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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


19
Sep

USDA Approves 2,4-D-Tolerant (GE) Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, September 19, 2014) The pesticide treadmill continues to turn with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent approval this week of three 2,4-D-tolerto ant corn and soybean crops, developed by Dow AgroSciences. Some growers have been pushing for the new Enlist crops in order to combat the rapid proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds. The use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup formulation, on genetically-engineered (GE) crops has proven to be an abject failure due to widespread weed resistance. So widespread is this resistance that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has  granted an emergency use exemption  for fluridone, which does not have registered uses in agriculture.  More recently, Texas regulators requested the use of propazine to combat glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, which EPA recently denied,  citing risks to drinking water and other hazards.   Even though the agency denied the emergency use application, it accepted the argument put forth by the Texas Department of Agriculture that  glyphosate-resistant weeds in three million acres of herbicide-tolerant cotton constituted an  “urgent non-routine situation.”  Beyond Pesticides argued to EPA that the weed resistance in  herbicide-tolerant cropping systems is very predictable and has become routine, thus disqualifying states from using the […]

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08
Aug

New Wave of Herbicide-Tolerant Crops Awaiting Likely U.S. Approval

(Beyond Pesticides, August 8, 2014) Despite the continued documentation of weed resistance all over the United States, as well as the world, another line of herbicide-tolerant crops developed by Monsanto is currently in the pipeline awaiting likely approval by U.S. regulators. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on Tuesday, which, according to regulators, will pave the way for the approval of new  genetically modified cotton and soybean plants tolerant to a mixture of the herbicides glyphosate and dicamba. Monsanto’s new soybean and cotton crops were developed to withstand their new herbicide formulation, called Roundup Xtend, which combines the pesticides dicamba and glyphosate. The “Roundup Ready Xtend crop system” was developed to curb the proliferation of millions of acres of weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup, which has been used on the company’s biotech corn, soybeans, and cotton. Weed resistance due to cropping systems dependent on herbicides has been documented for years, making APHIS’ conclusions in the EIS all the more alarming. A report that Beyond Pesticides published 12 years ago, “The Environmental Risks of Transgenic Crops: An Agroecological Assessment is the failed pesticide […]

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30
May

Moms Tell EPA to Ban Glyphosate After Residues Found in Breast Milk

Beyond Pesticides, May 30, 2014) This week, a group of concerned mothers and environmentalists met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials  to discuss a recent pilot study that detected glyphosate residues in breast milk. Organized by Mom’s Across of America, which is seeking to stop the sale and use of glyphosate, the meeting  underscored the limitations of EPA’s pesticide registration program in addressing  the real-life impacts of pesticides on children and the concerns of mothers surrounding the dangers of glyphosate in particular.  Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is the most widely applied herbicide in the U.S., with uses ranging from genetically engineered (GE) crops to lawn turf. The meeting with Moms Across America, Beyond Pesticides, Consumes Union, Organic Consumers Association,  other groups  and EPA came after Mom’s Across America’s five-day phone call campaign urging EPA to recall Roundup. Participants in the campaign made close to 10,000 calls to the agency. The pilot study, supported by Moms Across America, looked at ten breast-milk samples from across America. Three of the ten breast milk samples tests reveal high levels of glyphosate, meaning that the amount of glyphosate found is between 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l. The highest glyphosate […]

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23
May

Oregon Counties Ban Planting of Genetically Engineered Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23, 2014) Residents in two Oregon counties, Jackson and Josephine, voted to ban the cultivation, production, and distribution of genetically engineered (GE) crops within the counties’ borders Tuesday.  The Jackson County measure 15-119, passed with 66 percent of the vote, while Josephine County passed with 58 percent. As noted by Reuters, the newly approved measures mandate that people “harvest, destroy or remove all genetically engineered plants” no later than 12 months after the ordinances go into effect. This is great news for farmers of organic and non-genetically engineered crops, who constantly struggle with the threat of GE contamination. Though there are less than 120,000 registered voters in Jackson County, the measure gained national attention due to the fact that opponents raised over $830,000 to advertise againstthe measure, with over 97% of the funding coming in from outside of the county, including over $450,000 from biotech giant Monsanto and five other corporations to defeat the initiative. For comparison, the previous county spending record on a ballot initiative was $111,000. “We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won,” Elise Higley, a Jackson County farmer and representative from  Our Family Farms Coalition told […]

