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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


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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07
Jun

Senator Stabenow Pledges Opposition to the “Monsanto Protection Act”

(Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2013) U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has announced her intent to oppose an extension of the “Monsanto Protection Act,” or “Biotech Rider.” Senator Stabenow announced her opposition in a conversation (“colloquy”) with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on the Senate floor. Senator Merkley had been pushing for a vote on an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have repealed the Biotech Rider, which was surreptitiously added to the House’s 6 month continuing resolution (H.R. 933 -Sec. 735) earlier this year. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who wrote the provision and whose state is home to Monsanto’s headquarters, blocked the Senate’s vote on the measure, and shortly thereafter the Senate moved to end debate on the Farm Bill and move towards final passage. As The Huffington Post reports, all hope is not lost; “While Merkley was unable to get a repeal vote, the colloquy is a significant concession, with Stabenow promising she will oppose any attempt to extend the Monsanto Protection Act in backroom negotiations.” The existence of the provision came as a surprise even to members of Congress, as many were unaware that the rider had been added to H.R. 933. […]

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31
May

Oregon Wheat Found Contaminated with Unapproved GE Wheat

(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2013) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that unapproved genetically engineered (GE) wheat was found growing in an Oregon wheat field. The discovery has implications for U.S. trade as Japan has already indicated it would stop purchasing U.S. wheat exports. According to USDA officials, an Oregon farmer sprayed his wheat field, intending it to lay fallow for the next year. Despite multiple sprays of RoundUp, the farmer found so-called “volunteer” crops unexpectedly persisted, just as GE crops are engineered to do. The discovery prompted him to send samples to Carol Mallery Smith, scientist at Oregon State University, who determined that the crops were infused with the RoundUp Ready gene. USDA confirmed the results but officials have declined to comment on how the seeds ended up in this farmer’s field to begin with considering Monsanto has not conducted field trials in Oregon since 2001 when it reportedly withdrew from the state. Since 1994, Monsanto has conducted 279 field trials of RoundUp Ready wheat over more than 4,000 acres of land in 16 states. Tests have been conducted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and […]

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29
May

Protesters March Worldwide Against Monsanto

(Beyond Pesticides, May 29, 2013) Last weekend across the world thousands of protesters rallied in dozens of cities against industry giant Monsanto and its genetically engineered (GE) products. “March Against Monsanto,” a coordinated day of action and protest, was held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, even after Congress voted against allowing states to require labeling of GE foods. The organizers of the May 25 rally call for labeling of GE foods and further scientific research on the health effects of GE foods. Demonstrators hoped to raise awareness of the issue and waved signs that read “Real Food 4 Real People” and “Label GMOs, It’s Our Right to Know.” They also urge supporters to “vote with their dollar” by buying only organic products and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies. Protesters in the U.S. urged opposition to the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” which takes away the authority of federal courts to halt the sale or production of GE crops, undermining the courts’ ability to protect farmers and the environment from potentially hazardous GE crops. “We’re marching to raise awareness,” said Dorothy Muehlmann, 30, of Corona, who organized the L.A. march with help from groups such as Occupy […]

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24
May

Insecticide Sales Rise with Failure of GE Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2013) Insecticide sales have soared over the past year as target insects have developed resistance to crops genetically engineered (GE) to incorporate an insecticide. Contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide use, crops like corn, engineered to protect against rootworm have been ineffective and farmers have begun applying additional insecticides. The GE corn seed, developed by Monsanto, was released in 2003 to target a gene allowing plants to express a pest-killing toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The  pesticide incorporated plant  (PIP)  was developed to kill western corn rootworm, a potentially devastating pest that does its greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots. Severe feeding inhibits the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients and opens a pathway for attack from soil-borne pathogens. In 2011, entomologists at Iowa State University published a study verifying the first field-evolved resistance of corn rootworm to a Bt toxin. The researchers documented resistance to the Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. Now, almost a decade after the seed was introduced, almost two thirds of U.S. grown corn contains the Bt toxin, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although USDA data shows an […]

