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EU Proposes 2030 Goal to Reduce Pesticide Use by 50% and Increase Arable Land in Organic Production by At Least 17%

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2020) Across the pond, the European Commission (EC) has announced plans to protect biodiversity and build a more sustainable food system, and identified the reduction of pesticide use  and the expansion of organic agriculture as pillars of the scheme. The EC expects that the initiative, which will require EU member states’ endorsement, will advance progress on the EU goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, given that 10% of emissions arise from the agricultural sector. The EC’s goals are important and laudable, but Beyond Pesticides is clear: reduction of pesticide use in service of them is not an adequate strategy to ensure long-term success. Genuine success requires the elimination of the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxic inputs, and the transition to agricultural and land management systems that work with nature, rather than fight against it. Regenerative, organic practices are the path to a livable future, according to Beyond Pesticides. The EC, which is the executive branch of the EU, expects its plan to reduce use of pesticides by 50% by 2030; reduce use of antimicrobial chemicals, including antibiotics, in fish and animal farming by 50%; dedicate a minimum of 25% of arable […]

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Animal Fodder – A Driver of the Global Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) Industry

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2020) Chemical-intensive farming of crops for animal fodder powers the global market for highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), according to data analyzed by Unearthed, and the Swiss NGO Public Eye. Animal fodder production not only intensifies global pollution, but it also increases pesticide exposure and degrades human, animal, and environmental health. This data analysis supports advocates advancing pesticide policies to eliminate HHPs by identifying which toxic chemicals lead global pesticide sales. However, it will take more than eliminating the worst chemicals to address the impending biodiversity collapse and the climate crisis, according to experts who point to the need for an urgent shift to organic land and agricultural management practices. United Nations’ (UN) special rapporteur on toxic substances and human rights, Baskut Tuncak, says, “There is nothing sustainable about the widespread use of highly hazardous pesticides for agriculture. Whether they poison workers, extinguish biodiversity, persist in the environment, or accumulate in a mother’s breast milk, these are unsustainable, cannot be used safely, and should have been phased out of use long ago.”  Unearthed and Public Eye investigated over $23 billion in global pesticide market sales to determine the proportion of pesticides considered highly hazardous by the Pesticide Action Network’s […]

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Report Finds Top Chemical Companies Making Billions Off Poisoning the Earth

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2020) A new report finds that as birds and pollinators continue to decline, and chronic diseases remain on the rise, the global agrichemical industry is raking in billions of dollars from hazardous pesticides that contribute to these crises. A joint investigation from Unearthed and Public Eye finds that 35% of pesticide sales from the largest agrichemical corporations are made from the most toxic pesticides on the market. Pesticide production was a $57.6 billion market in 2018, according to the report. While the profits of the industry are privatized, the public health and environmental effects are broad. Studies conducted over the last decade show that the impacts of hazardous pesticide use dwarf the market for these chemicals. The impact of pesticides on public health results in a drag on the economy. Earlier this year, research from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine found that children’s exposure to organophosphate insecticides was estimated to result in over 26 million lost IQ points and over 110,000 cases of intellectual disability, totaling roughly $735 billion in economic costs each year. A 2019 study from the same scientists determined that endocrine disrupting chemicals, including organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides, were attributable […]

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Giving Thanks: Indigenous Rights Tied to Global Biodiversity

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

(Beyond Pesticides, November 27, 2019) This Thanksgiving, Beyond Pesticides is drawing attention to research which underscores the current value of Indigenous knowledge and rights in the global fight for environmental justice. We are also highlighting some inspiring Indigenous activists representing frontline communities. First, we offer our network a Thanksgiving message from the Native American Rights Fund, which published a few year’s back a Thanksgiving message and a poem  from their Mohawk relatives on the natural world (see below): “Native Americans are grateful for all that nature provides, and many of us celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in our own ways. Moreover, we give thanks every day as we greet the morning star in the eastern sky giving thanks to the Creator, our families, our ancestors, and our survival.” We, at Beyond Pesticides, wish our network a Happy Thanksgiving celebration of life and a path to a healthy future. A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Policy earlier this year found that vertebrate biodiversity on indigenous-managed lands in Australia, Brazil, and Canada is equal to or higher than protected areas. As the planet faces cascading disasters, such as mass extinction and the climate crisis, the authors state, “Partnerships with Indigenous […]

