDA’s plans to dump 500 metric tons of U.S. grown peanuts into Haiti set to destroy the livelihoods of farmers.

"USDA Provides Nutritious U.S. Peanuts in Humanitarian Effort for Haiti", read the headline on an article on the Department for Agriculture’s website. It continued: "the surplus peanuts will help feed nearly 140,000 malnourished kids for a full school year," which sounds great—however, there’s much more to this story. The USDA’s plans to dump 500 metric tons of U.S. grown peanuts into Haiti set to destroy the livelihoods of farmers.

China citizens protest ChemChina-Syngenta deal amid GMO worries

Around 400 Chinese citizens have signed a letter to protest the purchase of Swiss-based seeds and pesticides company Syngenta by state-owned ChemChina, saying the deal would eventually lead to genetically modified crops being sown across swathes of the country. Although relatively few people signed the letter, it marks a rare example of open opposition to state-supported corporate strategy in a nation where the government often clamps down hard on any criticism.

Around 400 Chinese citizens have signed a letter to protest the purchase of Swiss-based seeds and pesticides company Syngenta by state-owned ChemChina, saying the deal would eventually lead to genetically modified crops being sown across swathes of the country. Although relatively few people signed the letter, it marks a rare example of open opposition to state-supported corporate strategy in a nation where the government often clamps down hard on any criticism.