By Ryan Rifai for Al Jazeera. Food safety organisations in the US have condemned a new law they say will allow food producers to obscure the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in their products, despite widespread health concerns over the effects of GMOs and the pesticides associated with them. Signed into law on Friday by President Barack Obama, the legislation permits manufacturers to inform consumers of GMO content through the use of Quick Response or QR codes, which require a device – such as a smartphone – to read. The law was passed despite opposition from environmental and food safety groups, as well as national polls which show that some 90 percent of Americans surveyed favoured clear labeling. The Organic Consumers Association, which has long lobbied for clear GMO labeling, has created an app that lists companies it says people should avoid due to their support for the new legislation. The app, titled Buycott, also lists companies that were in favour of clear GMO labelling.
By Lydia Wheeler for The Hill – Members of the Organic Consumers Association threw money from the Senate gallery onto the floor on Wednesday to protest a vote on a bill to block states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The protesters yelled “Monsanto Money” and “Sen. Stabenow, listen to the people, not Monsanto” while $2,000 fell to the floor. The disturbance came during a procedural vote to advance the bill in the Senate.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – The pending “compromise” GMO labeling bill has food safety and consumer advocates both in and out of government scrambling to block the legislation, which they warn will destroy popular efforts to label products made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to put a hold on the legislation, which would prevent it from coming up for debate unless proponents can muster 60 votes.
By Jean Halloran and Michael Hansen for Consumers Union. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced a deal on legislation related to genetically engineered ingredients, or GMOs. The new bill would nullify state laws requiring clear, on-package labeling of food with GMOs and replace them with an ineffective national standard to be set two years from now by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, issued this statement in response: “This deal is unacceptable to the nine out of ten Americans who support mandatory GMO labeling.
By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – It’s hard to know which is worse. The corporations that profit from poisoning your food and water. Or the politicians who will happily sell you down the river for a few campaign contributions. Today, our “leaders” in the U.S. Senate proudly announced that they’ve “reached a deal” on a federal GMO labeling bill. No matter how they spin it—and they will spin it—this “compromise” is nothing more than a handout to Monsanto, an industry-brokered deal intended to legally sanction the right of corporations to deceive you, the consumer.
By Dien Luong for Truthout – Monsanto — the US biotech company that manufactured the devastating Agent Orange chemical used against civilians during the Vietnam War — has been quietly welcomed back into Vietnam to cultivate genetically modified animal feed, even as it has continued to refuse to compensate its Vietnamese victims. This grotesque irony is just one of a series of ironies associated with the recent rapprochement between the US and Vietnam.
By Martha Rosenberg and Ronnie Cummins for Organic Consumers Association – The two multinationals that teamed up during the Vietnam War to poison millions of people with its Agent Orange herbicide—St. Louis, Mo.-based Monsanto and Germany’s Bayer AG—are looking to become one. Bayer has announced a bid to buy Monsanto in a deal that would expand Bayer’s GMO and pesticide holdings and add drugs to Monsanto’s global portfolio. Monsanto has rejected the latest bid, but the two are still in talks.
By Paul Thacker for The Huffington Post – For nearly 30 years, Carey Gillam has worked as a business reporter covering corporate America, the last 17 of those with Reuters, where she specialized in writing about food and agriculture. In that role, she gained a reputation for her in-depth skeptical eye on issues involving GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops and the pesticides used with them. Her award-winning coverage has taken her across the country, visiting farmers and ranchers and exploring the high-tech laboratories and corporate offices of some of the largest agribusinesses corporations in the world.
By Nika Knight for CommonDreams. Anti-corporate activists, organic farmers, Indigenous peoples, environmental groups and others took to the streets across six continents and over 400 cities on Saturday in a global grassroots march against bioengineering giant Monsanto. “The fight against corporate control of our food is global,” a food sovereignty campaigner with UK-based nonprofit Global Justice Now rallied the crowd marching in London. The grassroots March Against Monstanto campaign began in 2013 as a coordinated movement to “take back the food supply.” This year’s march takes place amid allegations of collusion and industry rigging of the regulatory processes surrounding the company’s toxic weedkiller Roundup and GMO crops in Europe and the United States.
By Liivi Hess for The Alternative Daily – The controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been raging since their introduction in the mid-1990s. The many scientists, organizations, governments and members of the public who are against GMOs have expressed concerns about the safety of the foods themselves, as well as the agricultural practices they are proliferating. On the other hand, corporate agricultural forces and food manufacturers have promoted GMOs, touting them as the solution to the world’s food shortage problem and an important foundation for the future of humankind.
By Mike Barrett for Global Research News – For Monsanto’s 2nd quarter, total sales for Monsanto dropped 13%; with one of Monsanto’s top-sellers, corn seeds, falling 11%. The biotech giant cites an “unfavorable agricultural market” for its losses. While the company is admittedly still seeing profits in the billions, the continuous decline paints a bleak picture for the agricultural giant. It means that the massive grassroots movement against Big Biotech giants such as Monsanto is working, and that our collective voice is being more than heard.
By David Kirby for RSN – Several environmental, consumer, and fishing groups filed suit on Thursday against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its approval of a lab-developed fish that combines genes from three fish species: Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon, and Arctic eelpout. The lawsuit contends that the FDA ignored advice from federal fisheries and wildlife scientists to delay or deny the application and made the approval “without disclosing or analyzing the significant environmental effects from this foreseeable expansion.”
By Staff of Corporate Crime Reporter – A coalition of environmental, consumer, and commercial and recreational fishing organizations has sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) food animal, an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow quickly. The man-made salmon was created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. with DNA from three fish: Atlantic salmon, Pacific king salmon, and Arctic ocean eelpout.
By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins for Organic Consumers Association – The world’s largest food corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars (some of it illegally) to avoid being required to label the genetically engineered ingredients in their products. But with the July 1 deadline for complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law on the horizon, a handful of the largest multinational food corporations have announced they will now label GMOs—not solely because they will be forced to, but because as General Mills claims, they believe “you should know what’s in your food and how we make ours.”