This is part of a trial series


Greenpeace stage an action with banners against the GE industry, in the hall of the EU commission building in Brussels. The action speaks out against methods used by GE companies to lobby the EU law.

Survey shows that three quarters of Germans are against GE - despite the resistance it is being approved

The International Herald Tribune and newspapers around the world report, that the European Union has approved the first GE crop for domestic growing, ending what had been a long wait for a backlog of GE crops awaiting cultivation approval.

This decision will allow farmers to grow the GE potato Amflora developed by chemical giant BASF. For now it will be grown in Czech Republic and in Germany, where a Greenpeace-comissioned survey showed that three quarters of Germans are against GE.

Along with that decision the European Commission announced that it will allow European countries to independently decide whether to allow GE within their borders. "It is shocking that one of the Commission's first official acts is to authorize a GM crop that puts the environment and public health at risk," Greenpeace spokesman Marco Contiero said to AFP.

Les Echos reports that about 50 GE plants are currently pending approval this year. Spanish El Periodico and El Pais both stress how big of a threat this decision is to the environment and human health. If you understand German there is a video clip here.

GE foods are increasingly recognised as a problem

Russian paper Izvestia reports on how large of a threat GE rice could be for Chinas health, economy and ecological balance. "As soon as genetically modified rice will go down in dense nutrient chain, it will have a large impact on food and environmental safety", said the representative of Greenpeace in China Fan Lifen.

Action in Belgium - revealing Samsung's broken toxic promises


Today, Greenpeace climbers scale the Benelux headquarters of the Korean electronic giant Samsung, displaying the message “Samsung = Broken Promises” in giant letters onto the front of the building. The peaceful protest is challenging the company for breaking its promises to eliminate key toxic substances from its products.

Environmental news from around the world

Yesterday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon reopened 14 kilometers of beaches in Cancun, these where closed by the authorities after being devastated by several hurricanes. Reopening this popular tourist destination will threaten the habitat of protected species such as the sea turtle and pink shell coral reefs.

Talks in Florida continue and delegates will review a proposal by Cristian Maquieira, chairman of the 88-nation International Whaling Commission (IWC), that aims to work towards a grand compromise bringing aboard all sides on the debate. His proposal would allow Japan, Norway and Iceland to hunt openly despite a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, but put their programmes under strict IWC monitoring and aim for sharp reductions in their catch over 10 years, AFP reports.

Reuters reports, Environmentalists filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on Monday accusing the service of illegally allowing farmers to grow GE crops in a national wildlife refuge. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Delaware by the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic on behalf of Delaware Audubon Society, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Center for Food Safety. In March 2009, the same groups won a similar lawsuit against plantings of GE crops within the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Reuters also lists the 5 greenest cities in the world.

Chinese Guangzohu Daily highlights the findings of the report released by the Ministry of Transportation in the United Kingdom. The report found that bio-fuels do not have a smaller impact on greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. Harvesting palm-oil means clearing large areas of land, disallowing these areas to soak up CO2.

(Picture credit: © Philip Reynaers / Greenpeace, 12/28/2007, Brussels, Belgium, GE Action at EU Commission) (Picture credit: © Philip Reynaers / Greenpeace, 03/03/2010, Brussels, Belgium, Toxics Action at Samsung Benelux headquarters)