SpainSpain

US pressure on GM-critics?

06.02.2011

Madrid – Nowhere in the world, is the concentration of GM-sceptics higher than it is in Europe, but their reign is not supreme. On the south-western tip of the continent, Spain stands out for its “science-based agricultural biotechnology position”. That’s not really news. What makes the evaluation noteworthy though, is that it is comes from a US diplomatic cable published by the website Wikileaks. In recent weeks, several such cables have emerged revealing that under the Bush administration, American diplomats were not shy about using all their influence to fight against a further tightening of GM laws in Europe. Relations between the US administration and commercial GM crop producers appear to have been cordial. The British daily the Guardian cited a cable that: “In response to recent urgent requests by [Spanish rural affairs ministry] state secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto,” the American embassy in Madrid was urging “renewed US government support of Spain’s science-based agricultural biotechnology position through high-level US government intervention.” Other cables suggest that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to further tighten biotechnology laws. In another message cited by the Guardian, the US Ambassador to France recommended the US “calibrate a target list that causes some pain across the EU” because both government and citizens were for the most part opposed to GM crops.
Spanish maize farmers, however, don’t seem much impressed by the Wikileaks revelations. According to a recent survey commissioned by the GMO-friendly Antama Foundation, most of them don’t use transgensic seeds because they don’t have problems with the European corn borer. Most are indifferent (61%) or in favour (18%) of planting GM maize. A large majority (93%) of the farmers who planted Bt-maize in 2010 said they will do so again this year. The study involved 200 farmers in Catalonia and Aragon. One fifth of Spain’s 400,000 hectares of maize acreage are currently planted with GM maize.

SpainSpain

08.03.2012

Granada-based Integromics S.L. has teamed up with the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine (FPGMX) in Santiago de Compostela to secure a €1m EU grant from the European Regional Development Fund and the Spanish government. With...

SpainSpain

08.03.2012

Oryzon Genomics S.A (Barcelona) is entering preclinical testing with a first-in-class bispecific LSD1/MAO-B inhibitor. In addition to the classic target MAO-B, the drug also blocks histone demethylase LSD1, an epigenetic histone...

SpainSpain

06.03.2012

Granada-based nLife Therapeutics S.L. has raised €5m in total from two venture capitalists. Through Caixa Capital Risc and Caixa Capital Biomed, La Caixa invested €2.5m. The same amount has been placed by Invercaria via its...

SpainSpain

05.03.2012

Ordesa Laboratories has filed a patent for a novel Bifidobacterium strain isolated from infant feces. It has the capacity to combat rotavirus, says a study (Appl. Environ. Microbiol., doi:10.1128/AEM.05548).

SpainSpain

19.12.2011

Madrid – Researchers from Spain and the US have discovered an Ebola-like filovirus in bats in northern Spain. The first known filovirus native to Europe was reported in a study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens...

SpainSpain

15.12.2011

Barcelona - South western Europe gets a new R&D unit in the field of biomolecules. Kymos Pharma, a contract researcher based in Barcelona, has signed an agreement with the French biotechnology group Ipsen to create a R&D group...

SpainSpain

12.12.2011

Barcelona/Saffron Walden – Almirall S.A. and BioFocus announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to identify new compounds against key targets in projects aimed at the treatment of respiratory and...

SpainSpain

03.12.2011

Madrid/Abu Dhabi – Spanish biotechs are seeking collaborations with firms in the United Arab Emirates. At the end of November, Grupo Zeltia and 14 other Spanish companies presented their research at the forum “Innovation,...

SpainSpain

01.10.2011

Madrid – The Spanish Minister of Innovation and Science Cristina Garmendia has responded to reports about Roche’s­ delivery stop in Greece and pessimistic expectations for Spain. In Sept­ember, she stressed that the atmosphere...

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