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09
May

Review Highlights Dangerous Health Effects of Glyphosate

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2013) A review of the scientific literature of the toxic effects of glyphosate, one of the most popular weed killers in the U.S. and the active ingredient in Roundup, links the herbicide  to a wide range of diseases and suggests  that more research is needed. The review, conducted by a scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), looks at the mechanisms through which the adverse effects may be happening and points to  the chemical’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which plays the crucial role of detoxifying xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate can enhance the negative effects of other environmental toxicants on the body. Authors argue that this has been a critically overlooked component in research on glyphosates’ toxicity to mammals. We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Stephanie Seneff, PhD, lead author and research scientist at MIT, told Reuters. Not surprisingly, Monsanto, the developer of Roundup, the leading product containing glyphosate, has attempted to discredit the study, claiming that its product has a long track record of being safe – read Another Bogus “Study.” However, Beyond Pesticides has assembled  extensive documentation on the human health and environmental risks […]

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02
Apr

Biotech Rider Undermines U.S. Food Security

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2013) On March 26, President Obama signed into law House Resolution 933, a stop-gap Continuing Resolution(CR) that allowed the U.S. to avoid a government shutdown for six months. The resolution contains the “biotech rider,” or amendment that takes away the authority of federal courts to halt the sale or production of genetically engineered (GE) crops, undermining the courts’ ability to protect farmers and the environment from potentially hazardous GE crops- a major violation of the separation of powers, an essential element of U.S. constitutional governance and law.  It would also compel the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately grant any requests for permits to allow continued planting and commercialization of unlawfully approved GE crops. The rider, section 735 of the resolution, also dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” for the GE corporate  giant, was never voted on and was written by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who worked with Monsanto to craft its language. This new rule will be viewed as a challenge for environmental organizations as courts have played an important role in slowing the growth of GE industry due to noncompliance with environmental law. In early March, Beyond Pesticides reported that a coalition of over […]

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12
Mar

Whole Foods Says It Will Label GE Food in Stores within Five Years, as States Continue Push

(Beyond Pesticides, March 12, 2013) Despite the loss of Proposition 37 in California last November, GMO labeling efforts are moving forward throughout the United States. Late last week Whole Foods Market announced its own plan to label food with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients sold in its stores, making it the  first grocery chain in the nation to do so. In addition to the recent introduction of a National GE labeling bill in Congress by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), Hawaii, Vermont, and Minnesota join the ranks of numerous other states with pending GMO labeling legislation. Whole Foods’ plan  requires a label for all GE food sold in its stores within the next  five years. The retailer notes that the move was made in response to customers’ increased demand for labeled products. “Some of our manufacturers say they’ve seen a 15 percent increase in sales of products they have labeled [as non–GMO],” explains A.C. Gallo, Whole Foods president. The chain’s labeling requirements include all of its North American stores, as its European supermarkets already require this label. The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), an industry trade group that represents a number of major food retailers including Pepsico Inc., The Coca Cola Company, Kelloggs, […]

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25
Feb

Public Comment Process on Pesticide Use under Attack in Several States

(Beyond Pesticides, February 25, 2013) Both current and future pesticide laws are under assault in several states. State-run agencies in Alaska are no longer required to solicit public comments or a review process for pesticide applications on state land due to new regulations adopted by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). In Maine, the state Board of Pesticides Control is considering a proposal that weakens requirements for notification of pesticide spraying in fear of West Nile Virus (WNv) problems this summer. A state bill introduced in Hawaii to require neighbors to share specific information on pesticides being used to any abutting property owners was revised by various Hawaii statehouse committees until all notification rules in the bill were removed. Alaska The decision in Alaska, which will go into effect on March 7th, allows state agencies to spray pesticides on state land without having the application subject to public comment. The new regulation replaces the former transparent process with one that only requires agencies to develop an Integrated Pest Management Plan and submit it to the DEC. This new regulation takes away the ability for the public’s input to have an impact on proposed pesticide applications on state land. The […]

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25
Jan

Corn Rootworm Resistance to Toxins in GE Crops, Says EPA

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has  concluded that corn rootworm is now resistant to genetically engineered corn infused with a toxin derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, in certain parts of the Corn Belt, casting doubt on the future viability of GE corn. The conclusion of the Insect Resistance Management (IRM) Team is based on several years of data indicating that the Cry3Bb1 protein strain of Bt is ineffective at controlling corn rootworm. The press release on January 17 states: “The EPA IRM Team has concluded that corn rootworm may not be completely controlled by Cry3Bb1 in certain parts of the Corn Belt. While ”˜confirmed resistance’ as defined in registration documents has not been met, given the nature of the data, the manufacturer, Monsanto, has agreed to several actions and changes related to the registration of Cry3Bb1 products to address these matters.” Originally marketed by Monsanto in 2003, the protein Cry3Bb1 is designed to destroy the gut of the western corn rootworm. The rootworm has historically devastated corn fields, causing greatest damage in chemical-intensive agriculture during its larval stage by feeding upon the plant’s roots, inhibiting the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients […]

