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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Monsanto' Category


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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03
Jul

Concerned Oahu Citizens Demand that Monsanto Stop Poisoning Hawaii

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2012) Several organizations, including Occupy Wall Street Maui and GMO-Free Maui, as well as over 100 concerned citizens, held a protest on Thursday, June 28 in front of the Monsanto Corporation headquarters in Kunia on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. According to the organizers, the protesters met in Kunia and marched over a half mile to the Monsanto, compound for two hours of roadside sign-waving and chanting, demanding that Monsanto leave Hawaii and saying they need real food not exported GMO seeds and chemical contamination. The group also demands that genetically engineered (GE) food be labeled. The protesters wore masks to protect themselves from pesticide drift and GE spores, and received lots of support from many in passing cars that honked their horns and waved in support. According to organizers, a nearby resident even came to find out what was going on and soon donned a mask himself as he was unaware of the dangers so close to his house. The resident expressed concern about the large trucks and equipment operating at night at Monsanto’s fields. Monsanto operates about 8,000 acres in Hawaii for GE seed production. According to organizers, these operations use the most valuable […]

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15
May

Pesticide Companies Seek Canadian Approval of Herbicide-Tolerant GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2012) Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto have filed paperwork for Canadian approval of corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The chemical companies are seeking Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency assessments for the introduction of four varieties of GE corn and soybeans engineered to tolerate the highly toxic herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. In the U.S., the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of reviewing Dow’s application for its 2,4-D-tolerant corn, as well. Beyond Pesticides and others recently submitted comments to USDA challenging this approval. Dow’s GE corn is modified to be tolerant to 2,4-D, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects, and more. The company is introducing the new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Dow states […]

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04
Apr

Roundup Linked to Animal Shape Changes

(Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2012) The world’s most popular weed killer can induce morphological changes in vertebrate animals, U.S. biologists studying its effect on amphibians say. University of Pittsburgh researchers have found that the weed killer Roundup, in sub-lethal and environmentally relevant concentrations, causes two species of amphibians to change their shape by interfering with the hormones of tadpoles and potentially many other animals. The study, “New effects of Roundup on amphibians: Predators reduce herbicide mortality; herbicides induce antipredator morphology” is the first to show that a pesticide can induce morphological changes in a vertebrate animal, biological sciences Professor Rick Relyea, PhD, said in a university release. The study was undertaken using simple created wetlands and introducing tadpoles from three species of amphibians —the leopard frog, American toad, and wood frogs. After three weeks, the tadpoles were examined. The impact of Roundup on the shape of tadpole tails was most noticeable in both the wood frog and leopard frog tadpoles. According to the study, “In wood frog and leopard frog tadpoles, Roundup induced relatively deeper tails in the same direction and of the same magnitude as the adaptive changes induced by dragonfly cues… [T]his is the first study to show […]

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02
Apr

Farmers and Groups File Appeal to Defend Right to Grow Food

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2012) Last Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed. “Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed,” said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs. “Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed.” The original complaint in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion […]

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16
Feb

Inspections Find 40% of Farmers Planting Bt Corn Fail to Manage for Resistance

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2012) Newly released data indicates that more than 40% of American farmers who planted certain varieties of genetically engineered (GE) corn in 2011 failed inspections to verify compliance with mandatory management practices to prevent insect resistance. The farmers involved planted corn varieties that are genetically engineered to express toxins that kill western rootworm. The toxins are derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring soil bacterium that when used in non-genetically engineered forms is an important pesticide for organic and sustainable farmers. The non-compliant farmers were specifically cited for failure to establish adequate refuges of non-Bt corn on their farms that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined are necessary to prevent the western rootworm from developing resistance to all forms of Bt. Originally reported on February 9, the results are derived from GE Bt seed suppliers who are required to report refuge data to EPA. As a condition of registering Bt seed varieties as pesticides, EPA requires that farmers using them also plant an appropriately-sized refuge of non-Bt varieties adjacent to the genetically engineered crop. In theory, western rootworms that develop resistance to Bt through constant exposure to the toxins in the genetically engineered […]

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14
Feb

French Court Finds Monsanto Guilty of Pesticide Poisoning

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2012) A French court has found U.S. chemical giant Monsanto Co. guilty of pesticide poisoning in the case of a French farmer who became ill after exposure to one of the company’s herbicides, according to Reuters. The case is significant in that it sets precedent for other cases alleging pesticide poisoning or negligence in reporting of potential effects on human health resulting from pesticides. The court has said it will seek an expert opinion regarding the farmer’s losses in order to determine the appropriate amount of damages he should be rewarded. The case stems from an incident in which the farmer, Paul Francois, inadvertently inhaled Monsanto’s Lasso pesticide when cleaning his sprayer tank on his farm in southern France in 2004. He then began experiencing memory loss, headaches, and stammering, among other neurological problems. This led to his decision to file suit against Monsanto, asserting that the company did not provide adequate warnings on the product label that would indicate these symptoms could result from exposure. The court agreed with Mr. Francois, stating that, “Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’s suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product … and must entirely compensate him,” according to Agence […]

