NY's GMO labeling bill A.617B just successfully passed through a vote in the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, 9-7!!

We've flown over the first hurdle on the road to making GMO labeling the law in NYS! Now the bill is in the Assembly's Codes Committee. Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for how you can help us get the votes we need to pass the bill there, too!

I was in the room for today's vote and so can report to you exactly who voted in favor of labeling and who voted against it (the voting record for committee votes are not available online to the public).

Dinowitz (committee chair): Yes
Abbate: No
Buchwald: Yes
Dilan: No
Joyner: Yes
Kaminsky: Yes
McDonough: No
McKevitt: No
Nojay: No
Palumbo: No
Quart: Yes
Seawright: Yes
Simanowitz: No
Simon: Yes
Simotas: Yes
Solages: Yes

Please sign the petition = Make GMO Food Labeling the Law in New York!

Petition by Stacie Orell To be delivered to The New York State House, The New York State Senate, and Governor Andrew Cuomo

Dear Governor Cuomo, New York State Senators, and Assemblymembers:

I have a right to know what is in my food. Genetically engineered foods (GMO foods) are pervasive in the U.S. food system yet largely untested, possibly harmful for humans to eat, and unlabeled. I deserve the right to be able to make informed choices when choosing foods to buy for myself and my family. I urge you to stand up for my rights as an American and support (and cosponsor) Assembly bill A.617 and Senate bill S.485, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods offered for retail sale in New York.

There are currently 15,899 signatures. NEW goal - We need 20,000 signatures!

Petition Background

I am the Campaign Director of GMO Free NY ( and Our mission is to advocate for the passage of a GMO labeling law in NYS. We are a founding member of the NY GE Food Labeling Campaign ( GMO labels will give us the information we need to decide whether we want to continue being the unwitting guinea pigs of agrichemical and junk food companies. GMO labels will put the power back in consumers' hands, which is where it belongs. It's time for NY's lawmakers to stand up to corporate bullying and put people before profits.

VICE has released the entire third season of its HBO show for free online, including this episode from May 2015 focused on genetically modified crops.

In this episode from season three of the VICE HBO show, which originally aired May 8, 2015, host Isobel Yeung traced the path of these super-crops from the headquarters of American agribusiness titan Monsanto to the soy fields of Paraguay, and visited the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, high in the Arctic, to see what’s truly at stake when humans try to improve on nature.

In These Cities, Your Next Snack May Be Growing in a Public Park

Fruit is free in these urban centers, thanks to food-bearing plants and trees growing right next to skyscrapers.

TAKE ACTION! Tell EPA’s Neil Anderson: Ban Monsanto’s Roundup Now!

Rotenone: the fish killer - 2012

Rotenone has been used for centuries by fishermen to harvest fish. More recently, scientists and fishery managers have used rotenone to sample fishes and remove unwanted species from freshwater systems. But how does this toxic chemical work so effectively to kill fish, is it toxic to other species including humans, and are the benefits of using this chemical worth the risks? Find out below.

Rotenone generally works by inhibiting cellular respiration in mitochondria (where and how energy is produced). This leads to reduced cellular uptake of oxygen and eventual cell death. Fish are particularly sensitive to rotenone because the chemical easily enters their blood stream directly through their gills.

GMO Labeling Law Worries Food Groups

The food industry is pressuring Congress to act before the state of Vermont requires food labels for genetically modified ingredients.

The food industry wants Congress to pre-empt Vermont's law and bar mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods before it goes into effect. They argue that GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are safe and a patchwork of state laws isn't practical. Labeling advocates have been fighting state-by-state to enact the labeling, with the eventual goal of a national standard.

Sweden: Organic food sales up 40% in 2015

Sanders Vows To Kill TPP If Elected. Will Clinton? At 5:00.

Sanders vowed to kill TPP if elected, saying, “As your president, not only will I make sure that the TPP does not get implemented, I will not send any trade deal to Congress that will make it easier for corporations to outsource American jobs overseas.”

Pesticide Disclosure Bill Clears Committee

Study Finds Bed Bugs Highly Resistant to Neonic Insecticides - (Beyond Pesticides, February 4, 2016)

Bed bugs isolated in a lab died quickly from a small amount of neonics, however, those same chemical treatments used on bed bugs found in Cincinnati and Michigan were ineffective.

