The E.U. Is the Problem on GM Crops, Say U.K. Scientists

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first_imgThe use of genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe is being hampered by a “dysfunctional approval process” imposed by the European Union, says a U.K. government-sponsored report released today. As a result, only a handful of GM crops may be approved in the near future, according to the Council for Science and Technology, which advises the U.K. prime minister on science policy.While stating that the unanimous scientific consensus is that GM crops are safe, the report, whose authors include prominent plant biologists and biotechnologists, criticizes the European Union for regulation that has fettered progress of the technology and risk assessments that have been “influenced by political considerations that do not have a scientific basis.”The council is jointly chaired by Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific adviser, who was an author on the report. “We’re asking for the regulation to be fit for purpose,” Walport says. Co-author Jim Dunwell, a plant biotechnologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, adds: “There has been an accumulation of regulation in a nonscientific way.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Anyone seeking to release a GM organism in Europe has to get approval from Brussels. Applications are assessed largely by the European Food Safety Authority. As yet, only one variety, Bt maize, is grown and its crops are concentrated in Spain. None are grown in the United Kingdom. A vote in February to approve another variety of GM maize saw opposition from most nations, including France, Italy, and Austria. There was support, however, from Spain, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and the United Kingdom.This is not the first time that British GM researchers have complained about E.U. red tape hampering their work. A purple tomato rich in an antioxidant pigment, recently developed at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, U.K., for instance, has had to be grown in Canada for future research and to attract commercial interest.Instead of the current regulatory system, in which new plant varieties are assessed according to the process used to produce them, the authors suggest that a product-based approach could be adopted, similar to the procedure already used in Canada. This would put the trait above the process so a plant variety produced using GM technology would be treated in the same way as an identical variety produced via conventional plant breeding.“What really matters is the regulation of the trait rather than the method,” says Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, one of the authors of the report. “The regulation of the technology is not proportionate. … It’s time to remove the red flags.”The report calls for Europe to take a step back by delegating final approval of commercial crop cultivation to individual nations. One route, it suggests, might be for the United Kingdom to create an authority that would be the GM equivalent to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which vets medicines for use in the United Kingdom. The European Union, meanwhile, could keep an advisory role on risk and safety.  The U.K. government already takes a positive line on GM crops.  In January, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, told a farming conference in Oxford that Europe risks becoming “the museum of world farming” if it continues to reject GM crops.In a letter to the prime minister which accompanies the report, the authors state: “The longer the E.U. continues to oppose GM whilst the rest of the world adopts it, the greater the risk that E.U. agriculture will become uncompetitive, especially as more GM crops and traits are commercialized successfully elsewhere.”Dunwell also notes that African farmers successfully growing GM bananas and cassavas for themselves and for export are placed in a commercial quandary by the European Union’s anti-GM stance. “Allow independent E.U. states to go their own way,” he says.The last major U.K. report on GM crops, produced by Britain’s Royal Society in 2009, backed the technology. In particular, it outlined the urgent need to increase food production globally and the importance of science in meeting that demand. Public opposition, however, continues and anti-GM pressure groups continue to attack research. In 2012, a GM wheat trial at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, U.K., was vandalized by a protestor.John Pickett, who has worked on the wheat trials at Rothamsted Research and is a co-author of the report, says: “The best way to address these concerns is actually to carry out the experiments and assess the potential of newly developed plants to offer solutions to specific agricultural problems.”To this end, the report offers one final suggestion: “A new programme of independent research to field test ‘public good’ GM crops.” Named PubGM, it would assess traits produced by both private and public scientists for potential commercialization. But, adds Jones, “I don’t know exactly how it will work.”last_img read more

Achieve Your 2017 Sales Goals with this Workbook

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first_imgIt’s a new year and you want to make it your best yet. You want to make a change for the better simply to step up your game. Despite the reasons, despite the timing, you’ve got a lot to look forward to, assuming you know where to go from there.Be smart, make money. Sometimes it really is simple. At least that was Master Yoda’s take on things when he uttered his famous Star Wars line “do or do not…there is no try.” In sales, that is about as clear-cut a guideline to success as you can get.So once you make the decision to ‘do,’ what happens next? More often than not, the story ends there. There are any number of reasons people fail, but lack of focus and direction is among the most common.1. You Won’t Write Them DownResearch on the success rate of those who write their goals down versus those who don’t is murky. Statistics range from 80 to 97 percent of people who are more likely to fail because they didn’t write down what they sought to achieve.Sources as reliable as Harvard University claim the main reason why three percent of a graduating class in 1979 made significantly more money 20 years later is because they wrote their goals down.Despite the variation, the truth is clear. As many as 97 percent of us are doomed to fail from the start because we missed one of the most important first steps anyone can take.Multiple studies have been discussed in the business realm in recent years supporting the validity of the concept of success being linked to writing down your goals…. but, you’re better than that, right? YOU don’t need to write your goals down.2. You Won’t Make Them SMARTMapping out your goals in a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely way is considered a gold standard method of goal-setting. Beyond being easy to understand, SMART goals have been changing the goal-setting landscape for more than half a century.How you opt to put pen to paper is almost as crucial as writing it down in the first place. While many business plans outline a vision, goals and steps to get there, it’s what happens every day that brings a plan to life. More often than not, this is where success to this point gets tripped up. It’s easier to see the big number without being able to see the individual steps, a hurdle that can result in a trying game of catch-up that often ends in defeat.In one study, Dr. Edwin Locke determined 90 percent of the time, the practice of using SMART goals resulted in higher performance than less specific goals. But don’t worry, the hope and wish goals you have, even though you didn’t write them down… you got this.3. You Won’t Stay on TrackWhat do those numbers mean for you? What does writing it down and being SMART mean for your sales quota? For your business? For your life?Everything.Most importantly, once you’ve put the effort in to lay a firm foundation, the time is now to stay on track. No two sales people are the same, nor are their businesses or strategies. Yet there are tried and true tools anyone can use to go the extra mile toward the finish line.Let’s Get StartedIn order to develop the specific behavioral steps needed to hit your goals, we need to begin with the end in mind. Being that this is a sales goals exercise, I hope (assume?) one of your goals is an income or revenue number. In creating your roadmap, we will start with the income goal you want to achieve and work backwards with the math to determine the activities you will need to perform on a consistent basis. If you find the numbers and ratios off a bit, start conservative and you can adjust once you begin to track more accurate data.GoalsMy desired pre-tax income or revenue goal for 2017 is: __________My annual base salary is: __________The incremental income I need to meet my desired pre-tax income goals for 2017 is: __________FactsThe average value of my sales contract is: __________The percentage of commission I am paid on each sale is: __________My average commission per sale is: __________New sales I need to make over the course of the year to achieve my desired pre-tax income: __________Sales ActivitiesOn average, I have to send _____ proposals to get a closed deal.In order to send one proposal, I have to have _____ discovery calls (first meetings).In order to schedule a discovery call (first meeting) I have to reach out to _____ prospects.Work ScheduleHow many hours per day do you truly work? _____ (be honest)Not including weekends, how many vacation days, sick days, or holidays do you anticipate? _____RoadmapWe know you want to make a change. We know you’ve got a lot to look forward to this year. That’s why we created the 2017 Sales Roadmap to help keep you on track and accomplish your specific sales goals. The worksheet above was one exercise from the Roadmap. You can download the full action-oriented workbook and let us guide you through the rest of the steps to make this year is your best ever.You know what it takes and now you have the tools – so, don’t let anything stop you.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more