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20
May

Pesticide Manufacturers Sued over Golf Course Superintendent’s Death

(Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2014) Pittsburgh sportscaster Rich Walsh is suing multinational chemical companies after his father’s untimely death from cancer in 2009. According to a story from local Pittsburgh station WTAE, Mr. Walsh’s father, Tom Walsh, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008, after a career as a golf course superintendent. “He loved golf. He loved working outside. He loved to take care of golf courses,” Rich told WTAE. Rich’s lawsuit was filed against Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, BASF, Syngenta, Dow Agroscience, Deere and Company, and John Deere Landscapes in 2010. Genetic testing from Tom’s oncologist showed chromosomal alterations as a result of years of working with pesticides, the only chemicals Mr. Walsh ever worked with. Part of the log books he kept throughout his career included the pesticides he applied, which included the insecticides Dylox and Dursban, active ingredients trichlorfon and chlorpyrifos respectively, and the fungicides Daconil and Chipco, active ingredients chlorothalonil and iprodione. All of these chemicals have been shown to be likely carcinogens, according to Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticide Gateway or Pesticide Induced Diseases Database. Chlorpyrifos, for instance, was banned for homeowner use back in  2001, but uses on agriculture and golf courses were allowed to continue […]

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30
Apr

Industry Campaign and Congressional Hearing Mislead on Bee Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2014) A new report, released this week by author  Michele Simon  and Friends of the Earth  documents the tactics used by Bayer and other pesticide companies to delay regulatory action on neonicotinoid pesticides —a key contributor to bee declines. The report identifies public relations tactics reminiscent of those used by the tobacco industry, is now being used by Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto. Meanwhile, a Congressional hearing on pollinator health, with a panel dominated by industry, ignored the risks pesticides pose to pollinators, and failed to address sustainable solutions to bee decline. The report,  Follow the Honey: 7 Ways Pesticide Companies Are Spinning the Bee Crisis to Protect Profits,  uncovers the deceptive public relations tactics used by industry giants Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto, to deflect blame from their products’ contributions to bee declines. The products in question are the chemicals now widely used for seed treatment  —neonicotinoids— as well as on residential sites. They are highly toxic to bees and have been linked to bee decline. Last year, the European Union banned the three most widely used neonicotinoids —imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam— based on strong science indicating these insecticides can kill bees outright and make them more […]

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24
Apr

France Bans GE Corn Cultivation, VT Passes GE Food Labeling Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2014) France’s lower house of parliament passed a bill last week banning the cultivation of all strains of genetically engineered (GE) corn within its borders, even those strains that might not yet be approved within the European Union (EU). The law follows a decree adopted last month, which targeted the only GE crop permitted for cultivation in the EU””Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON810 corn. Back in the U.S., Vermont became the first state to pass a  bill requiring the labeling of food containing GE ingredients  (You can read the House bill as it was introduced here and the Senate amendments to this bill here). The bill, which the Governor said he will sign, passed by large majorities in both houses of the legislature and does not contain a trigger provision similar to laws adopted in Connecticut and Maine  –with a  requirement that  similar action is taken in contiguous states before the law goes into effect. The action in France is not  the first time it has closed the door on MON810, even in the face of its highest court’s rulings that similar bans did not have sufficient justification. Yet, undaunted by these defeats the French General Assembly went […]