State Asks Court to Penalize Food Industry Trade Group in GMO Labeling Lawsuit

“The crux of this case is transparency,” Ferguson said. “GMA intentionally shielded from public scrutiny the true identity of the companies who donated millions of dollars to this campaign – it was a flagrant violation of state law.”

Update: Who Owns Organic Chart Reflects Further Organic Consolidation

Dr. Howard also created the chart, Organic Industry Structure: Major Independents and Their Subsidiary Brands. The independent brands include:

QR Codes: Biotech's try at stopping states from having their own gmo labelling laws.

Letter from Senators to the GMA Questioning GMO QR Codes

Cover Crops, a Farming Revolution With Deep Roots in the Past

Cover crops are coming back in other areas of the country, too. The practice of seeding fields between harvests not only keeps topsoil in place, it also adds carbon to the soil and helps the beneficial microbes, fungus, bacteria and worms in it thrive.

EDITORIAL: A Cowardly Retreat From Carbon Neutrality

Garrett’s cold-shoulder to the on-campus sustainability movement is not only a cowardly retreat from Skorton’s earlier pledge, but also demonstrates a disturbing trend within Cornell’s administration to brush off student voices. This tone-deaf approach — as seen in the College of Business decision and Garrett’s carbon neutrality decision — is eroding student and faculty trust. An administration that genuinely cares is an administration that respects the widespread concerns of students, faculty and staff and supports their actions to improve campus.

Appeals Court To Hear Maui GMO Case

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear arguments on a Maui County moratorium on farming genetically modified crops, which was struck down by a federal judge in Hawaii last year.

Documentary 'Synthetic Forests' Covers the Enormous Risks of GE Trees (35 Minutes)

If the biotech industry has its way, 184 million acres of native forests around the world will be bulldozed down and replaced with plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

FDA bans imports of genetically engineered salmon — for now

The FDA's action was prompted by language in a sprawling federal spending bill passed by Congress recently, which instructed regulators to forbid the sale of genetically engineered salmon until the agency finalizes rules about how it should be labeled -- a process that potentially could take years.

Grain Millers Inc. firm on glyphosate-treated oats ban

Tyson said use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest management product disrupts the natural maturation process and negatively affects starch development, resulting in lower quality flakes and flour.

Mitrochondrial Dysfuntion and GMOs

Brazil Shown to Be Largest Global Consumer of Pesticides

The executive adds that 22 of the fifty main active ingredients used in pesticides in Brazil today have been banned in most other countries. “We are facing a situation of total lack of control [of pesticide use]. The state does not monitor as it should and the legislation for the use of pesticides is not being obeyed,” he concludes.

Monsanto Creates First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana - 2015

Monsanto, the multi-billion agribusiness giant, has announced today it has patented the first genetically modified strain of marijuana.

Really good article by Dr. Will Falconer, DVM

"How Safe is Your Animal from GMOs?"

Bottom line: plant breeding and animal breeding is generally safe and has a long history. GM is far more insidious genetic manipulation that is in its infancy and is already raising grave concerns for the health of people, plants, and animals.

Therefore, if you’re feeding processed pet food or horse feed, and the label includes any corn or soy (or products derived from either), or canola oil or beet derivatives, odds are very high your animals are being exposed to GMOs.

As is often the case, animals are studied to determine if humans might get sick from some new experimental drug or chemical or process. Here are some findings worth taking caution from:

“In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.

The chemical companies who create GMO crops in order to sell more chemicals are always telling us that GMO crops are "substantially equivalent" to their non-GMO counterparts (technically called 'isogenic cultivars') and that at the molecular level the product of a GMO crop is identical to the product of the non-GMO crop: i.e. there is no difference between sugar made from GMO sugar beets or sugar made from cane sugar at the molecular level.

Indeed this "identicality" is what the Biotech industry has used to avoid having to conduct human safety testing of GMO crops insisting that there is no need for any human safety testing of GMO crops because they are the exact same as non-GMO crops absent their Bt or roundup ready traits that are inserted through the genetic engineering process.

And yet there is mounting evidence that there ARE differences, many of which are not yet clearly understood. It is thought that the cause of these differences between GMO and non-GMO isogenic cultivars is the 'pleiotropic' effect, which means that the inserted GM gene influences other seemingly unrelated genes than the desirous genes originally targeted for enhancement through genetic engineering.

