USDA Deregulates Two Lines of Genetically Engineered Corn From Monsanto, Syngenta

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said last week it will allow farmers to plant two new strains of genetically modified (GMO) corn, one created by Monsanto and the other by Syngenta, without government oversight. The new strains are tolerant of the weed killers dicamba and glufosinate.

The decision is likely to lead to ever-greater use of these and other pesticides to grow genetically engineered crops, giving consumers yet another reason to want food products containing GMO ingredients to be labeled accordingly.

Like earlier GMO crops that were modified to be herbicide-tolerant, the new GMO corn is designed to survive being blanketed with toxic chemicals that kill weeds and other plant life on the field.

Del Monte Is Making This Huge Change to its Products

Del Monte also announced that it would move away from GMO, or genetically modified crops. The company also announced Tuesday that not only would vegetables, fruit cups and most tomato products be non-GMO, so will added ingredients used as sweeteners and soybeans. About 154 products will be non-GMO, and they will be labelled as such. Granted, the benefits and downsides of GMO have long been debated.

Farmer Blows the whistle on Chicken Farms in the United States

Corn Refiners Association worried about GMO labeling laws

“Vermont’s labeling law will go into effect on July 1 and we are running out of options," Bode said. "Without Senate action, American families will face $1,050 in increased grocery bills each year. We urge the Senate to continue to work towards a meaningful national solution before the Vermont law goes into effect."

Cuba’s sustainable agriculture at risk in U.S. thaw

But if relations with U.S. agribusiness companies are not managed carefully, Cuba could revert to an industrial approach that relies on mechanization, transgenic crops and agrochemicals, rolling back the revolutionary gains that its campesinos have achieved.

Japan's school lunches put America to shame.

The One Thing No One Tells Women About Seafood

According to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, pregnant women who eat the amount of fish suggested by federal guidelines routinely have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood.

Major brands reverse course on genetically modified food labels

Minnesota Beekeepers Compensated for Bee Kills from Pesticide Drift

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2016) In the first test of a landmark beekeeper compensation law that works to protect beekeepers from the effects of toxic pesticides on their hives, Minnesota has recently compensated two beekeepers for pesticide drift that killed their bees. Investigators from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) have confirmed what beekeepers and environmentalists have been saying: Even when pesticides are used in accordance with the label and the law, they can be acutely toxic to bees in everyday circumstances.

Maryland to Become First State to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides for Consumer Use

Jim Cochran helped invent the organic strawberry industry. After pioneering and profiting from a healthier crop, he turned his attention to the health of his workers. He became the first organic farmer in American to unionize his workforce when he signed a contract with the United Farm Workers of America. His workers make three times the national average for strawberry work, have health care, vacation pay and an employee owned stock plan.

Spanish Regions Ban Glyphosate Herbicides over Health Fears

The Spanish towns and regions that have decided to ban glyphosate herbicides are:
* Barcelona and its region
* Madrid
* Zaragoza
* The region of Extremadura

Expert Groups across Nigeria Slam Monsanto over Plans to Introduce GM Crops

One hundred groups representing over five million Nigerians, comprising of farmers, faith-based organisations, civil society groups, students and local community groups, are vehemently opposing Monsanto’s attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) cotton and maize into Nigeria’s food and farming systems.

One hundred groups representing over five million Nigerians, comprising of farmers, faith-based organisations, civil society groups, students and local community groups, are vehemently opposing Monsanto’s attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) cotton and maize into Nigeria’s food and farming systems.

Non-GMO certification adds an extra layer of protection to organic standards. FoodChain ID is an expert in Non-GMO Project certification.

China Rules Out GMO Grain and Rice Farming For Now

China will not be establishing industrial-scale genetically modified (GM) grain farms for the time being, a senior government official said on Tuesday, amid concerns on the potential side effects of GM food.

Roundup Weedkiller Found In 75% of Air and Rain Samples, Gov. Study Finds

The researchers evaluated a wide range of pesticides currently being used through weekly composite air and rain sampling collected during the 1995 and 2007 growing seasons in the Mississippi Delta agricultural region.

The researchers discovered the following:

Thirty-seven compounds were detected in the air or rain samples in 2007; 20 of these were present in both air and rain.
Glyphosate was the predominant new herbicide detected in both air (86%) and rain (77%) in 2007, but were not measured in 1995.
Decreased overall pesticide use in 2007 relative to 1995 generally resulted in decreased detection frequencies in air and rain, but observed concentration ranges were similar between years even though the 1995 sampling site was 500?m from active fields while the 2007 sampling site was within 3?m of a field.
Mean concentration of detections were sometimes greater in 2007 than in 1995 but the median values were often lower.
Seven compounds in 1995 and five in 2007 were detected in =50% of both air and rain samples. Atrazine, metolachlor, and propanil were detected in =50% of the air and rain samples in both years.
Total herbicide flux in 2007 was slightly greater than in 1995, and was dominated by glyphosate.