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Australia, Germany Urged to Restrict Glyphosate after U.S. Court Ruling

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2018) The recent court ruling awarding $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a groundskeeper after he contracted cancer while working with Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate) is having a ripple effect around the globe. In light of the decision, the environmental group Greenpeace is calling on the Australian government to suspend the sale of Roundup. Meanwhile, German lawmakers are eager to see glyphosate banned. A California jury found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who worked as as groundskeeper and used the company’s glyphosate-based herbicide, which he proved caused his cancer. The jury found that Monsanto “knew for decades” the product was potentially dangerous and acted “with malice or oppression” by failing to warn Johnson of the risks. Now Greenpeace is calling on the Australian government to take “urgent action” to suspend the sale of the weedkiller. “We need to be urgently exercising the precautionary principle,” said Jamie Hanson, Greenpeace’s head of campaigns. “Use of this dangerous product should be severely restricted. In Australia, the U.S. court decision sent shares of Australian pesticide-maker, Nufarm Ltd, tumbling almost 17 percent to a more than two-year low. Analysts estimate Nufarm earns about a fifth of its […]

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European Court Decision Rules in Favor of Increased Pesticide Transparency

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2016)  A groundbreaking decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last Wednesday ruled in favor of the environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) and Greenpeace Nederland, which had been denied access to industry studies and other information submitted by chemical companies to European regulators on the controversial weedkiller glyphosate  and the bee-toxic insecticide imidacloprid. In the two judgments  regarding public access to underlying environmental effects information on chemicals, ECJ clarified the meaning of “emissions into the environment” and “information on [or which relates to] emissions into the environment” within the EU regulation. The Court found that “emissions into the environment” includes releases from pesticide products or active ingredients contained in these products, as long as the release is possible under realistic conditions of use of this product. It interpreted the “information on emissions into the environment” to cover information relating to the nature, composition, and quantity of those emissions, but also “information enabling the public to check whether the assessment [is correct], as well as the data relating to the medium or long-term effects of those emissions.” This decision will allow for any interested party to obtain industry studies and underlying […]

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Major Supermarket Bans Bee-Toxic Pesticides in Produce Production

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

 (Beyond Pesticides, January 20, 2016) Aldi SĂĽd, the German supermarket chain with stores in the U.S., has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, from fruits and vegetables produced for their stores. Aldi has requested suppliers comply at the earliest possible time. In light of the growing pollinator crisis and due to public pressure, retailers in Europe and the U.S. are slowly beginning to make the switch away from bee-toxic pesticides. Beginning January 1, suppliers of fruits and vegetables to Aldi suppliers will have to ensure that their cultivation practices do not include the following eight pesticides identified as toxic to bees (thiamethoxam, chlorpyrifos,  clothianidin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fipronil, imidacloprid and sulfoxaflor) to meet  the new requirement. According to a press release from Greenpeace, the chemicals are used on various commodities in Europe  —thiamethoxam (used in lettuce and endive), chlorpyrifos, clothianidin (used in kohlrabi, herbs, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, cauliflower and kale), cypermethrin (leek, head cabbage and leguminous vegetables), deltamethrin (cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, pea, head cabbage, tomato and lettuce),  imidacloprid (applied to apples, peaches, apricots and lettuce). Sulfoxaflor was recently granted regulatory approval in Europe, despite calls […]

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Fresh Produce Tainted With Illegal Pesticides

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2015) Tests on produce collected by California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) for 2014 show high levels of  illegal toxic pesticide residues. The CDPR report found 1 percent of produce containing an excess amount of pesticide residues, and an additional 5.5 percent of produce tested contained illegal residues of pesticides that are not allowed for use on that product. Additionally, the data shows residues of a banned  chemical, which was taken off the market  over 20 years in the U.S. due to health concerns related to farmworker exposure. These findings showcase issues related to  system-wide failure in  enforcement. Advocates stress that violations may continue to occur due to inadequacies in regulations governing enforcement authorities, which include warnings or low fines for violators. In raising concerns about the safety of food grown with chemical-intensive methods, advocates point to the need to expand the transition to organic agriculture for better protection of public health and safety. The highest percentage of illegal pesticides was found on cactus pads and cactus fruit imported from Mexico. Some of the other tainted fruit and vegetables include limes, papaya, summer squash, tomatillos, chili peppers, and tomatoes, also from Mexico, ginger imported from China, […]

