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.

#OccupySocfinBolloré: Overview of international mobilisation at Socfin and Bolloré headquarters

On 1 and 3 June, protestors occupied the headquarters of Socfin (Luxembourg) and Bolloré (Paris) demanding that the two companies respect the rights of local communities. Socfin and Bolloré have agricultural investments in several countries in Asia and Africa, primarily for oil palm plantations. See an overview of the days' mobilisations, which were live-tweeted by GRAIN and others.   

On 1 and 3 June, protestors occupied the headquarters of Socfin (Luxembourg) and Bolloré (Paris) demanding that the two companies respect the rights of local communities. Socfin and Bolloré have agricultural investments in several countries in Asia and Africa, primarily for oil palm plantations. See an overview of the days' mobilisations, which were live-tweeted by GRAIN and others.   

New GRAIN article: ADM’s offshore links to Wilmar, world’s worst environmental offender

The Panama Papers leak has focused global attention on tax havens. While most of the initial stories have been about politicians, attention is slowly turning to corporations, by far the biggest users of tax havens. The top 50 US corporations alone are said to have hidden about US$1.4 trillion in tax havens. Food companies like Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) and Wilmar are heavy users of offshore company structures.

The Panama Papers leak has focused global attention on tax havens. While most of the initial stories have been about politicians, attention is slowly turning to corporations, by far the biggest users of tax havens. The top 50 US corporations alone are said to have hidden about US$1.4 trillion in tax havens. Food companies like Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) and Wilmar are heavy users of offshore company structures.

Tanzania: Fighting for seeds and soil

Tanzania is at the forefront in the battle for control over Africa's food system. With the help of the UK government (and others in the G7) corporations are scrambling to expand their markets in seeds, fertilisers, agrochemicals and land. But small-scale farmer organisations are fighting back by strengthening farmers' knowledge of land, seeds and soil. A video by Global Justice Now.

Tanzania is at the forefront in the battle for control over Africa's food system. With the help of the UK government (and others in the G7) corporations are scrambling to expand their markets in seeds, fertilisers, agrochemicals and land. But small-scale farmer organisations are fighting back by strengthening farmers' knowledge of land, seeds and soil. A video by Global Justice Now.

Statement of international solidarity with Venezuela’s seed law

On 23 December 2015, Venezuela’s national assembly passed a new seed law banning the import, production and planting of GMO seeds and protecting the production and free exchange of seed varieties of Venezuela’s farming communities (indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant) among other provisions. The law is significant both for its content and for the process through which it was passed.

On 23 December 2015, Venezuela’s national assembly passed a new seed law banning the import, production and planting of GMO seeds and protecting the production and free exchange of seed varieties of Venezuela’s farming communities (indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant) among other provisions. The law is significant both for its content and for the process through which it was passed.

New GE report misses its own point

Last week, the National Academies of Science (NAS) attracted much media attention with the release of its new report, "Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects." According to report authors, genetically engineered (GE) crops have failed to live up to the hype advertised by corporate manufacturers. And more rigorous monitoring and oversight by regulatory agencies is needed, they say, to protect against unexpected adverse outcomes. Unfortunately, these and other important findings are buried within the report’s 400+ pages—and then glossed over in the authors’ own recommendations, as well as in the NAS press release that paints a decidedly more upbeat picture of the impacts of GE crops.

Last week, the National Academies of Science (NAS) attracted much media attention with the release of its new report, "Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects." According to report authors, genetically engineered (GE) crops have failed to live up to the hype advertised by corporate manufacturers. And more rigorous monitoring and oversight by regulatory agencies is needed, they say, to protect against unexpected adverse outcomes. Unfortunately, these and other important findings are buried within the report’s 400+ pages—and then glossed over in the authors’ own recommendations, as well as in the NAS press release that paints a decidedly more upbeat picture of the impacts of GE crops.

Thailand: Food safety advocacy group Thai-Pan takes government to court

A food safety advocacy group will file negligence and dereliction of duty complaints against the Department of Agriculture, after finding more than half the fruit and vegetables awarded a government "Q mark" for quality had harmful residue levels.

A food safety advocacy group will file negligence and dereliction of duty complaints against the Department of Agriculture, after finding more than half the fruit and vegetables awarded a government "Q mark" for quality had harmful residue levels.

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.