Annolies Truman

On January 11, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon announced what amounts to a ban on the commercial growing of MON810, a type of genetically modified corn. MON810, marketed by the US biotech company Monsanto, is the only GM crop grown commercially in France.
The Say No to GMO campaign launched a new petition in Western Australia this month, asking that liability for contamination of non-genetically modified crops rest with those responsible for bringing GM crops or food into the state.
Despite opposition from farmers and consumers, big-business biotech companies scored a major victory on November 27 when both the New South Wales and Victorian governments gave the green light to the commercial cultivation of genetically modified food crops. This opens the gate for pro-GM groups to lobby other states which have not yet agreed to commercial production of GM crops.
The movement to oppose genetically modified crops and foods in Australia received international support for its campaign with the October tour of the Consumers’ Union of Japan (CUJ).
Two thousand people rallied in the East Timorese capital of Dili on October 17 to demand food sovereignty for East Timor. The demonstration was the culmination of three days of activities to mark World Food Day.
Around 200 people, including a dozen parliamentarians, rallied in front of the Western Australian parliament on September 18 to demand a closing of the mortality gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. At present, Aboriginal Australians die 17 years earlier than non-Aboriginal Australians.
A specially commissioned federal government report and a one-sided Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) discussion paper are being used in a continued drive to force Australian states to introduce genetically modified crops, with dissenting voices shoved aside.
Around 50 activists gathered on August 11 in the Maritime Union of Australia offices to nominate Socialist Alliance Senate candidates in WA and plan campaigns.
A bill recently pushed through federal parliament has the potential to threaten state moratoriums on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by granting new powers to the federal agriculture minister, a WA anti-GMO activist told Green Left Weekly.
Recent attacks on the organic food industry are about discrediting it to soften up the public to accept genetically modified (GM) crops, Dr Maggie Lilith of the Conservation Council of WA and the Say No to GMO campaign told Green Left Weekly.
“There is no future for oil-dependent agriculture”, well-known Columban priest and Philippines-based anti-GMO campaigner Brian Gore told the WA launch of Say No to GMO (genetically modified organisms) on April 5.
Pope Benedict XVI is travelling to Brazil in May for an important bishops’ meeting. To prepare the way the Vatican has slapped down Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino, one of Latin America’s major theologians and a survivor of the 1980s Salvadoran death squad war.
Over the February 3-4 weekend, 60 people participated in a conference on European anti-capitalist left unity projects organised by left-wing Swiss party SolidariteS. Held in the border town of Le Locle in the Neuchatel canton, the conference attracted mainly SolidariteS members and supporters, but members of the French Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire (LCR) also attended.
On September 24, a Swiss referendum overwhelmingly validated two anti-immigration laws. The laws received 68% support.

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