For example, cotton farmers in Burkina Faso have recently stopped growing GM cotton because the fiber produced by the GM cotton were inferior to the non-GM cotton that they had been growing--and no one is quite sure why.......

"In theory, as the new briefing notes, inserting the Bt gene into the Burkinabè cotton germplasm should have left the resulting GM crop identical to its parent in every way except for the inserted trait conferring insect resistance.

But in reality, the process of inserting the Bt trait into the local variety appears to have interfered with some of its most important characteristics. Monsanto scientists "Are at a loss to explain the precise mechanism that has created these problems."

Obviously, the myth of "substantial equivalence" which is the foundation of the safety protocols for all GMO crops, MUST be re-evaluated......

Corporate Farming Bill Threatens Nebraska’s Family Farms

“Allowing corporate ownership of hogs in Nebraska is an affront to the work of state senators like Cap Dierks who rescued Nebraska’s livestock producers from crashing markets in 1999 by standing up for competitive markets. Senator Schilz’s bill would reverse their important work and signal the final death knell for independent livestock producers,” Callicrate said. “We’ve already seen what contract farming and captive supplies have done to the poultry industry, and beef is not far behind, as last year’s huge and unprecedented loss of equity from the cattle business shows. Surely by now the track record is clear on how corporate packers pillage the environment while impoverishing farmers, abusing animals and exploiting workers and rural communities for their own gain.”

Monsanto ‘faked’ data for approvals claims its ex-chief By Dinesh C. Sharma, India Today - New Delhi, February 9, 2010

Go Aheads Came On Monsanto’s Data By Shoma Chaudhury, Tehelka

New England lawmakers to review GMO labeling

This could be a big week for the GMO-labeling cause in New England. State lawmakers in New Hampshire and Rhode Island — which along with Massachusetts are the remaining New England states that don’t have labeling laws on the books — are set to give several bills some attention, potentially helping them clear hurdles to passage.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON): Bristol John W & Co Inc decreases stake by $2,436,000 or 25,731 shares

Is Academic Science Hopelessly Corrupt?

Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech scientist who uncovered the lead poisoning in Flint, is absolutely brutal about the way funding priorities have corrupted academic science:

In academia these day—and especially in the hard sciences, which are expensive to support—funding is everything. To a large extent, at big research universities faculty members basically work on commission: they have to bring in enough money to pay their own salaries and bankroll their own labs. And when was the last time a salesman on commission badmouthed his own product?

Loss of Soil Microbial Diversity Negatively Affects Ecosystem Services (Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2016)

A recent study has revealed that a decrease in soil biota, resulting from an increase in arid zones due to climate change, impacts the services that soil provides, from decomposition of organic matter to nutrient cycling and carbon fixing. “As the aridity of soils goes up, the microbial diversity and abundance is reduced,” Brajesh Singh, Ph.D., a professor at Western Sydney University and an author of the paper, said. “As the soils’ multi-functions are reduced, so there are social and economic consequences.” Unfortunately, climate change is not the only cause for concern. Studies have shown that conventional agriculture, intrinsically linked with the dependence on pesticides, can also reduce diversity in soil biota.

Bayer Refuses to Cancel Insecticide Toxic to Aquatic Life - (Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2016)

Last week, Bayer CropScience reneged on an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to voluntarily cancel the conditionally registered insecticide flubendiamide if the agency received data that identified adverse ecological effects. Based on the data, EPA found that the chemical causes “unreasonable adverse effects” to benthic organisms living in sediment near agricultural fields. Bayer’s defiance in the face of EPA’s finding points to a fundamental weakness in the agency’s conditional pesticide registration process, which allows toxic chemicals onto the market without a complete and comprehensive assessment of their potential harm, in this case to wildlife and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

The American Farm Bureau isn't happy about this. Wants to keep poisoning your water.

Harlem Advocates Push Albany to Pass GMO Labeling Bill

“This is common sense legislation,” said Ryan Thoresen Carson of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “Ninety-three percent of Americans support this bill and you can’t get 93 percent of Americans to agree on anything.”

