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.

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.

Call for support: global day of action for food, land and justice, 8 April

We call on the KMP members and its allied organizations nationwide to launch “sympathy barricades and protests across the country” to condemn the brutal and shameless massacre in Kidapawan perpetrated by the Aquino government. Let us denounce the bloody dispersal of a farmers’ rally in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato last April 1, 2016. The incident left two persons dead, at least 37 hurt and wounded. We also call on our international friends and allies to join us on April 8 and support Kidapawan farmers. 

We call on the KMP members and its allied organizations nationwide to launch “sympathy barricades and protests across the country” to condemn the brutal and shameless massacre in Kidapawan perpetrated by the Aquino government. Let us denounce the bloody dispersal of a farmers’ rally in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato last April 1, 2016. The incident left two persons dead, at least 37 hurt and wounded. We also call on our international friends and allies to join us on April 8 and support Kidapawan farmers. 

In the wake of "El Niño massacre", Green Revolution a failure, Filipino farmers still hungry

On IRRI’s 56th anniversary, farmer-scientist group MASIPAG called on the institution to immediately shut down its operations in the Philippines as it failed miserably to address the impacts of climate change resulting to deeper hunger and poverty. Last Friday, farmers coming from North Cotabato and nearby provinces in Mindanao held a barricade in Kidapawan City to call for rice subsidy as most of the farms were affected by the drought brought about by El Nino. Instead of addressing the farmers concerns, the protest was met by gunfire, with three farmers confirmed dead and scores of farmers, and possibly women and children, wounded.

On IRRI’s 56th anniversary, farmer-scientist group MASIPAG called on the institution to immediately shut down its operations in the Philippines as it failed miserably to address the impacts of climate change resulting to deeper hunger and poverty. Last Friday, farmers coming from North Cotabato and nearby provinces in Mindanao held a barricade in Kidapawan City to call for rice subsidy as most of the farms were affected by the drought brought about by El Nino. Instead of addressing the farmers concerns, the protest was met by gunfire, with three farmers confirmed dead and scores of farmers, and possibly women and children, wounded.

India: BJP backtracks on opposition to retail liberalisation

India has still not made any commitment to the World Trade Organisation to liberalise its retailing services. Nevertheless, the state continues to advance policies to liberalise and corporatise the sector. India now allows 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in wholesale trading, single brand retailing and business to business e-commerce.

India has still not made any commitment to the World Trade Organisation to liberalise its retailing services. Nevertheless, the state continues to advance policies to liberalise and corporatise the sector. India now allows 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in wholesale trading, single brand retailing and business to business e-commerce.

TPP, palm oil and animal agriculture = forest, water and climate catastrophe!

In this webinar, which took place 20 March 2016, experts discuss two reports on corporate agribusiness' influence on the TPP and the price global climate, forests and water will pay if activists are not successful in defeating this raw deal for the planet. Ben Lilliston (IATP) addresses what the global meat industry hopes to gain from TPP – and theharmful impacts this industry causes for communities, the environment and health. Ramón Vera Herrera (GRAIN) looks at the terrible effects of free trade agreements on agriculture, food, health, job conditions and climate justice.

In this webinar, which took place 20 March 2016, experts discuss two reports on corporate agribusiness' influence on the TPP and the price global climate, forests and water will pay if activists are not successful in defeating this raw deal for the planet. Ben Lilliston (IATP) addresses what the global meat industry hopes to gain from TPP – and theharmful impacts this industry causes for communities, the environment and health. Ramón Vera Herrera (GRAIN) looks at the terrible effects of free trade agreements on agriculture, food, health, job conditions and climate justice.

New mega-treaty in the pipeline: what does RCEP mean for farmers’ seeds in Asia?

Signed in February 2016, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have a major impact on farmers’ access to and control over seeds. The US-led agreement, which covers 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China), opens the door to trade in genetically modified seeds and encourages member countries to apply intellectual property rights to the realm of “traditional knowledge” about plants and animals. While the TPP is certainly cause for concern, another mega trade deal is being negotiated behind closed doors that could threaten farmer seed sovereignty in Asia even further.

Signed in February 2016, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have a major impact on farmers’ access to and control over seeds. The US-led agreement, which covers 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China), opens the door to trade in genetically modified seeds and encourages member countries to apply intellectual property rights to the realm of “traditional knowledge” about plants and animals. While the TPP is certainly cause for concern, another mega trade deal is being negotiated behind closed doors that could threaten farmer seed sovereignty in Asia even further.

Finding our seeds

Interview with Han, Young-mi, Former General Secretary of the Korean Woman Peasant’s Association Gangwon-do Union on what at stake for the farmers from the trend of mergers and acquisitions of the transnational agroindustry.

Interview with Han, Young-mi, Former General Secretary of the Korean Woman Peasant’s Association Gangwon-do Union on what at stake for the farmers from the trend of mergers and acquisitions of the transnational agroindustry.