Monthly Archives: September 2012

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Everyone is stealing germplasm: Dr. Hampaiah, Chairperson, AP Biodiversity Board Author(s): Latha Jishnu Date: Sep 15, 2012 When agronomist Ralladoddi Hampaiah was advisor to the Russian government, he discovered how easy it was to take genetic resources out of India. And also how easy it was to bring in such material—bypassing quarantining regulations and other critical formalities. He once took 100 seeds of maize for testing to Russia from Delhi, and at Moscow airport he was grilled thoroughly about the seeds, their origin and certification. On his return from Russia, he brought in an enormous quantity of seeds, all of 15 kg, but was waved through customs! No questions asked. That was in 1993 before the international convention on biodiversity came into being. […]

Ignoring the nation’s poor: A political peril in 2012?

In today’s America, one in four Americans live in poverty. Since 2007, number of working families living in poverty or near poverty rose by 25 per cent. The official poverty rate rose to 15.9 per cent this month. This is happening despite the presence of Wal-mart which is supposed to be creating jobs and helps in economic growth. Since 2007, 10.4 million more Americans have had their incomes fall below the official poverty line. I can’t believe this. And we are made to believe that the country must follow the US economic model if it has to grow, to remove poverty and to eliminate hunger. What a fallacy. This analysis […]

Surinder Sud: Fertiliser Subsidy burden or boon?

Why phasing out the fertiliser subsidy will affect small farmers Business Standard | September 25, 2012 The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMAEC) has suggested in its recent Economic Outlook report for 2012-13 that the process of reducing the subsidy burden on the exchequer could begin with “dismantling the fertiliser subsidy”. To justify this plea, the PMAEC has reportedly argued that agricultural input subsidies are progressively losing their relevance because their role in contributing to productivity enhancement is fast diminishing. The PMAEC’s arguments are, indeed, far from incontrovertible. For, several widely held perceptions concerning the fertiliser subsidy, its relevance to agriculture and its ultimate beneficiaries do not seem to […]

Feeding a thirsty world: challenges and opportunities for a water and food secure future

Source: Stockholm International Water Institute | August, 2012 This report presents the latest thinking and new approaches to emerging and persistent challenges to achieve food security in the 21st century. It focuses on critical issues that have received less attention in the literature to date, such as: food waste, land acquisitions, gender aspects of agriculture, and early warning systems for agricultural emergencies. It also offers perspectives on how to better manage water and food linkages.

6th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

1-5 October 2012  Hyderabad, India Report of COP-MOP5: Biosafety Protocol Steps Forward * COP-MOP5 met in Nagoya, Japan from 11-15 October 2010. This is a TWN report on the meeting’s outcomes. Lim Li Lin, Third World Network and Doreen Stabinsky, College of the Atlantic The bi-annual meeting of Parties to the UN Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety ended in Nagoya on Friday, 15 October 2010 with a major advance in international law. The meeting saw the adoption of a new environmental treaty – the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. A number of significant Decisions of the 5th Conference of the Parties serving as […]

Constructing Facts: Bt Cotton Narratives in India A group of researchers and industry writers have constructed a narrative of technological triumph for Bt  cotton in India, based on an empirical record of superior performance compared to conventional seed. Counterclaims of Bt cotton failure are attributed to mutually reinforcing interactions among non-governmental organisations which avoid rigorous comparisons. However, researchers and the biotechnology industry are also engaged in a similar authentication loop for generating, validating, and publicising such facts. With Bt cotton, the convention of routinely ignoring the effects of selection bias and cultivation bias benefits researchers, journals and the industry, but keeps us from drawing meaningful conclusions about the relative performance of the technology. But as poor as the case for isolating the technology impact of Bt cotton in India […]

Subsidies on food: Study advises delay of cash transfer scheme

download the report: TNN NEW DELHI: With finance minister P Chidambaram recently declaring at a fullPlanning Commission meeting that cash transfers may replace subsidies for food, fertilizers and fuel by the end of the 12th five year Plan, the controversial proposal has again moved center stage. A recently concluded pilot project in Delhi which substituted ration cards with Rs 1000 transferred monthly to families throws light on the pros and cons of the scheme. The study involved 450 below poverty line households living in Raghubir Nagar, a colony in west Delhi. Of these, 100 households (called the transfer group) received the cash through a bank account opened in the women’s name. The remaining 350 […]

Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize

Gilles-Eric Séralini a,⇑, Emilie Clair a, Robin Mesnage a, Steeve Gress a, Nicolas Defarge a, Manuela Malatesta b, Didier Hennequin c, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois a a University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Risk Pole, MRSH-CNRS, EA 2608, Esplanade de la Paix, Caen Cedex 14032, France b University of Verona, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, Verona 37134, Italy c University of Caen, UR ABTE, EA 4651, Bd Maréchal Juin, Caen Cedex 14032, France a b s t r a c t The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 […]

Guidelines for taking up Mini Hydel Schemes on Irrigation Canals, Head Regulators, Streams and Vagus

As you may be knowing, the Andhra Pradesh Irrigation and CAD Department issued:“Guidelines for taking up Mini Hydel Schemes on Irrigation Canals, Head Regulators, Streams and Vagus”(Please see: sometime in June/July this year. The guidelines, though exhaustive, make no mention of social and ecological impacts of Mini Hydel Projects (Hydel projects upto 25 MW), which are huge. Please find attached a letter we have drafted, addressed to the Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation and CAD Department, AP, which elaborates the impacts of Mini Hydel Projects and the need to regulate the sector, prior to sanctioning such projects. As we have seen in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, once the sanctioning process starts, hundreds of […]

The Hunger Grains The fight is on. Time to scrap EU biofuels mandates.

The Hunger Grains: The fight is on. Time to scrap EU biofuels mandates. (Full report) 972.81 KB Published: 17 September 2012 Author: Ruth Kelly, Economic Policy Adviser This paper shows how concerns about land and food rights around the world, both major campaigning priorities for Oxfam, are closely linked to EU biofuel mandates. In 2009, EU governments committed to sourcing 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020: they are set to meet this target almost exclusively using biofuels made from food crops. Land grabs: Countries with poor protection of land rights are magnets for land deals – most of which are to grow crops that can be […]

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