Glyphosate – IARC got it right, EFSA got it from Monsanto | Jennifer Sass’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

The EFSA report is based on findings of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment – the BfR – which received a first draft of the science directly from the Glyphosate Task Force (GTF), whose members include Monsanto and Syngenta and other agrochemical corporations. EFSA describes its process as standard procedure to have the agrochemical company supply the scientific information to the Member state (Germany and Croatia in this case), whose report then goes to EFSA to make a final evaluation.The Guardian reported on how compromised the process was: “BfR officials explained that due to the quantity of evidence they did not have the time to report the original studies in detail, but instead based their evaluation on descriptions provided by the agrochemical industry. But those descriptions also contained the industry’s assessment of the reliability and interpretation of each study, which involves exactly the kinds of choice-laden decisions described earlier… this falls well short of what most people would understand as an independent review.”So, we know that Monsanto and other companies provided their own assessment of the scientific evidence, much of it industry-sponsored unpublished studies, and then handed that pig off to Germany for some lipstick.

Source: Glyphosate – IARC got it right, EFSA got it from Monsanto | Jennifer Sass’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Myanmar leaders to meet Suu Kyi this week | News | DW.COM | 30.11.2015

Suu Kyi has reportedly met Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann and other important powerbrokers several times since the election.November’s election was a landmark vote for many reasons. Since 2011, Myanmar – which used to be known as Burma – has transitioned towards democracy following more than five decades of military rule.Although her party won 1990 general electionf, the military ignored the result and Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest for almost 15 years.Despite fears that the military may once again ignore the NLD’s win, both Thein Sein and General Hlaing have congratulated Suu Kyi on the poll victory and promised to respect the result.

Source: Myanmar leaders to meet Suu Kyi this week | News | DW.COM | 30.11.2015

US scientists, activists call for global ban on ‘designer babies’ gene modification – ABC News 

{Please don’t do Josef Mengele proud!}

The Centre for Genetics and Society (CGS) and the activist group Friends of the Earth issued the report a day before a major international meeting in Washington to discuss the ethical and policy issues surrounding the technology.A technological innovation that can strategically edit out specific stretches of DNA could ultimately lead to the genetic modification of children, and should be halted before it starts being used, they argued.”Like so many powerful new technologies, gene editing holds potential for both great benefit and great harm,” an open letter published by the groups said.”The implementation of heritable human genetic modification — often referred to as the creation of ‘genetically modified humans’ or ‘designer babies’ — could irrevocably alter the nature of the human species and society.”Gene editing may hold some promise for somatic gene therapy (aimed at treating impaired tissues in a fully formed person).”However, there is no medical justification for modifying human embryos or gametes in an effort to alter the genes of a future child.”

Source: US scientists, activists call for global ban on ‘designer babies’ gene modification – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)