Green America Congratulates Hellmann’s For Major Step On Non-GMO Products

“As the third largest food and consumer goods company in the world, Unilever has a responsibility to operate in a way that is environmentally sustainable and healthy for consumers,” said Michael Stein, food campaigns manager for Green America. “By offering organic and non-GMO Hellmann’s products, Unilever has made an important step towards this end and is listening to the demands of the 21st century consumer.”

EP. 16: The Devastating Effects of GMOs & Glyphosate - The TRUTH about GMO's is here...

IN THIS EPISODE: Dr. Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and has earned 4 degrees including a Ph.D. She has published over 170 referenced articles and though she began her career in electrical engineering, she is now focused on nutrition and human health, specifically the devastating effects of glyphosate.

Other things you'll learn in today's episode:
•What glyphosate is and where it's found
•Why Stephanie warns, "if you're eating a box of cereal, you're eating a box of glyphosate,"
•Where glyphosate is lurking (this will shock you!)
•Why her anti-GMO message is not penetrating the mainstream
•What Stephanie believes it will take for people to pay attention
•The 4 main ways glyphosate wreaks havoc on your health
•How she believes glyphosate increases the risk of autism
•What role an organic diet played in her husband's heart health
•And much more!

SHOW NOTES: Check out Dr. Stephanie Seneff's website here:

MIT Technology Review - Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat

“Biotechnology, more than any other domain, has great potential for human good, but also has the possibility to be misused,” says Daniel Gerstein, a senior policy analyst at RAND and a former under secretary at the Department of Homeland Defense. “We are worried about people developing some sort of pathogen with robust capabilities, but we are also concerned about the chance of misutilization. We could have an accident occur with gene editing that is catastrophic, since the genome is the very essence of life.”

Gene editing could create medicines and self-fertilising crops. But are we facing another GM food-style furore?

The technique could transform life for farmers and Parkinson’s sufferers. But critics insist it remains unproven – and the EU may end up blocking it

Why we mustn’t pass the GM mustard

It is also clear that GM mustard is being used as a Trojan horse to gain entry for other GM food crops. This is evident from the various efforts that have been made in the past for the introduction of GM technology in the context of several other crops including corn, brinjal and rice to name just a few.

All over the world the controversy over genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified (GM) crops, also called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is heating up as more and more evidence becomes available on their extremely serious hazards. These warnings have the support of some of the world’s most eminent and well-qualified independent scientists and experts.

Recently Prof. Pushpa M. Bhargava, founder Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and one of the experts in this field presented a significant critique of GM crops. In this he stated that (i) there are over 500 research publications by scientists of indisputable integrity, who have no conflict of interest, that establish the harmful effects of GM crops on human, animal and plant health, and on environment and bio-diversity, (ii) Ninety per cent of the member-countries of the United Nations, including almost all countries of Europe, haven’t permitted GM food crops or unlabelled GM food, (iii) In the United States, where GM food (such as corn and soya) has been consumed for over 15 years, there has been a continuous rise in the incidence of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. While this does not establish a cause and effect relationship, it does not rule out this possibility.

Family eats only organic food for 2 weeks. See the transformation!

Meet the ‘rented white coats’ who defend toxic chemicals

How corporate-funded research is corrupting America’s courts and regulatory agencies

Hostess Exposes the Lie About Labeling GMOs

On top of that, Hostess also warn parents on this label that artificial dyes “may have an adverse effect on the activity and attention in children” because these dyes have been repeatedly linked to hyperactivity in kids.

The food industry knows how these ingredients are impacting our families. They label them for families in other countries, but they sing a different song in America.

It’s time to ditch this double standard. These ingredients impact all children, not just those in the UK. And all families, regardless of income, have a right to know how their food is made, even Twinkies.

South Shore Activists, Businesses and Community Leaders Urge Sen. Venditto to Support GMO Labeling Law

The coalition is calling on Senator Venditto to co-sponsor the legislation to add New York to a growing list of states that require labeling of genetically engineered foods that includes Vermont, Maine and Connecticut.

Monsanto Accounting Case Came from SEC Whistleblower

The case came to the SEC’s attention as a result of a whistleblower complaint, according to Stuart D. Meissner, whose Nyack, N.Y., firm Meissner Associates represented the unidentified whistleblower. He noted that the SEC’s whistleblower program allows a whistleblower to collect between 10 to 30 percent of the penalty.