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21
Nov

National Organic Coalition Condemns USDA GE Report as Misguided

(Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2012) The National Organic Coalition (NOC) yesterday sharply condemned recommendations contained in the final report of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), a group appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address transgenic contamination of organic and non-genetically engineered (GE) crops. Of particular concern in the report is the recommendation that organic and non-GE conventional farmers pay for crop insurance or self-insure themselves against unwanted GE contamination. NOC strongly asserts that this proposal allows USDA and the agricultural biotechnology industry to abdicate responsibility for preventing GE contamination, while making the victim of GE pollution pay for damages resulting from transgenic contamination. “The AC21 report takes responsibility for GE contamination prevention out of the hands of USDA and the biotech industry where it belongs and puts it squarely on the backs of organic and non-GE farmers,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety and a NOC member. “This ill-conceived solution of penalizing the victim is fundamentally unjust and fails to address the root cause of the problem – transgenic contamination.” In August 2011, USDA convened AC21 and charged it with identifying compensation mechanisms to address GE contamination. The […]

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09
Nov

Prop 37 Defeated at Polls, but Battle Against GE Food Remains Strong

(Beyond Pesticides, November 9, 2012) Proposition 37, the statewide proposition California voted on to label foods produced with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, was narrowly defeated at the polls on Wednesday night by a margin of 6.2 percentage points, however uncounted votes may shift the results. Had it been approved, Californians would have required labels for raw or processed food with GE ingredients and it would have prohibited the labeling and advertising of foods using the misleading term “natural.” Though campaign organizers and most news outlets are announcing defeat, the fight is not over yet. Organizers of the “Yes on 37” campaign have begun to regroup, focusing on 4.2 million Californians that voted yes and building a grassroots movement with 10,000 volunteers. Their campaign’s optimism is highlighted by their campaign statement that was released yesterday online: Yesterday, we showed that there is a food movement in the United States, and it is strong, vibrant and too powerful to stop. We always knew we were the underdogs, and the underdogs nearly took the day. Dirty money and dirty tactics may have won this skirmish, but they will not win the war. If Prop 37 passed, California would have been the first state […]

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02
Nov

Prop 37: Your Right to Know

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2012) Despite the onslaught of advertisements saying otherwise, on November 6th California voters will be asked a simple yes or no question: Do you have a right to know if the food you purchase contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients? Industrial chemical corporations and conventional food manufacturers think your answer to this simple question could dent their profits, possibly damage their image. So they’re attempting to make it as confusing as possible for citizens to understand the issue. The “No on 37” campaign has flooded California’s airwaves with dubious statements and misrepresentations in attempts to scare consumers away from voting in their best interests. And they’ve made a difference. Back in March, a survey revealed that 91% of consumers nationwide favor the labeling of GE foods, a remarkable consensus that cut across party lines. Up until the past few weeks, before the “No on 37” ads started appearing, there was a 2:1 margin in favor or labeling GE foods. However, recent polls show Prop 37 in a dead heat. What happened? In early August, Beyond Pesticides reported on how pesticide manufacturers are “pushing hard” to block the passage of this proposition. At the time, the “No” campaign […]

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15
Oct

Corporate Assault Targets California Voters in Attempt to Stop GE Labeling Proposition

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2012) California’s Proposition 37, which would require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered (GE) foods, is facing a strong challenge as tens of millions of conventional food industry dollars have poured into television advertisements before the November 6th election. Poll results released Thursday by the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable show that 48.3% of respondents would vote yes for the measure on Nov. 6, while 40.2% would vote no. Prop 37 was authored by James Wheaton, president of the Environmental Law Foundation. Earlier this year, the California Right to Know campaign gathered 971,126 petition signatures for Prop 37, nearly double the 555,236 signatures required to qualify for inclusion on the ballot. As it currently stands, over 40 countries around the world, including all of Europe, Japan, and China have the right to know whether they are eating GE food. While opponents of the initiative are attempting to mislead the public about the costs of the proposition, an economic assessment from Joanna M. Shepherd-Bailey, Ph.D. of Emory University School of Law reveals that the initiative would not result in any additional expense to the taxpayers of California; Prop 37 is self-enforced and […]

