Briefings

Who’s going to eat whose lunch … the Hardware Grunts or the Software Gurus? The Battle for the control of agricultural inputs is just beginning. Time for a “Kickboxer” Campaign?

Monday 30th May 2016

Text Box: Based on 2015 revenue, Monsanto figures for fiscal year through Aug. 2015. Source: Company reports, BloombergBayer’s $62 billion bid for Monsanto, as of this writing, has been rejected, but both parties say they are continuing to negotiate.

If we act, we can stop the Big Six from becoming the Titanic Three.

Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Briefing Note, March 23, 2016

As ETC first warned in May[i] last year and again in February[ii] this year, the pressure of two mergers among the Big Six Gene Giants would make a third merger inevitable. In the last few days the business media have reported that Monsanto is in separate talks with Bayer and BASF – the two German giants among agricultural input companies. While anti-competition regulators are fussing about the hook up of DuPont with Dow and of Syngenta with Chem China, Monsanto urgently needs to make a match. They hope that if regulators let the other two deals go through, they won’t be able to deny Monsanto a chance to even the score.

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Some governments are exploring geoengineering as a way to reduce or delay climate change.   Geoengineering could technically take climate decisions away from all but the richest countries. Computer models show that stratospheric interventions to reduce sunlight and lower temperatures may benefit some temperate zones but negatively impact Africa with important social and agricultural consequences.

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Some governments are exploring geoengineering as a way to reduce or delay climate change.   Geoengineering could technically take climate decisions away from all but the richest countries. Computer models show that stratospheric interventions to reduce sunlight and lower temperatures may benefit some temperate zones, but negatively impact Asia’s monsoons with important social and agricultural consequences.

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Some governments are exploring geoengineering as a way to reduce or delay climate change.   Geoengineering could technically take climate decisions away from all but the richest countries. Computer models show that stratospheric interventions to reduce sunlight and lower temperatures may benefit some temperate zones but negatively impact Latin America with important social and agricultural consequences.

A Summary of Scientific Arguments

Thursday 14th August 2014

Introduction

Almost twenty years of genetically modified crops… What have we gained?

Contrary to what companies promised, official statistics from the United States—the leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops in the world—demonstrate that the truth of GM crops is that they produce less per hectare than the seeds that were already available on the market, but have resulted in an exponential increase in the use of agritoxins.

Ingredients, Flavours, Fragrances and Synthetic Biology

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Synthetic biology could impact the $22 billion global flavour and fragrance market and the livelihoods of producers of natural commodities. The world's largest producers of food ingredients, flavors and fragrances are all now partnering with Synthetic Biology companies to develop biosynthetic versions of key high value natural commodities such as saffron, vanilla, vetiver and patchouli - replacing botanical sources. These in turn are just a few our of hundreds of economically important natural plant compounds whose production may be switched to synthetic biology production in a very short time frame.

Plant-Derived Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Synthetic Biology

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Rubber and Synthetic Biology: A New and Emerging Issue for CBD

Thursday 3rd July 2014

This case study illustrates recent developments in synthetic biology that could impact the $35 billion natural rubber market and disrupt the livelihoods of producers. These developments impact the sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the genetic resources associated with rubber production. Natural rubber has already lost half of its market to petroleum-based synthetics. If production challenges are resolved, production via synthetic biology could erode the remaining half. Using synthetic biology, three different commercial teams are working to produce a biosynthetic isoprene that could soon impact Asia’s exporters; other companies are producing biosynthetic butadiene and isobutene, also crucial to the manufacture of rubber.

Ingredients, Flavours, Fragrances and Synthetic Biology

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Known for its musty, woody scent, vetiver oil is also know for its fixative qualities, which means that it helps a fragrance to last longer after it is applied to the skin. Vetiver oil can be detected in the “base notes” of many perfumes or colognes. A synthetic biology company has engineered microbes to produce chemical compounds aimed at replacing traditional Vetiver production, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of farmers in Haiti, Indonesia, China, India, Japan and Brazil, among others.

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