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14
Apr

Herbicide Ban Put on Hold In Sri Lanka

(Beyond Pesticides, April 14, 2014) Bowing to political pressure and agrochemical industry opposition Sri Lanka’s government has taken a step back from its original decision to place a ban on one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide ””glyphosate. Scientific evidence has tied glyphosate to the incurable, deadly kidney disease that has afflicted thousands of Sri Lankans. The delay marks a setback in efforts by scientists and activists to remove from the shelves  a chemical widely used on tea and rice paddy plantations in Sri Lanka.   The decision to ban the chemical was initiated following the publication of a scientific report demonstrating that kidney disease was primarily caused by glyphosate. The report provides a summary of existing scientific information demonstrating kidney failure among farmers who were exposed to the popular herbicide. Indeed lead author Channa Jayasumana, PhD. explains that glyphosate bonds with toxic heavy metals in the environment such as cadmium and arsenic, forming stable compounds that are consumed in food and water and do not break down until they reach the kidneys. “Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney,” said Dr. Jayasumana. The chemical was initially created as a chelating […]

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11
Apr

Connecticut Senate Moves Forward on GE Grass Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2014) Connecticut State Senate bill no.443, an act that bans the sale of genetically engineered (GE) grass seeds, passed the state Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 25-11. The bill shows Connecticut legislators are taking seriously the risks that increased pesticide use in residential areas pose to the health of the states residents, especially children, and pets. The bill will ban the sale, use, and marketing of lawn or turf seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides. The GE grass seed that is being developed by Monsanto and Scotts is currently not available in consumer markets and is being tested by Scotts employees in their front yards. The bill may face stronger challenges from Connecticut’s House as it is unclear if the House speaker, J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, will call for a vote on the bill before the session ends May 7. One of the major concerns  the bill addresses  is that allowing GE grass seeds for consumer use would lead to dramatic increases in residential pesticide use. “So you will spread this pesticide all across your lawn, back and forth, on your lawn,” said Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, as quoted in […]

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07
Apr

With Big Money, Industry Fights County Ordinance to Ban GE Crop Planting

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2014) A recent report by The Oregonian found that enormous amounts of money are being spent by agrichemical and biotechnology companies in  one Oregon  county to stop an ordinance that would ban farmers from being able to plant genetically engineered (GE) Crops. This current legislative fight encapsulates the uphill funding battle that anti-GE activists face when organizing state and local level campaigns. The ordinance that will appear on the upcoming May ballot in Jackson County, Oregon will ban the planting and rising of GE plants within the county. The ordinance also calls for the county to conduct inspections and allows enforcement through citizen lawsuits. Jackson County was the only county exempt from a law enacted last fall that made the state the regulator of agricultural seeds. The county’s measure qualified for the May ballot before the Oregon Senate passed S.B. 863, which preempts localities ability to regulate seed, so it was exempted in the bill. The bill preempts efforts the efforts in Benton and Lane counties to restrict GE agriculture. Despite state preemption, Josephine County has a similar measure on the May ballot to ban GE crops. According to a recent report in The Oregonian, the […]

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16
Jan

GE Soy Exhibits Higher Glyphosate Residues than Conventional, Organic Healthier

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2014) Researchers in Norway recently released a new study giving organic consumers and anti-genetically engineered (GE) crop advocates another few solid reasons to promote organic and continue the fight against engineered crops.  Findings from the study demonstrate that not only do soybeans grown using organic cultivation practices provide the healthiest nutritional profile of the three classes of soybeans studied, but GE soybeans also retain glyphosate residues at higher levels than their conventional, non-GE soybean counterparts. In Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans (Soy Study), Thomas Bøhn of Genøk, Centre for Biosafety and his team of researcher examined 31 batches of soybeans””all grown in the United States.  The batches were separated into three categories: (1) GE, glyphosate-tolerant soy (GE-soy); (2) unmodified soy cultivated using conventional ”˜chemical’ practices; and (3) unmodified soy cultivated using organic practices. Among the three categories, all individual soybean samples were analyzed for their nutritional content, including total protein, total fat, dry matter, starch, ash, minerals, trace elements, vitamin B6, amino acid and fatty acid composition, in addition to the relevant pesticides used on the samples during cultivation. The study selected soybeans as the target crop […]

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15
Jan

Supreme Court Denies Family Farmers the Right to Self-Defense from Monsanto Suits