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California Fines Six Firms for Repeated Pesticide-Tainted Crop Violations

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2015) On July 28, the California Department of Pesticide (DPR) released a statement announcing recent sanctions for six California import firms who repeatedly violated pesticide regulations. Since December of last year, these six firms have been selling imported products that have been tainted with pesticides not approved for production or sale in the United States, including DDE, imidacloprid, chlorpyrifos, and the long-banned endosulfan. The fines range from $10,000 to $21,000. The six firms responsible for selling fruits and vegetables containing illegal pesticide residues are: Top Quality Produce, Inc. 623 Vineland Avenue, La Puente, CA 91746 will pay $10,000. On 5 separate occasions, the company sold produce such as Longan imported from Thailand, Burdock Root imported from Taiwan and Lychees imported from China with illegal pesticide residues. The produce was sold between November 2013 and July 2014. Yi Bao Produce Group, 3015 Leonis Blvd, Vernon CA 90058, will pay $15,000. On 7 separate occasions, the company sold produce imported from China such as Ginger, Taro Root, Longan and Fragrant Pear with illegal pesticide residues. The produce was sold between March 2013 and September 2014. Primary Export International Inc. 143 Mitchell Ave., South San Francisco, CA 94080, will […]

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Monsanto-Supported Group Attempting to Undercut Roundup Cancer Finding, According to Report

Monday, July 20th, 2015

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2015) In response to  the recent cancer classification of glyphosate (Roundup)  by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization,  an industry-based  assessment has reached the opposite conclusion based on classified industry reports has concluded that Monsanto’s glyphosate is not carcinogenic.   According to The Guardian, the assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessments (BfR) is based almost solely on industry science and classified industry reports. Three scientists on Germany’s scientific panel on pesticides work for the pesticide industry. Monsanto objected earlier this year, when IARC announced in a preliminary report that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen based on laboratory animal studies. BfR and IARC’s findings have been released during a pivotal time, as a decision on whether to extend the license for glyphosate’s use in Europe is currently pending, and these studies are sure to be incorporated into the decision making process. According to The Guardian, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is delaying the release of its  opinion on glyphosate to take the full IARC report into account. The Guardian reports that BfR’s research relied heavily on unpublished reports provided by the […]

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Over 200 Groups, Businesses, and Leading Scientists Call for Monarch Protection

Friday, November 14th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, November 14, 2014) In the face of staggering declines of monarch butterflies, more than 40 leading scientists and 200 organizations and businesses this week urged the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to protect these butterflies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These groups and scientists are supporting the formal petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) submitted this summer, which seeks federal protection for monarch butterflies. Forty scientists from around the U.S. and Mexico signed on to a letter requesting protected status for the butterflies and for FWS to recognize the importance of continued research by scientists and citizen scientists in understanding and conserving the monarch butterfly and its habitat. The scientists also request FWS to streamline the permitting process, so that scientific and conservation research and citizen science activities are encouraged rather than deterred by a listing. In a separate letter, over 200 environmental groups and businesses called on FWS to take swift and effective action by granting the monarch butterfly protection as a threatened species under the ESA. Both letters come in support of a formal petition to FWS seeking federal protection for monarchs. The petition was filed in August […]

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Report Finds Banned, Illegal Pesticides in Popular Indian Tea Brands