Federal Investigation Underway for Chipotle Sabotage

Can you see how serious a matter twenty billion dollars is to unscrupulous people? Thusly, you can now comprehend how synchronized visits of corporate spies of the G.M.O. industry, to various Chipotle locations to taint the food in the dining rooms with E. coli bacteria, is not only plausible, it is very likely. This is precisely why there were no sick employees, no E. coli anywhere to be found in any kitchen, two different types of E. coli simultaneously appearing in different states, and one of which being a very rare strain often used in G.M.O. laboratories. On top of it all, perfectly synchronized as well, were assigned federal agents of the G.M.O. friendly C.D.C. “coincidentally” in the very local Health Department lab, at just the right time, to analyze and nationally publicize the first Chipotle E. coli sample, successfully defaming on the international stage the first and only anti-G.M.O. restaurant chain in the world, with its two thousand stores, and growing threat to the G.M.O. industry.

According to Reuters news service, an unidentified senior Chipotle executive disclosed that a federal criminal probe is now underway to investigate the sabotage of Chipotle’s reputation and stock deflation through the deliberate planting of laboratory bred E. coli bacteria onto their customer’s food.

UW-Madison picked as the site for first-ever organic research endowment

Tracy said the funding will establish the first permanent graduate program for plant breeding of organic crops and create an incentive for other professors to teach more courses specific to organic farming.

Debate rages over health effects of pesticide atrazine - 2014

“Atrazine is the number one contaminant found in drinking water in the U.S. and probably globally, probably in the world,” said University of California Berkeley amphibian expert Tyrone Hayes.

Hayes has spent almost 15 years warning about the possible dangers of this chemical. With a new PhD and a teaching post at this prestigious university, he was hired by an agribusiness giant, now called Syngenta, to conduct experiments on the safety of atrazine. It is a major moneymaker for the company.

His discoveries shocked the scientific community.

“Males would develop eggs in their testes or develop ovaries in their testes or essentially turn into hermaphrodites,” Hayes said, “and later we discovered that sometimes they completely turned into females.”

When he presented his findings to the company, he said: “It became very clear that they wanted me to manipulate data, that they didn’t want the science to move forward, that they didn’t want me to report the data.”

Atrazine - What is atrazine?

Atrazine is a herbicide that selectively controls broadleaf (dicot) weeds, such as pigweed, cocklebur, velvetleaf and certain grass weeds in fields of corn and sorghum.

Selective control means that the target weeds are controlled, with little or no injury to the crop. Atrazine is well tolerated by actively growing corn and sorghum, which absorb and metabolize the herbicide and thereby detoxify it. In Pennsylvania, atrazine has been applied to over 90% of the corn crop.

Lawmakers aim to ban genetically-modified salmon in Hawaii with new bill

Nation’s First Regenerative Farm Certification Bill Introduced in Vermont

Also known as “carbon farming,” regenerative agriculture practices put the emphasis on soil health using nature’s systems to regenerate the land. According to Andre Leu, president of IFOAM—Organics International, “Rebuilding soil by sequestering carbon reduces CO2 from the atmosphere and creates land that is more drought resistant and grows healthier, food, plants and animals.”

Zimbabwe Says It Won’t Accept GMO Corn for Drought Relief

Zimbabwe will inspect all corn imported as emergency food aid to check that it’s not genetically modified, agriculture minister Joseph Made told lawmakers Wednesday.

The government remains opposed to GM crop imports and “may later consider such purchases provided it is trucked directly to millers under security escort,” Made said. A ban on genetically modified seed-corn won’t be lifted, he said.

Dismantling injustice in the food system: An interview with Elizabeth Henderson:

Toolbox for Farm Seekers

Where have all the ladybugs gone?

Tom Oder February 10, 2016

Native ladybugs are disappearing, and it could mean bad things for our crops, but there are ways you can help.

The next time you see a ladybug, do a farmer a favor. Whip out your smartphone, take pictures of it, and email the photos with the location to John Losey.

Losey is the director of the Lost Ladybug Project and will add your picture to the more than 34,000 ladybug images he has received. The project is a citizen science effort that Losey runs out of his lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he's an associate professor of entomology. Native ladybugs have been in serious decline since the mid-1970s, and Losey is seeking to document where remaining populations are being seen, where they're not being seen, all to help determine the reason for their decline.

Arty turns 11 this summer.