(Beyond Pesticides, January 15, 2013) The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on Monday  in the landmark federal lawsuit Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto, limiting the ability of farmers to protect themselves from genetic drift. An earlier Appeals Court decision in the case acknowledged genetic drift as inevitable and evoked a public  commitment from Monsanto that it would not sue farmers faced with contamination of crops containing “trace amounts” of the company’s patented genes.  In the past, Monsanto has claimed that farmers were responsible and liable for its genetic property being found on land farmed by farmers who did not pay to cultivate the company’s genetically engineered crop. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal and reinstate the suit, denying farmers the right to argue their case in court and gain greater protection from potential abuse by the agrichemical and genetic engineering giant, Monsanto. Additionally, the high court decision dashes the hopes of family farmers who sought the opportunity to prove in court Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed patents are invalid. The case, originally filed on behalf of several plaintiffs on March 29, 2011, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, challenges […]

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07
Oct

Oregon Passes Bill to Limit GE Oversight

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2013) A controversial agriculture bill that would bar counties in Oregon from regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops has passed in the state legislature to the dismay of many organic and environmental groups. Senate Bill 863 also includes an emergency clause, which would allow the bill to go into effect immediately, precluding opponents from referring the bill to voters. The Oregon Senate passed S.B. 863 17-12 last week after three-days of a special session to debate a controversial five-bill package. S.B. 863 declares that “regulation of agricultural seed, flower seed, nursery seed and vegetable seed and products of agricultural seed, flower seed, nursery seed and vegetable seed be reserved to the state, thereby preempting   local governments from adopting any of their own GE policies.” The bill precludes efforts in Benton and Lane counties to restrict GE agriculture, but excludes Jackson County, which already has a GE ban up for vote. This GE bill is part of a package of five bills aimed at giving schools more money, freezing college tuition, and reining in escalating costs of the public pension system. Environmental groups and local food activists are upset that the provision sailed through the state’s legislature. […]

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26
Sep

“Monsanto Protection Act” Stripped from Senate Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2013) The controversial legislative rider added at the behest of Monsanto to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget bill  last spring, dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act,”  will no longer be effective after Sept. 30 under a new stopgap government funding bill being drafted by Senate Democrats. Just last week, to the dismay of many concerned groups and individuals, the House approved the extension of the provision, which protects genetically-engineered (GE) seed manufacturers  from  litigation. The provision  was included in last spring’s 6-month continuing resolution (CR) spending bill to fund the government  through the end of the month. The House approved a three-month extension to the rider in its own short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution (CR) spending bill, which was approved last week to fund the federal government past September. But the Senate version, overseen by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), will explicitly say that the Monsanto-backed provision will end this month on September 30 before sending the bill back to the House for final approval. Wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, the “Monsanto Protection Act” touched off a storm last spring as critics accused Monsanto of  trying to protect its sales of GE seeds, by […]

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25
Sep

USDA Refuses to Investigate GE Alfalfa Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2013) Five days after genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa was confirmed to have contaminated non-GE alfalfa in Washington State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would not investigate the incident. Conventional and organic farmers have long been concerned with the economic impacts of GE adulteration, and this incident represents the latest in a long string of contamination events that have brought a global spotlight on the United States’ loose regulatory structure for these controversial crops. GE alfalfa is engineered by Monsanto to be resistant to glyphosate, or “Roundup Ready,” and is the first engineered perennial crop. The contamination could either be a result of cross-pollination or direct contamination of purchased seed. Cross- contamination is highly likely as alfalfa is pollinated by bees that can fly and cross-pollinate between fields and wild sources miles apart. According to a December 2011 report by Stephanie Greene, a Ph.D. geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), after Roundup Ready alfalfa was first deregulated in 2005 industry testing of conventional seed lots found levels of contamination as high as  two percent. USDA claims the contamination is a “commercial issue” and should be addressed by the marketplace and not the […]

