News Releases

Report Release: Outsmarting Nature?

New Report Questions Risky Synthetic Biology Developments Promoted Under “Climate-Smart” Guise

Paris, 27th November 2015 – Some of the world’s largest agro-industrial corporations will be flying the flag for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ at the upcoming Climate Summit. They will claim that hi-tech crops and intensive industrial agriculture are needed to rescue farmers (and the hungry) from a warming world – a claim widely dismissed by peasant movements and civil society groups.

Report Release: Extreme Biotech meets Extreme Energy

New report exposes biotech’s big bet to prop up fossil fuels + International video release.

Paris, 24th November 2015 - At the upcoming Climate summit in Paris, some governments and much of civil society will be pushing for an urgent transition away from the carbon-rich fossil fuels responsible for climate chaos. However, one hi-tech sector, the multi-billion dollar Synthetic Biology industry, is now actively tying its future to the very oil, coal and gas extraction it once claimed to be able to displace. That’s the conclusion of a new report released jointly today from the ETC Group and Heinrich Böll Foundation. Titled “Extreme Biotech meets Extreme Energy”, the report predicts that as the extreme biotech industry and the extreme extraction industry move towards deeper collaboration, the biosafety risks and climate threats emanating from them will become ever more entangled.

Brazil Aims to Torpedo International Moratorium on Terminator Seeds

Farmers’ Rights and Food Sovereignty Under Fire

At a time when just three corporations – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control 55% of the world’s commercial seeds, industrial farming interests in the Brazilian Congress have introduced a bill that aims to overturn the country’s 10-year old ban on Terminator technology – seeds that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds. The technology is designed to secure corporate profits by eliminating the age-old right of farmers to save and re-plant harvested seeds.

Time to Wave the White Flag for a Failed Techno-Fix?

The Volkswagen scandal is a warning that the Fossil Majors can’t be trusted to control GHG emissions

Try though they might, Volkswagen can’t seem to get off the air those three little old ladies in their television commercials waving a white scarf in front of a Volkswagen diesel exhaust pipe. (See cartoon.) Volkswagen’s emission scandal is just a prelude to a much bigger emissions sleight of hand that will be rolled out in Paris this December at the Climate Change Summit.

Monsanto/Syngenta: From Gene Giants to Agribehemoths

A proposed merger of seed and pesticide conglomerates portends a new level of monopoly over the first link in the global food chain
If allowed, a proposed merger between two global agribusiness giants could further consolidate the power of a handful of companies over the global food system through seeds, according to a report released by ETC Group today. The results of concentrating control over plant varieties in a few "Gene Giants," the authors say, could have dangerous consequences.

Announcing the Launch of

Critical resource on geoengineering and resistance


OTTAWA, Feb 9 2015 — As the climate crisis deepens and political and economic leaders remain in a state of paralysis, geoengineering is increasingly being advanced as a potentially “necessary” action; if recent attempts at opinionmaking are to be believed, it has gone from unthinkable to fundable. And yet, public opinion and much of the scientific community considers geoengineering technologies to be risky and more likely to aggravate than resolve the climate crisis.

International Tribunal Demands GM Maize Ban in Mexico

Calls on UN bodies to take action

The Mexican Chapter of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal has called on the Mexican government to ban the planting of genetically modified (GM) maize in the country. The decision cited the importance of maize as one of three principal staple crops globally, which millions depend on. The Tribunal, which considered evidence gathered over three years from over 1000 organizations on this and other issues, also highlighted the importance of Mexico as the centre of origin of maize globally.

Will Unicorns Save us from Climate Change? (BECCS won’t.)

IPCC’s latest recommendations based on dangerous “magical thinking”: observers
OCT 31, COPENHAGEN — It’s hallowe’en at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 40th plenary session, but as the world’s premiere climate science body releases its latest report, observers are wondering if the planet has been played a very nasty trick indeed. The IPCC appears to have embraced carbon geoengineering in the form of CCS and BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage), which it now claims can achieve “net zero emissions” somewhere in the second half of the century. But critics are calling the move a case of dangerous “magical thinking”. 

Video Animation Explores Risks of Treating Life as a Machine

Synthetic Biology Explained
MONTREAL, 29 Oct. 2014–On the eve of the largest annual gathering of synthetic biologists in the world, ETC Group and the Bioeconomies Media Project are launching a new animated explanation of the workings of this emerging “SynBio” industry, often dubbed extreme genetic engineering. Thousands of scientists, students and vendors will converge at the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Jamboree in Boston to share the latest advancements in what has become a multi billion dollar industry based on the industrialization of life at the molecular level.


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