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.

GE trees to fight climate change?

The realities of climate change have become altogether painfully obvious. Many are working to address this by reducing consumption, and protecting landscapes and biodiversity. ArborGen and other tree biotechnology companies, however, have a different vision. They want to develop so-called “bio-energy” from massive plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

The realities of climate change have become altogether painfully obvious. Many are working to address this by reducing consumption, and protecting landscapes and biodiversity. ArborGen and other tree biotechnology companies, however, have a different vision. They want to develop so-called “bio-energy” from massive plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

New seed legislation spells disaster for small farmers in Africa

Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.

Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.

Tunis 2013: If we rely on corporate seed, we lose food sovereignty

It has become crucial to defend seeds. In the past 20 or 30 years, what was once seen as normal – peasant farmers growing, selecting, saving and exchanging seeds – has come under attack from corporations seeking to control and commodify the very basis of agriculture. This was the subject of the session at the World Social Forum in Tunis on Peasant Seeds jointly organized on March 28, 2013 by La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and the ETC Group.

It has become crucial to defend seeds. In the past 20 or 30 years, what was once seen as normal – peasant farmers growing, selecting, saving and exchanging seeds – has come under attack from corporations seeking to control and commodify the very basis of agriculture. This was the subject of the session at the World Social Forum in Tunis on Peasant Seeds jointly organized on March 28, 2013 by La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and the ETC Group.

Peasant farmers’ markets in Colombia

The latest edition of the Nyéléni newsletter is dedicated to the struggles for food sovereignty that help us to hope for a better world, including this story of how peasants in Colombia are fending off the advance of supermarkets and managing to build up their own markets in Bogotá. 

The latest edition of the Nyéléni newsletter is dedicated to the struggles for food sovereignty that help us to hope for a better world, including this story of how peasants in Colombia are fending off the advance of supermarkets and managing to build up their own markets in Bogotá. 

Stop the crop!

In the last 15 years only two GM crops have been authorized for cultivation in Europe. This was a result of public rejection and successful opposition by the environmental, social and farmers movements. However, we are still faced with around 25 GM crops in the pipeline that are close to getting approved, many of them resistant to (multiple) herbicides, and Bt-crops. Therefore, we are launching a new campaign on Monday 18 March to stop new GMO approvals for cultivation in the EU: Stop the Crop!

In the last 15 years only two GM crops have been authorized for cultivation in Europe. This was a result of public rejection and successful opposition by the environmental, social and farmers movements. However, we are still faced with around 25 GM crops in the pipeline that are close to getting approved, many of them resistant to (multiple) herbicides, and Bt-crops. Therefore, we are launching a new campaign on Monday 18 March to stop new GMO approvals for cultivation in the EU: Stop the Crop!

Tunis social forum: the climate space

In the upcoming World Social Forum, to be held in Tunis, 25-30 March, a lot of attention will focus on the climate crisis. One element of the debate is how to change the food system to deal with the climate crisis. For more information, visit: http://climatespace2013.wordpress.com/

In the upcoming World Social Forum, to be held in Tunis, 25-30 March, a lot of attention will focus on the climate crisis. One element of the debate is how to change the food system to deal with the climate crisis. For more information, visit: http://climatespace2013.wordpress.com/

USA: The meat industry now consumes four-fifths of all antibiotics

Antibiotic overuse is breeding new and resistant strains of bacteria that infect people. But industrial farms haven't got the message. In 2011 almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in the US for meat and poulty production. Almost four times as much as those sold to treat sick people! An excellent reflection by Tom Philpott.

Antibiotic overuse is breeding new and resistant strains of bacteria that infect people. But industrial farms haven't got the message. In 2011 almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in the US for meat and poulty production. Almost four times as much as those sold to treat sick people! An excellent reflection by Tom Philpott.

And now.... GM potatoes in Peru?

After the Mexican government shocked the world last December with its plans to allow for the planting of GM maize in the heart of this crops center of diversity, now the same tragedy seems to be going to be allowed in Peru, the centre of patato diversity. Indigenous people raise the alarm.

After the Mexican government shocked the world last December with its plans to allow for the planting of GM maize in the heart of this crops center of diversity, now the same tragedy seems to be going to be allowed in Peru, the centre of patato diversity. Indigenous people raise the alarm.

Watergrabbing..... and waste!

A new report calculates that up to half of the food produced in the world never makes it to any dinner table, and finds that enormous amounts of water are being squandered in the process. Another report tried to calculate the amount of water to be used by those now grabbing land in poor countries to produce food and fuel for the export market.

A new report calculates that up to half of the food produced in the world never makes it to any dinner table, and finds that enormous amounts of water are being squandered in the process. Another report tried to calculate the amount of water to be used by those now grabbing land in poor countries to produce food and fuel for the export market.

PFU calls for February 9th boycott of Israeli agribusiness

Palestinian Farmers Union invites social movements, nongovernmental organisations, trade unions and human rights campaigners to take creative and effective action on February 9th in support of Palestinian farmers defending their land and natural resources.

Palestinian Farmers Union invites social movements, nongovernmental organisations, trade unions and human rights campaigners to take creative and effective action on February 9th in support of Palestinian farmers defending their land and natural resources.

Agricultural Growth Corridors: the latest idea for Africa?

Agricultural Growth Corridors' increasingly pop up in the promotion literature of donors, corporations and multilateral agencies alike. The latest idea to 'develop' Africa and help it's small farmers, they claim. What's this all about? Two new reports give some background.  

Agricultural Growth Corridors' increasingly pop up in the promotion literature of donors, corporations and multilateral agencies alike. The latest idea to 'develop' Africa and help it's small farmers, they claim. What's this all about? Two new reports give some background.  

Bid to lift hybrid rice yield to 15 tonnes a hectare slammed

Rival researchers say Professor Yuan's bid to reach 15 tonnes a hectare is too costly and risks making rice vulnerable to pests and weather. "The rice was created for one purpose, and that's the personal obsession of Yuan to increase yield."

Rival researchers say Professor Yuan's bid to reach 15 tonnes a hectare is too costly and risks making rice vulnerable to pests and weather. "The rice was created for one purpose, and that's the personal obsession of Yuan to increase yield."

We will not share Monsanto's risk - Open letter to the EBRD

More than 150 organisations, including GRAIN, have called on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to not further consider USD 40 million unfunded risk participation in Monsanto's portfolio in Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

More than 150 organisations, including GRAIN, have called on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to not further consider USD 40 million unfunded risk participation in Monsanto's portfolio in Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.