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International Update Volume 42, Issue 10

FRENCH FARMERS APPEAL GMO BAN

EU, France

Farmers and seed companies appealed a ban on a genetically modified strain of Monsanto's corn, saying the ban was economically harmful and unjustified. Agricultural minister Bruno Le Maire imposed a temporary ban on MON 810 in March, saying it was a "precautionary measure" to protect the environment. "This restriction does not rely on any serious scientific element, and maize producers, hit by (insects), sustain real financial damage," said French growers group AGPM, French seed firms group UFS, and the corn and sorghum producers group FNPSMS.

INTERPOL DEMANDS CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL POACHING AND LOGGING

As Interpol carries out its largest anti-ivory poaching operation ever, executive director of police Bernd Rossbach called for a tougher crackdown on wildlife crime at a law enforcement summit last week. Calling ivory poaching and illegal logging "serious, organized and often transnational," Rossbach said there was increasing evidence that environmental crimes were connected to other forms of crime.

DAM TO FLOOD NATURE RESERVE ON YANGTZE

China

China's Three Gorges Dam Corp. began preparations last week on a dam that will flood the last free-flowing portion of the middle section of the Yangtze, the nation's longest river. The dam, which will turn the middle of the Yangtze into a series of reservoirs, will leave "no space for fish," said environmentalist Ma Jun, as the dam will flood a nature reserve meant to protect about 40 species of river fish."This is the last one, the last section in 2,000 kilometers along the Yangtze that was left for endangered or local fish species," said Ma.