NFU Calls for Immediate Action to Stop GM alfalfa seed sales in Canada

New genetically engineered potato approved for Canada

$4.8 million USAID grant to improve food security

To strengthen capacity to develop and disseminate genetically engineered eggplant in Bangladesh and the Philippines, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Cornell a $4.8 million, three-year cooperative grant. The award supports USAID’s work under Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global initiative to fight hunger and improve food security using agricultural science and technology.

China Rules Out Industrial GM Grain Farms

Science, Public Health And 'Mutant' Mosquitoes: Proposed Florida Keys Experiment Sparks Bitter Debate Over Genetically Modified Aedes Aegypti

But because it’s the company that’s attempting to prove, with its own data, its product is safe and effective, earning the trust of a skeptical public that sees corporations as focused solely on profits can be tough.

Stand with us to stop genetically engineered salmon

Denmark Interprets EU Seed Laws in Support of Seed Saving

Fungicides Linked to Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease (Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2016)

A study published yesterday finds that a certain class of fungicides, the strobilurins, causes genetic changes in the neurons of mice that are similar to genetic changes seen in humans with autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Since their introduction to the market over the past 20 years, these fungicides have been used increasingly on conventionally grown crops like cabbage, spinach, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, apples, pears and grapes.

After exposing brain cells from mice to over 300 pesticides and fungicides, researchers found that the strobilurin class of fungicides produces patterns of genetic changes often seen in human neurodegenerative diseases. While the fungicides created autism-like signatures in the way the genes were expressed in mouse neurons, the results do not conclusively show that this class of fungicides causes autism or Alzheimer’s disease. Mark Zylka, Ph.D., lead scientist of the study and associate professor of cell biology and physiology at University of North Carolina, states, “What this work provides is evidence that these chemicals are bad for neurons. They turn the same genes on or off that you see not only in autism brains, but also in neurodegeneration.”

Strobilurins work by disrupting mitochondria, commonly known as the “powerhouse of the cell,” ...

Roundup Safety Data Sheet

36 Different Pesticides Found in Hawaiian Child’s Hair Sample

It would seem unfathomable that Hawaii, where the weather is picture perfect, would have to import over 90 percent of its food supply. But with companies like Dow, DuPont/Pioneer, Syngenta, BASF, and Monsanto testing their GMO products on over 1,000 plots of large acreage, it’s the sad truth. This is why Hawaii is often called GMO Ground Zero.

Lawsuit Challenges FDA’s Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

Washington State’s Emergency Rule Allows Recall of Contaminated Cannabis Products

(Beyond Pesticides, March 29, 2016) Last week, Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) adopted emergency rules allowing the state to recall cannabis products that have been tainted with illegal pesticide residues. The move follows widespread cannabis recalls in the City of Denver, and actions from Colorado’s Governor to declare pesticide-tainted cannabis “a threat to public safety.” Earlier in the month, Beyond Pesticides sent letters to Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and Governor Jay Inslee imploring the state to take a proactive approach in restricting the use of hazardous pesticides in cannabis production.

US Environment Agency’s Watchdog Probes Chemical War on Superweeds

Genetically modified corn and soybeans were supposed to reduce chemical use on farms, but instead they’ve done the exact opposite by creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds” and increasing the use of Monsanto’s toxic weed killer Roundup. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog wants to know how this chemical war on weeds is affecting human health and the environment.

Declaration signed to save indigenous culture by rejecting GM crops

Nigerians say no to Monsanto's GM crops

One hundred civil society groups representing over 5 million Nigerians are opposing opposing Monsanto's attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) cotton and maize into Nigeria's food and farming systems.

More Poisonous than Glyphosate….

Regulators evaluate the safety of a pesticide or herbicide mainly by looking at the active ingredient—such as glyphosate—while commercial versions of pesticides contain other adjuvants that may be kept confidential by industry.

Companies say that they add ingredients to pesticides other than the active ingredient (the chemical designed to kill weeds, pests, etc.) in order to make the product easier to spray, more readily stick to plants, store longer, and less likely to wash off in rain. These additives can make up as much as 95 percent of a pesticide. But based on this study, the adjuvants may be doing much more.

The EPA requires that only the active ingredient be studied for medium- and long-term toxicity. Companies are not required to list inert ingredients on most pesticide labels.

GMO products to be labeled at farmers' market

Why Should Organics Be Different?

Secret Scientists

What else is secret at the NOP? Since it is not a scientific body, but rather a diverse set of organic stakeholders, Congress gave the NOSB the ability to hire independent scientists to advise them. This law has been historically violated. The USDA, rather than the NOSB members, has selected the scientists.

When Cornucopia wrote the Organic Watergate Report, we found that the USDA was contracting with agribusiness executives and consultants. Whoa Nelly! Is it any surprise that the scientists were looking the other way when dangerous ingredients like carrageenan, a very cost-effective processing material for agribusiness, were reviewed for inclusion in organic foods?

Frack No!

Sign the Petition to Ban the Use of Frack and Sewage Wastewater for Growing Organic Food

Citizens Can Sue for Mislabeling

Sanders: ‘I will not renegotiate the TPP, I will reject it’

During a news conference in Pittsburgh, PA, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders shares his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while she was Secretary of State.
Arty turns 11 this summer.