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Indian Supreme Court Panel Recommends Halt To All GM Field Trials

daily alternative | alternative news - Indian Supreme Court Panel Recommends Halt To All GM Field Trials

In a landmark recommendation, an Indian Supreme Court-appointed committee has called for a halt on all further genetically modified (GM) crop trials until flaws in regulatory and safety systems are addressed.

As reported on AllAboutFeed.com, the final report states:

“Based on the examination of the safety dossiers, the Technical Expert Committee has found in unambiguous terms that at present, the regulatory system has major gaps and these will require rethinking, investment and relearning to fix. These need to be addressed before issues related to tests can be meaningfully considered. ‘Til such time, it would not be advisable to conduct more field trials. A deeper understanding of the process of risk assessment is needed within the regulatory system for it to meet the needs of a proper bio-safety evaluation”.  [emphasis added]

TheEconomicTimes.com reported:

“The technical expert committee (TEC) consisting of experts in the fields of molecular biology, toxicology, nutrition science, biodiversity and agriculture science highlights the inherent problems with GM crops and recommends a cautious approach towards them being approved in the country.”

According to The Economic Times, the TEC stated in their report:

“[T]here should be a moratorium on field trials for Bt in food crops (those that are directly used for food) intended for commercialisation (not research) until there is more definitive information from sufficient number of studies as to the long term safety of Bt in food crops.”

These developments will have widespread implications for the commercialization of GM crops in India. Large biotech corporations are already believed to be colluding with government officials and Indian businesses in the illegal dissemination of unapproved GM seeds, indicating the regulatory controls are either way too lax, or entirely absent.

This new development may mark a major pushback reminiscent of the European Union’s hard line GM regulatory stance and recent successes in ousting GM seeds produced by Monsanto. Last year we reported on India signaling it is rearing to oust companies like Monsanto, after an Indian high-profile parliamentary panel recommended that GM crop “field trails under any garb should be discontinued forthwith.” India has a long history of being oppressed by the forces of Western imperialism, and is deeply suspicious of biotechnology corporations using the food supply to exert the same type of control.

At present, there are 91 applications for field trials pending approval, 44 of which are GM food crops. Many of these are so-called “Roundup Ready” or herbicide tolerant (HT) crops using Bt technology, which the expert committee has stated will not receive approval until regulatory gaps are addressed and closed.

 

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Britain’s House Price Crash – 2016 Predictions Mount

Housing in many countries, especially Britain, is no longer an investment; it’s now made up of three fundamentals: consumption, crime and concern. The general public getting on the bandwagon with cheap loans is consumption. The crime slot is taken now that over 40% of Britain’s housing stock is bought in cash with property used as an international laundrette to wash hundreds of billions and concern comes from savers who quite rightly think that the banks and government will steal their hard-earned (low or negative savings rates), tax-paid money that drives a reluctant middle class into becoming landlords.

Cheap loans will prevail but credit is drying up the world over. The criminals have stopped buying in over-heated Britain and even George Osborne, who has fueled the bubble, is taking action against amateur landlords that make up the vast majority of property investors in Britain.

But don’t take my word for it. Predictions of a house price crash in 2016 are now mounting thick and fast, something unheard of in previous property recessions and particularly back in 2007 just before the last epic fall.

We kick off with consumption. The Week has a piece from Pete Redfern, the chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, Britain’s biggest house builder who says that “The UK is in a “borderline place” on home ownership as a result of rampant price rises and more needs to be done to rein in the pace of (property) inflation”. It also makes the observation that “London, where the housing market is becoming so detached from the wider UK that it has been called “another country”.

Then we have dodgy dosh from overseas; as RT reports – “Asian and Russian luxury homebuyers are deserting London’s property market amid economic uncertainty. Property buyers from Asia made up 26 percent of those buying homes in wealthy areas of London such as Kensington, Chelsea, and Belgravia in the first three quarters of last year. That figure has dropped to 6 percent according to figures compiled by estate agent Hamptons for the Financial Times”.

And not forgetting those poor fearful middle class reluctant landlords about to lose their shirts. From industry expert Letting Agent Today – “Osborne has slashed rental sector confidence ‘to below crisis levels’. Landlords’ confidence in the buy to let sector has collapsed to an all-time low and is now “worse than levels witnessed during the financial crash” according to a trade body. Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, says confidence in landlords’ business expectations has tumbled by more than a third over the past year – down from 67 per cent to an all-time low of 43 per cent. The current level of confidence in the BTL sector is now five per cent lower than levels witnessed after the financial crash in 2007”.

The property bubble will burst and London will be its epicenter. But it’s not just London that is causing it. Back in the early 1990s I was already a few years into my 25-year career in residential property. Chancellor Nigel Lawson decided to abolish MIRAS in 1988 – a mortgage relief scheme which saved homeowners thousands on their payments. Stupidly, Lawson gave about six months notice. This pushed up prices as buyers rushed to snatch up a property before the tax break disappeared, much the same as Osborne’s increase in tax and subsequent epic run by property investors to beat the deadline this April.

On that day in April 1988 I saw the entire property industry implode. Property prices fell by around a third, 1.5 million homeowners declined into negative equity, annual repossessions doubled, tripled and then quadrupled in a matter of months. At one point repossessions represented 1 in every 130 households of Britain.

A few years later I switched from selling property to renting and ended up managing one of the biggest residential rental portfolios in the UK. I had 11,000 repossessions to manage because the government had offered tax breaks to banks and building societies to stop these units reaching the market via auctions (called Business Expansion Scheme Companies or BESCo’s) and utterly destroying what little remained of the housing market. I also had another 2,000 high-end units where building companies had gone bust with no one to buy them. We filled them with all those that had lost their homes or where the government were paying housing benefit – obviously.

Over 40% of Thatcher’s right-to-buy disaster ended up being repossessed. Cameron has just made the same mistake, except he’s a bit late in the game announcing it this time around.

Like last time, the bubble will burst where the price is most inflated – London. Unlike previous deflations, this one is predicted, and the writing is large and loud.

 

daily alternative | alternative news – Britain’s House Price Crash – 2016 Predictions Mount

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