Chinese farmers jump the gun on GMO corn

Even though China has not approved cultivation of GMO crops, environmental group Greenpeace says farmers in the northeastern part of the country are growing the crop illegally, said Reuters.

China revamps seed law, keeps controls on major crops

In the first change to China’s Seed Law since enactment in 2000, the top legislature relaxed regulation over nearly two dozen crops but said new varieties of five major crops - rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and cotton - will still need regulatory approval before they go on the market, said Xinhua.

Hawaii to expand voluntary pesticide reporting in GMO seed

The Hawaii state Department of Agriculture plans to expand statewide a voluntary program in which major agricultural companies such as Dow, Pioneer, Sygenta and BASF report the types and amounts of restricted-use pesticides that they use each month on Kauai, says Honolulu Civil Beat. Under the "Good Neighbor Program," the companies put a 100-foot buffer zone around pesticide applications and, if requested, notify neighbors before spraying. State agriculture director Scott Enright "said he expects the program to be implemented statewide by the end of the year."

Monsanto ends attempt to buy Syngenta

The seed and pesticide giant Monsanto Co. has ended its attempt to buy Syngenta, its Swiss rival, says Deutsche Welle.

One defendant freed in seed-corn theft case

U.S. Judge Stephanie Rose dismissed charges against a Chinese woman, Mo Yun, accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies, said the Associated Press.

Ontario sets limits on use of “neonic”-coated seeds

The provincial government of Ontario "is moving to take the sting out of pesticides that are killing bees," says the Toronto Star. On July 1, Ontario will be first jurisdiction in North America to limit plantings of corn and soybean seeds coated with neonicotinoid pesticides, says The Star...

Monsanto “close to final stage” on GE corn in India

Seed company Monsanto says it has competed a field trial of genetically engineered corn in India, and aims to submit data within a year to the government for use in deciding whether to approve the strain, according to Reuters.

Pioneer, a “crown jewel,” affected by DuPont tussle

Fast-growing Pioneer, one of the largest U.S. seed companies, could face "long-term repercussions" from a proposal by a New York investor to break up corporate parent DuPont, reports the Des Moines Register.

Seed diversity is in the hands of small farmers

Researchers say small farmers hold up to 75 percent of the seeds to produce the huge array of crops grown around the world, says Reuters.

Dual-herbicide seeds to be Monsanto’s biggest GE launch

After a decade of development, Monsanto anticipates its genetically engineered Xtend soybean and cotton varieties will be its "largest biotech trait launch...with six times the number of varieties" that it offered in a previous set of GE strains.

EPA proposes framework to keep Bt corn seed effective

Corn growers would use crop rotation and "stacked" seeds to prevent corn rootworm from developing widespread resistance to Bt corn under a framework proposed by EPA and open for public comment until March 16.

Performing “seed CPR” for organic agriculture

Seed banks are a well-known way to preserve genetic diversity through preservation and propagation of rare food crops or varieties that have fallen out of favor.

Ending dispute, China clears Syngenta GE corn for import

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack relayed word of Chinese approval Syngenta's MIR 162 corn variety, which has roiled corn sales for months and prompted dozens of lawsuits, says the Financial Times.

Will low market prices bring uptick in conventional seeds?

The lion's share of U.S. corn, soybeans and cotton sprouts from genetically engineered seed, according to an annual USDA survey of growers.

Quinoa, from the Andes to the Persian Gulf

The United Arab Emirates, after successful field trials in 2014, is working with its farmers to establish quinoa as a commercial crop on the Arabian peninsula, says Food Navigator.

Settlement of Syngenta GE corn suits more likely, say lawyers

Chinese approval of Syngenta's genetically engineered corn "increases the likelihood the seed maker will pay settlements" to farmers and exporters who sued over lost export sales, according to lawyers interviewed by Reuters.

Dow had China in mind with US sales plan for new GE seeds

An official at Dow AgroSciences says the company decided to restrict sales of its new genetically engineered Enlist corn and soybeans after "extensive talks with U.S. grain leaders who fear roiling trade with China," says Reuters.

More lawsuits over Syngenta corn barred by China

Seed company Syngenta faces lawsuits by at least 130 farmers in 13 states over its MIR 162 strain of genetically engineered corn, says DTN. A judicial panel in Charleston, SC, is to decide on Dec 4 if the cases should be transferred to a single federal court...

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