Europe patent office head resignation called for over seed, plant patents


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A coalition of some 100 non-governmental organizations, including the Berne Declaration and Swissaid, are demanding that the head of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, resign immediately. The groups, under the umbrella of No Patents on Seeds, says that Battistelli is behind a change in policy that will speed up approvals […]

European fears over GM foods fueled by new French study


Second year crops linked to rat tumours GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Europe’s reluctance to embrace genetically modified foods was reinforced Wednesday 19 September with publication of a French study by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen that appears to provide evidence that some GM corn from Monsanto may be unsafe for rats that took part […]

Garden seeds: never too early to think about them

My Alpine garden is under so much snow that it’s hard to believe we might have something growing there by June. And I’m not sure how much my budget will have for lovely new things, since so much will go to replace the fence and broken trees after our stupendous 1-metre-plus snowfalls. Another Alpine gardener, […]

Migros sets up Facebook Swiss wildflower power project

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Supermarket chain Migros is doing its bit to make Switzerland more habitable for endangered hares, birds and plants by empowering Facebook users to help support TerraSuisse financially. Migros will supple enough seeds for an IP (integrated production) Suisse farmer working with the TerraSuisse programme to plant one square metre of wildflowers in […]

Swiss impose 3.5 month ban on Egyptian fenugreek, other seeds, roots, beans

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Department of the Interior Thursday moved to ban, effective immediately, several Egyptian agricultural products to protect consumers from the possibility of E. Coli (EHEC) contamination. The ban is effective until 31 October and covers a number of types of sprouts, beans and seeds sold to consumers as well as sprouts […]