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03
Oct

Increased Pesticide Use and Resistant Weeds -The Troubling Legacy of GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2012) A study published this week by Washington State University’s research professor Charles Benbrook, PhD, finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops -cotton, soybeans and corn- has actually increased, contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide applications. While Dr. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant crops on pesticide use, scientists have been raising the alarm over the mounting numbers of herbicide resistant weeds. This herbicide resistance finding, which contradicts chemical industry claims, is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. In the study, “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years,” which appears in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, Dr. Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use. Marketed as Roundup and other trade names, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Approximately 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn, are planted to […]

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07
Aug

Monsanto’s GE Sweet Corn to Hit Store Shelves

(Beyond Pesticides, August 7, 2012) Like it or not, Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn will soon be arriving on grocery store shelves of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and will not be labeled as such. Despite an onslaught of consumer pressure, the company confirmed late last week with the Chicago Tribune that it has no objection to selling the new crop of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GE) sweet corn. Other retailers, including the grocery chains Safeway and Kroger, have not responded on the issue, however Whole Foods, Trader Joes and General Mills have all vowed to not carry or use the GE sweet corn. As the country’s largest grocery retailer, Wal-Mart sells $129 billion worth of food a year, giving it unmatched power in shaping the food supply chain. The GE sweet corn is the first consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food. It is engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate. The product is also designed to produce a […]

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03
Aug

Pesticide Corporations Pushing Hard to Stop GE Labeling in California

(Beyond Pesticides, August 3, 2012) Pesticide manufactures don’t want you to know what’s in your food. According to filings released Tuesday through the office of California’s Secretary of State, chemical company lobby groups have so far spent $750,000 in efforts to block the passage of California’s Prop 37, which would require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered (GE) foods. Opponents of the proposition raised over one million dollars this year for the “Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme.” Members of this coalition include the ”˜big 6’ chemical companies Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, and BASF, which have spent $375,000 alone through their exclusive lobbying group Council for Biotechnology Information. Overlapping ”˜big 6’ membership, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), which also includes the corporations Pepsico Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and Kelloggs, recently stated in a speech at the American Soybean Association that defeating the California initiative is “the single highest-priority of the GMA this year,” according to a story in The Huffington Post. GMA has also spent $375,000 this year lobbying against Prop 37. “The Big Six chemical & seed companies are working diligently to monopolize the food system at the expense of consumers, farmers and smaller seed companies,” said Philip […]

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26
Jul

USDA Gives Final Approval to GE Sugar Beets

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2012) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced this week that it is formally deregulating a line of sugar beets genetically engineered (GE) to resist applications of the herbicide glyphosate. Developed by chemical and seed giant Monsanto Co., the new sugar beets, referred to as “Roundup Ready” (RR), were found by APHIS to not present a risk of becoming a plant pest risk and that they will and are not likely to cause a significant environmental impact. Environmental and public interest advocates, however, point to the fact that the proliferation of glyphosate-tolerant crops has already led to increased pesticide resistance among weeds, and increased pesticide use. The planting of engineered sugar beets brings with it the risk of genetic drift and cross contamination of pollen into non-GE and organic fields growing sugar beets or other related crops, such as table beets, spinach, swiss chard, and quinoa. APHIS originally deregulated RR sugar beets in 2005. A coalition of environmental groups and organic seed companies, led by the Center for Food Safety, challenged the USDA approval in 2008. It argued that GE sugar beets would contaminate organic and non-GE farmers of […]

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13
Jul

Appeal Filed in Suit to Protect Farmers from Monsanto

(Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2012) Seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms filed a brief on July 5, 2012 with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s decision from February dismissing their protective legal action against agricultural giant Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed. The plaintiffs brought the preemptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 in the Southern District of New York and specifically seek to defend themselves from nearly two dozen of Monsanto’s most aggressively asserted patents on GMO seed. They were forced to act preemptively to protect themselves from Monsanto’s abusive lawsuits, fearing that if GMO seed contaminates their property despite their efforts to prevent such contamination, Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement. Beyond Pesticides signed on as a plaintiff in the suit in June 2011. “Monsanto is known for bullying farmers by making baseless accusations of patent infringement,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit legal services organization Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), which represents the plaintiffs in the suit against Monsanto known as Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v Monsanto. “They’ve […]

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