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12
Sep

Monsanto Funds Anti-GE Labeling Efforts in Washington

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2013) Monsanto recently made a multi-million dollar contribution to an organization fighting to stop a ballot initiative in Washington State that would force food processors to label genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Monsanto has poured millions of dollars into multiple anti-labeling efforts, previously contributing over $7 million against a similar proposition in California last year. In spite of being out fundraised, support for labeling GE ingredients remains strong in Washington State, and consumers across the country are becoming increasingly aware of the problems associated with GE crops. Washington State’s Initiative 522 (I-522), which will be voted on this coming November, will require manufactured raw agricultural products that are genetically engineered, and processed foods with GE ingredients to be labeled by July 1, 2015. However, in the past week Monsanto contributed nearly $4.6 million to the ‘No on 522’ campaign. With this recent contribution by Monsanto, the No on 522 campaign, which opposes GE labeling, has raised close to $7.9 million, $3.5 million more than the Yes on 522 campaign. This influx of corporate money was predicted by Beyond Pesticides last month. In Washington state, individual and corporate contributions to campaigns for elected office cannot exceed $800-$1800 depending […]

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03
Sep

Another Study Finds Rootworms Resistant to Genetically Engineered Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, September 3, 2013) For the past several years, corn rootworms  have  been widely reported to exhibit resistance  to corn genetically engineered (GE) with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. A  new report by  University of Illinois researchers found the resistant corn rootworm  in two of the state’s counties significantly damaged by western corn rootworm. The increasing lack of efficacy of GE corn, developed with the claim that it  is specifically designed to protect corn from rootworm, calls into question the efforts of agrichemical companies to patent new forms of GE crops. The report by Joe Spencer, PhD, and Michael Gray, PhD,  identifies significant damage from western corn rootworms in farm field that were planted with GE corn that contain a Bt protein referred to as “Cry3Bb1,” which has been inserted into nearly one-third of the corn planted in the United States. This version of Bt corn was introduced by Monsanto in 2003, and was touted as a way to reduce insecticide use against rootworm pests. Evidence was gathered in two Illinois counties, Livingston and Kankakee, after fields that had severe root pruning and lodging were brought to the attention of Drs. Spencer and Gray. Dr. Gray was quoted in […]

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15
Jul

Giant Corps Have Set Up Shop in Hawaii, and They’re Wrecking the Place

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2013) They’re wrecking the place; the chemicals they produce are  polluting groundwater  and  poisoning schoolchildren. In the absence of federal and state action, local communities are rising up to confront these agrichemical giants. As a testament to the power of local change, two Hawaiian counties, Kauai and the “Big Island” of Hawaii, have introduced legislation to restrict these practices.  Monsanto, Dow, BASF, DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta are using the Hawaiian Islands as their private testing grounds for experimental pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops, but they don’t want residents to know where these fields are and what chemicals they are spraying on them; they don’t think they have that right. Federal and state governments have, in effect, sanctioned these practices and provided cover for these corporations to spray tons of restricted use pesticides  across the islands (18 tons annually— and that’s just on the island of Kauai). Kauai County Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum recently introduced County Bill 2491, which would provide long overdue protections from some of the most egregious chemical intrusions occurring on the island. Commercial pesticide applications from these giant corporations would require a 500 ft buffer zone near schools, hospitals, residential […]

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01
Jul

Twenty-Three Groups Tell EPA to Reject More Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2013) Twenty-two groups, including Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Consumers Union, and the National Organic Coalition join Beyond Pesticides in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to increase the allowable residue limits (tolerances) for glyphosate (Roundup) on certain food commodities, saying an increase in glyphosate tolerances and associated increases in glyphosate use puts the public at additional unreasonable risk. Given the recent science that has come out on glyphosate, human and environmental risks cannot be ignored, the groups say. Increasing tolerance limits would increase the dietary exposure risks from this chemical, which is unacceptable given that commercially viable alternatives are in place for growing food and controlling weeds. EPA is poised to raise the allowable limits of the herbicide glyphosate in certain food commodities like carrots, sweet potato, and mustard seeds. Some of the allowable limits, or tolerances, will more than double. Increasing the levels of Roundup on food will pave the way for an overall increase in the use of this chemical in agriculture. Roundup is toxic to human and environmental health. In fact, a recent MIT study finds that glyphosate’s interference with important enzymes in the body can lead […]