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, August 14, 2014) Pesticides are not the first thing to pop into mind when peering into a hot mug of steaming, pale green or murky black tea first thing in the morning. A recent report published by Greenpeace India announced the results of an investigation that tested for pesticide residues in branded tea. The verdict? Nearly 94% of the tea samples tested contained at least one of 34 different pesticides, while over half contained a toxic cocktail of more than 10 different pesticides. The residues found include DDT, which was banned for use in agriculture in India since 1989, and endosulfan, which was banned in 2011 by the Indian Supreme Court. Over half of the 49 samples contained illegal pesticides — either those that are not approved for use in tea cultivation or exceeded recommended limits. These pesticides include ones that have been long banned from agriculture and use in tea cultivation (DDT and triazophos), suspected mutagens and neurotoxicants (monocrotophos), and insecticides associated with the global decline in bee populations (neonicotinoids like thiacloprid and thiamethoxam). The most frequently detected pesticides include thiamethoxam (78%), cypermethrin (73%), acetamiprid (67%), thiacloprid (67%), DDT (67%), deltamethrin (67%), dicofol (61%), imidacloprid (61%), and […]

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The Planting of Genetically Engineered Corn Stopped by a Mexican Court

Friday, October 18th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2013) On October 10, a judge in Mexico issued an injunction against  the planting and selling of genetically engineered (GE) corn seed, effective immediately,  within the country’s borders. The decision comes nearly two years after the Mexican government temporarily rejected the expansion of GE corn testing, citing the need for more research. The decision prohibits agrichemical biotech companies, including Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, PHI Mexico, and Dow AgroSciences, from planting or selling GE corn seed in Mexico, though imports of GE food will still be allowed. This move follows the filing of a class action lawsuit on July  5 by farmers, beekeepers, environmentalists, and scientists, in total representing 53 citizens and 20 civil associations. “The action encompasses what we have been calling for over the past fifteen years: the protection of maize as the staple food of Mexicans and the preservation of our country, free of transgenic crops”¦” said Adelita San Vicente, representing seed interest group FundaciĂłn Semillas de Vida A.C. The injunction was granted by Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. of the Twelfth District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City, who cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” due to GE crops. […]

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President’s Chemical Plant Safety Order Could Offer Policy Options on Safer Alternatives

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, August 6, 2013) On August 1, as President Obama signed an Executive Order, entitled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security,  intended to improve chemical facility safety and security, a coalition of labor and environmental groups delivered a letter to newly appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, urging her to make chemical disaster prevention one of the priority initiatives   in her first 100 days in office. The letter and Executive Order come nearly  four months after an explosion at a chemical plant in West, Texas claimed the lives of 14 people and injured hundreds more. The letter from labor and environmental groups shows that there is broad support for the only fool-proof way to prevent chemical disasters, namely switching to safer chemical processes. In the letter, groups encourage the Obama Administration to follow through on the President’s 2008 campaign platform, where he promised to “secure our chemical plants by setting a clear set of federal regulations that all plants must follow, including improving barriers, containment, mitigation and safety training, and wherever possible, using safer technology, such as less toxic chemicals.” Groups argue that EPA already has the authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA). After the […]

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Chinese Herbs Found To Be Tainted With Pesticides

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2013) Traditional Chinese herbs, widely regarded for their medicinal properties, may not be as therapeutic as they seem. In fact, according to a new report released by Greenpeace East Asia, they may be toxic to your health. This news isn’t just disturbing for the Chinese people who live and work around where these toxic herbs are produced, but also for the entire global export market for Chinese alternative medicines, valued at $1.46 billion in 2010. The Greenpeace report found pesticides in 48 out of their 65 samples of traditional Chinese herbs, which included plants such as wolfberries, honeysuckle, the San Qi flower and chrysanthemum. Of these samples, the researchers discovered 51 different kinds of pesticide residues, with 32 of the samples tested containing traces of three or more different pesticides. In 26 samples, residues from pesticides that have been banned for use in agriculture in China were found, including phorate, carbofuran, fipronil, methamidophos, aldicarb and ethoprophos. This report isn’t the first where Chinese exports have been singled out for presence of pesticide contamination. In April 2012, Greenpeace released a report found that Unilever’s Lipton tea bags made in China contain pesticide residues that exceed the  European […]

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EPA Allows Highly Toxic Endosulfan Residues on Imported Chinese Tea

