BASF halts EU approval process for genetically modified potatoes


BASF Ludwigshafen site 1881
BASF Ludwigshafen site 1881 (Photo credit: BASF – The Chemical Company)

Victory! BASF halts EU approval process for genetically modified potatoes

January 29, 2013.  Source: Industry Week, Agence France-Presse

BASF (IW 1000/33), the world’s biggest chemicals company, said Tuesday it has decided to no longer seek European approval of its genetically modified potato products in the face of stiff resistance.

BASF said in a statement it will “discontinue the pursuit of regulatory approvals for the Fortuna, Amadea, and Modena potato projects in Europe because continued investment cannot be justified due to uncertainty in the regulatory environment and threats of field destructions.”

A year ago, the giant had announced it would halt the development and marketing of new genetically-modified products destined for the European market over concerns in some countries over the technology.

And it also moved its plant science headquarters to the United States.

BASF’s latest decision comes only days after the European Commission in Brussels announced it will freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops through the end of its mandate next year while it works towards an agreement with EU member states.

Climate Connection org.

Catalyst Quotes


“There are some people, who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”       (Douglas Everett)


“Great ideas come into the world as gently as doves.   If we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope.    Some say that this hope lies in a nation; others, in a man.   I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate … the crudest implications of history.   As a result, there shines forth fleetingly the ever threatened truth that each and every one of us, on the foundation of our own sufferings and joys, builds for all.”         (Albert Camus)


“Within each of us, in the ground of our being…

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And then: Man came: An Animation

Animation: And then came man…

Einstein´s Brain – Genius` Brain


English: News headline announcing his death Ca...
English: News headline announcing his death Category:Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Einstein’s Brain | Amazing Science |

Scientists have been studying Albert Einstein’s dead brain for clues as to his genius. Einstein’s brain is of unexceptional size and its combination of a relatively wide and forward-projecting right frontal lobe with a relatively wide and posteriorly protruding left occipital lobe is the most prevalent pattern seen in right-handed adult males. Scientests have identified the sulci that delimit expansions of cortex (gyri or convolutions) on the external surfaces of all of the lobes of the brain and on the medial surfaces of both hemispheres. The morphology in some parts of Einstein’s cerebral cortex is highly unusual compared with control human brains for which sulcal patterns have been thoroughly described. To the extent possible, the blocks of brain from particularly interesting areas are identified on the ‘roadmap’ that was prepared when Einstein’s brain was sectioned, as a guide for researchers who may wish to explore the histological correlates of Einstein’s gross cortical morphology.
Contrary to earlier reports, newly available photographs reveal that Einstein’s brain is not spherical in shape. The surface area of Einstein’s inferior parietal lobule is larger on the left than the right side, whereas that of his superior parietal lobule appears markedly larger in the right hemisphere. The photographs also suggest that the primary somatosensory and motor cortices representing the face and tongue are differentially expanded in the left hemisphere, that the posterior ascending limb of the Sylvian fissure is separate from (rather than confluent with) the postcentral inferior sulcus, and that parietal opercula are present. Nevertheless, these findings are concordant with the earlier suggestion that unusual morphology in Einstein’s parietal lobes may have provided neurological substrates for his visuospatial and mathematical abilities.
These results also suggest that Einstein had relatively expanded prefrontal cortices, which may have provided underpinnings for some of his extraordinary cognitive abilities, including his product- ive use of thought experiments. From an evolutionary perspective, the specific parts of Einstein’s prefrontal cortex that appear to be differentially expanded are of interest because recent findings indicate that these same areas increased differentially in size and became neurologically reorganized at microanatomical levels during hominin evolution in association with the emergence of higher cog- nitive abilities. It would be interesting therefore to investigate the histological correlates of these (as well as parietal) regions of Einstein’s brain from the newly available slides. Future research on comparative primate neuroanatomy, paleoneurology and functional neuroanatomy will hopefully provide insight about some of the unusually convoluted parts of Einstein’s brain.

Shocking: Reporting Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered “Act of Terrorism” If New Laws Pass | Alternet

Shocking: Reporting Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered “Act of Terrorism” If New Laws Pass | Alternet.

farm-supporters …

BREAKING NEWS: Farm supporters lock down to giant pig, blockade Shell fracking site

January 27, 2013.  Source: Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective


Bessemer, PA – This afternoon, residents of Western Pennsylvania and friends of Lawrence County farmer Maggie Henry locked themselves to a giant paper-mache pig in the entrance to a Shell natural gas well site in order to protest the company’s threat to local agriculture and food safety. The newly-constructed gas well is located at 1545 PA Route 108, Bessemer, PA , 16102, less than 4,000 feet from Henry’s organic pig farm.

The farm has been in the Henry family for generations and has been maintained as a small business despite pressure from industry consolidation. The Henry’s made a switch from dairy to organic pork and poultry production several years ago as part of their commitment to keeping the operation safe and sustainable for generations to come. Joining Maggie Henry at the well site are residents from other Pennsylvania counties affected by natural gas drilling and Pittsburgh-area residents of all ages who support Henry’s fight. Many are customers who buy her food at farmers’ markets and grocery stores who do not want to see the integrity of their food source compromised.

The Henry farm is especially vulnerable to the risks associated with fracking because it is located in an area riddled with hundreds of abandoned oil wells from the turn of the 20th century. According to hydro-geologist Daniel Fisher who has studied the area, “Each of these abandoned wells is a potentially direct pathway or conduit to the surface should any gas or fluids migrate upward from the wells during or after fracking.” Methane leaks from gas wells have been responsible for numerous explosions in or near residences in Pennsylvania in recent years. Migrating gas and fluids also threaten groundwater supplies, on which Henry and her animals depend for their drinking water. Last summer a major gas leak in Tioga County, PA caused by Shell’s own drilling operations, produced a 30 ft geyser of methane and water, which spewed from an unplugged well and forced several families to evacuate.

The nine ft. tall pig is stationed in the driveway of the site with four protestors chained to its’ legs, obstructing traffic to and from the site. The protestors are wearing signs that read, “Fracking Threatens Food” and “Protect Farms for Our Future”. A couple dozen supporters are also on the scene.

Nick Lubecki, one of the protestors locked to the pig, recently started a farm of his own in Allegheny County. He worries about the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania, which is the state’s number one industry. “It is extremely disturbing as a young farmer to have to worry about the safety of the water supply in a chaotically changing climate while these out of state drillers have the red carpet rolled out for them. In a few years the drillers will all be gone when this boom turns to bust like these things always do. I don’t want to be stuck with their mess to clean up.”

Prior to this action, Henry exhausted all avenues to prevent or shut down the well through the legal system. Supporters of her farm have also held previous protests at the site. Despite the heightened risks posed by the abandoned wells in the area, Shell is moving forward with their operations, and Maggie’s supporters have turned to civil disobedience.

The action comes on the heels of escalating civil disobedience across the continent to stop extreme energy projects, like fracking, strip mining, and tar sands oil mining, which destroy communities and fuel the climate crisis. Last week a coalition of Appalachian and Navajo communities impacted by strip mining, blockaded Peabody Coal’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO. And earlier this month protestors in eastern Texas erected a tree sit blockade to halt construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, slated to transport crude oil from the devastating Tar Sands mining in Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas.

Evolution inspires more efficient solar cell design:

Scooped by Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
onto Amazing Science

If you think you are good at multitasking, you probably aren´t!

Scooped by Mariusz Leś
onto Digital Research for Humanities