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28
Jun

Say “No” to More Roundup in Our Food

(Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2013) The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to raise the allowable limits of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in certain food commodities like carrots, sweet potato, and mustard seeds. Some of the allowable limits, or tolerances, will more than double! Increasing the levels of Roundup on food will pave the way for an overall increase in the use of this chemical in agriculture. The problem is Roundup is toxic to human and environmental health. In fact, a recent MIT study finds that glyphosate’s interference with important enzymes in the body can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Drinking water contaminated with Roundup can lead to congestion of the lungs and increased breathing rate, as well as kidney damage and reproductive effects. Given that alternative methods of growing food and managing weeds are available, like those that exist in organic agriculture, it is unreasonable for EPA to increase human exposures to Roundup. Tell EPA No More Roundup In Our Diet by July 1st! To have the most impact, EPA needs to hear directly from you with your comment in the docket! You may use the sample text […]

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17
Jun

Celebrate Pollinator Week and BEE Protective June 17-23!

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2013) Today Beyond Pesticides and the BEE Protective campaign kicks off National Pollinator Week in the United States as hundreds of actions to support pollinators take place across the country. This week we urge communities to come together to highlight the importance of pollinators through public education, the creation of pollinator friendly habitats, and other exciting activities. Beyond Pesticides invites you to take a real pledge to support pollinators and pollinator-friendly habitat, even as several pesticide companies, including Bayer and Syngenta, are using this week as an opportunity to “Bee-Wash” their image and to distance themselves from the toxic effects of their products on pollinators. BEE Protective Beyond Pesticides’ recently launched campaign has all the educational tools you need to actually help pollinators. We urge you to sign our Pesticide Free Zone Declaration and pledge to maintain your yard, park, garden or other green space as organically-managed and pollinator friendly.  In honor of all the benefits pollinators provide, and in light of the plight of honey bees worldwide, we are offering free organic pollinator-friendly seed packets from now until June 23rd to those who sign the pledge (supply is limited, so sign today). Help us reach […]

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12
Jun

Monsanto Promises Not to Sue for GE Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2013) A three-judge panel  of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Monday that a group of organic and otherwise non-GE farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to protect themselves from Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents after Monsanto made binding assurances that it will not take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently be contaminated with traces of Monsanto biotech genes. Organic farmers and others have worried for years that they will be sued by Monsanto for patent infringement if their crops get contaminated with Monsanto genetically engineered (GE) material from GE crops. Organic and non-GE farms get contaminated when pollen or seed migrate from neighboring GE farms. Even though wind or insect transfer of pollen is a natural process, Monsanto has been suing farmers for infringing on their patents if contamination is found on their farms. Monsanto’s history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers is a major source of concern for organic and non-GE agricultural producers since Monsanto’s first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-”˜90s. As of 2012, Monsanto has filed 142 alleged seed patent infringement lawsuits involving 410 farmers and 56 small […]

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11
Jun

Multiple Lawsuits Filed Against Monsanto for Transgene Contamination of Wheat

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2013) Several different lawsuits have been filed against the agrichemical giant Monsanto after the recent discovery of illegal Genetically Engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants  in an Oregon wheat field. The GE wheat was first found in early May when field workers in eastern Oregon noticed a volunteer patch of wheat that survived a dousing with glyphosate. Ernst Barnes, a Kansas wheat farmer, brought the first lawsuit against Monsanto. Soon after, a separate lawsuit was filed by the Center for Food Safety on behalf of Pacific Northwest wheat farmers. The lawsuits allege that the presence of GE wheat crops spurred top wheat importers, such as Japan, South Korea, and the European Union, to enact damaging restrictions on American wheat. These restrictions could lead to lower wheat imports and will cause devastating economic effects to wheat farmers. While the world’s largest wheat importer, Egypt, has not signaled it would stop importing U.S. wheat, Japan has cancelled its order to buy U.S. western white wheat. Meanwhile, the European Union has prepared to begin testing shipments for the Roundup Ready gene. In 2012, U.S. exported wheat was valued at $18.1 billion, with 90% of Oregon’s wheat sent abroad. Since 1994, […]

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