Monday, February 11th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its decision to allow residues of the cancer causing insecticide endosulfan on imported Chinese teas until July 31, 2016. Its decision to provide “additional time to transition to an alternative to endosulfan” raises serious concerns of further exposure to the toxic carcinogen for farmworkers and consumers. In May 2011, EPA proposed to revoke all tolerances for endosulfan, as, “It can pose unacceptable health risks to farmworkers and wildlife and can persist in the environment.” The agency proposed transition time that would allow growers time to adopt alternatives, with the last four uses ending on July 31, 2016. For tea, EPA proposed an immediate revocation, since there is little if any endosulfan used in tea production in the U.S. However, the Chamber of Commerce of the Zhejiang International Tea Industry filed a complaint indicating that it would need five years or less to find feasible alternatives to endosulfan. It also indicated that it was unable to provide comment on the tolerance revocation ruling as the EPA did not provide proper notice to the World Trade Organization. In acknowledging this oversight, EPA will allow endosulfan residues of 24 parts […]

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EPA Challenged Over Conditional Registration of Nanosilver Product

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently faced tough questioning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over its decision to conditionally approve a pesticide product containing nanosilver as the active ingredient. The antimicrobial pesticide product, HeiQ AGS-20, contains microscopic particles of silver and has been applied to textiles such as clothes, blankets, and pillowcases, in an attempt to suppress odor and bacterial growth. The main argument in the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) v. EPA lawsuit is that EPA was wrong  to assume that 3-year-olds would be the most vulnerable consumers. Instead, NRDC attorney Catherine Rahm of Washington argued that, “Infants are more likely than any other subgroup to chew on fabrics that could contain this pesticide.” In arguments over whether EPA lawfully granted conditional registration to HeiQ AGS-20, NRDC challenged EPA’s risk assessment for infants and children claiming the agency erred by assuming in its risk assessment that 3-year-olds would be the most vulnerable consumers. Up for debate is oral exposure to the product and whether 3-year-olds chew more aggressively than infants and produce more saliva, an important factor for extracting nanoparticles from products and becoming exposed. NRDC contends EPA’s […]

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Petitioners Press FDA to Complete Environmental Impact Statement on GE Salmon

Monday, June 11th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2012) More than one year after petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to complete a mandatory environmental impact statement on the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) fish intended for human consumption, Earthjustice has submitted a letter on behalf of its co-petitioners urging the agency to meet its obligation promptly. The letter points out that FDA is prohibited from acting on the application to raise and release into commerce genetically engineered salmon until the agency has completed a comprehensive environmental risk assessment on the fish. Earthjustice filed the petition on May 25, 2011 along with Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Greenpeace. In addition to reminding FDA of its obligation to complete the risk assessment, the petitioners also ask the agency to improve its process for reviewing these kinds of applications to commercialize GE animals to address environmental threats and public concerns at a much earlier stage. FDA has held off on taking decisive action on the application from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, which has been seeking approval to sell its GE salmon product in the U.S. for more than a decade. […]

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British Columbia Pesticide Ban Campaign Gains Traction

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Beyond Pesticides, (May 10, 2012), British Columbia (BC) may become the eighth Canadian province to ban cosmetic (lawn care) pesticides after the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides submit their recommendations to the legislature later this month. The report will outline the bipartisan committee’s findings from over the last eight months on restrictions for non-essential pesticides use province-wide. Roughly forty municipalities throughout the province already have pesticide bans in place, and a survey found that a majority of Metro Vancouver voters across political party lines endorse a province-wide ban on the sale and use of lawn and garden pesticides. Though it is widely popular, environmental groups and human health organizations are expecting industry backlash and have expressed concern about whether or not recommendations will be strong enough and whether effective legislation will result. “The poll shows nearly two-thirds of Vancouverites know pesticides are linked to childhood cancer,” said Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) Executive Director Gideon Forman. “Among people with kids, support for a pesticide ban is at 76 per cent,” said Mr. Forman. “Candidates who endorse a strong provincial pesticide ban will be very popular with families.” It’s believed to be the first time in British Columbia […]

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GMO Development in Europe Takes a Hit, Focus on U.S. Markets To Intensify