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13
Jan

Judge Rules GE Alfalfa Deregulation Was Legal, Decision To Be Appealed

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2012) A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco has issued a ruling finding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to deregulate genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa was not unlawful, as has been charged by organic and environmental advocates, including Beyond Pesticides. Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that USDA did not act improperly by deregulating the GE Roundup Ready alfalfa, developed by Monsanto Co., and that the agency’s environmental review of the product was adequate. The plaintiffs in the case, including conventional farmers and seed growers, with Center for Food Safety serving as legal counsel, argued that the environmental impact statement (EIS) the agency prepared failed to take several critical matters into consideration in its evaluation. Among the issues neglected by the EIS are the impacts that the crop would have on endangered species, which advocates hold is required to be considered under the Endangered Species Act, as well as the potential effects that the likely increased pesticide applications would have on the environment. For these reasons, the groups argued that the EIS was woefully incomplete and that the agency’s subsequent deregulation of the GE alfalfa […]

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05
Jan

USDA Deregulates Monsanto’s Drought Resistant Corn, Opens Comment Period on 2,4-D Resistant Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2012) Just as everyone was getting ready for the holidays, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved yet another genetically modified seed by Monsanto, a drought-tolerant variety of corn, MON87460. In addition to its announcement approving Monsanto’s newest GE corn variety, USDA also opened a 60-day public comment period for two additional petitions — one for Monsanto’s GE soybean containing higher levels of an omega-3 fatty acid, that does not naturally occur in soybeans, and the other from Dow AgroSciences for corn that has been genetically engineered to resist the poisonous herbicide 2,4-D. “In 2012 the USDA is proposing approving a new GE corn variety that is resistant to a different toxic herbicide, escalating the toxic treadmill in chemical-dependent agriculture,” said Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides. “This is nothing more than a band-aid solution to a serious problem, and will only give rise to more superweeds, more herbicide pollution in our environment, more herbicide poisoning, while likely leading to the need for even more toxic herbicides a couple of years down the line. This foolish circle has to end,” he added. [To listen to a radio interview on 2,4-D by Jay Feldman click here.] […]

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05
Dec

Six Largest Pesticide Manufacturers Stand Trial at International People’s Court

(Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2011) On December 3, the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal pesticide plant disaster in Bhopal, India, a trial began in an international people’s court in India involving the world’s six largest pesticide companies: Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and Dupont. These companies, collectively known as the “Big 6,” are cited by prosecutors for their human rights violations, including internationally recognized rights to life, livelihood and health. Beyond Pesticides joined Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and others in signing a joint statement demanding that these companies be held accountable for their human rights violations, which was presented at the trial. The trial, hosted by PAN International, is facilitated by the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PTT), an international opinion tribunal independent from State authorities. The prosecution’s 230-page indictment outlines the global threats to human rights. It begins: The victims and survivors of [pesticide industry] aggression are the poor peasants, small-scale farmers, agricultural workers, rural women, children, and indigenous and agricultural communities around the world. They are at the mercy of the expanding power of the agrochemical [corporations] and are losing their control over their seeds and knowledge, and suffering debilitating physical and chronic effects due to pesticide poisoning, including coping […]

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23
Nov

Canada To Examine the Impact of Monsanto’s Roundup on Amphibians

(Beyond Pesticides, November 23, 2011) A Federal Court of Canada has ordered Health Canada -the nation’s public health department- to take a second look at the impacts on amphibians of glyphosate-based pesticides, one of the most widely-used pesticides in Canada and the U.S., which includes products like Monsanto’s Roundup. The decision was the result of an action brought by a pesticide-activist and pediatrician, Josette Wier, M.D., and orders Health Canada to address requests by the public for a review of the safety of a pesticide where there is serious scientific concern about its risks. Dr. Wier’s legal challenge focused on wetlands that provide critical habitat for many species of frogs and amphibians. The original request for a special review of glyphosate-pesticides, especially those containing the “inert” ingredient polyoxyethyleneamine (POEA), and a subsequent 2009 legal challenge was brought because of her concern about possible aerial spraying of Monsanto’s pesticide in the forests near her community in Smithers. In her suit, Dr. Weir stated that the evidence “challenges the scientific validity of the previous evaluations” that led to the registration of the glyphosate herbicides containing POEA. Judge Michael Kelen of the Federal Court of Canada in his decision wrote, “[Dr. Wier] is […]

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