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2012) Given the persistent wariness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe, Germany’s BASF will stop developing new products targeting the European market. The group announced on January 16 that it plans to refocus its activities in the sector on more receptive regions. Unfortunately, this means BASF will redouble its efforts in the U.S. to develop new GMO products, leading to public and environmental health concerns in this country. In a statement, a BASF representative announced, “Biotechnologies are not accepted enough in many parts of Europe by the majority of consumers, farmers and political leaders. That is why it does not make sense economically to continue to invest in products aimed exclusively at this market.” BASF promotion of its GMO products has been stalled in the last couple years. BASF fought for a decade before obtaining European Union (EU) marketing authorization in 2010 for Amflora, a genetically modified high-starch potato. Shortly afterwards BASF mistakenly planted in an Amflora field in Sweden another of its GMO potatoes, Amadea, which had not received authorization from European officials. According to the company, after this scandal, “European sentiment towards transgenic products declined further.” BASF plans to halt the planting and […]

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EU Panel Votes to Import Genetically Engineered Material in Animal Feed

Monday, February 28th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2010) The European Union (EU) standing committee on Tuesday decided to allow a 0.1 percent contamination threshold for unauthorized Genetically Engineered (GE) products in animal feed imports that would change the bloc’s zero-tolerance attitude toward biotech food. The EU Commission and Parliament are expected to accept the rule by this summer. If the vote is allowed through by the European Parliament and Council, those shipments could contain GE seeds that are authorized in their home country but may not even have been tested in Europe. Greenpeace spokesperson Stefanie Hundsdorfer warned that the new rules are possibly the first of many concessions to come. “Setting a tolerance threshold, however low, is a sign that Europe is losing control over its own food production to please American exporters,” said Ms. Hundsdorfer. “The danger now is that EU countries come under pressure from the pro-GE lobby to also allow GE contamination in food products for direct human consumption.” According to industry, exporting states and the European Commission say the new concession is necessary to prevent supply disruptions, because the EU’s feed industry relies on imports for 80% of its needs, and the world’s largest suppliers””Argentina, the United States and […]

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One Million Petition EU To Halt GM Crops

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2010) A petition of more than a million signatures was presented to the European Commission last week, demanding a halt to approvals of new genetically modified (GM) crops and the establishment of up a new scientific body to study the impact of the technology and determine regulations. Greenpeace led the effort. The petition is seen as a test case for the “European citizen’s initiative,” introduced under the European Union’s new constitutional treaty, which enables a million or more people to jointly ask the European Commission to change EU legislation. It follows the Commission’s decision in March to grant the first EU GM cultivation approval in 12 years for the “Amflora” potato. “Over a million people across Europe have set the EU a democratic test — will the EU address the real concern people have about GM crops and food, or will it side with the chemical industry lobbyists controlling GM technology?” Greenpeace’s EU Director Jorgo Riss said. “Until safety issues of GMs are examined by independent experts, all GM authorizations should stop.” A spokesman for the EU executive said it would treat the signatures “as a petition in the spirit of the citizen’s initiative,” Despite the […]

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FDA Considers Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

Monday, August 30th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2010) AquaBounty Technologies Inc.. a small biotechnology firm based in Waltham, Massachusetts, is seeking FDA approval for a genetically engineered salmon, hoping to do for aquaculture what biotech giants such as Monsanto have done for agronomy. Currently, the vast majority of US soybeans, corn, and cotton are genetically engineered, but this would be the first commercially available genetically engineered food animal. While AquaBounty argues their fish will help feed the world, many are leery of “frankenfish” being introduced into the food supply. If the proliferation of genetically engineered crops in the U.S. is any indication, the introduction of genetically engineered animals into the food supply will fail to produce an increase in yield. AquaBounty has invested $50 million over 14 years to develop AquAdvantage Fish. AquAdvantage Salmon (AAS) unlike conventional salmon grows year around reaching market weight in 18 months instead of 36, and consuming 25% less food over its lifetime. The variety was developed by inserting part of a gene from an Ocean Pout, an eel-like fish, into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon. The blended genetic material is then injected into the fertilized egg of a North Atlantic salmon. According to AquaBounty CEO […]

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