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.”
By Boulder County Commissioner’s Office. Boulder County, Colo. – At a public meeting today, the County Commissioners directed county Parks and Open Space staff to work with local farmers to develop a transition plan for phasing out the use of genetically engineered (GE) corn and sugarbeets on County Parks and Open Space agricultural lands within a time frame of 3 to 7 years, and for staff to bring a recommendation on the transition plan back for consideration as soon as practicable. Additionally, the Board expressed a preference for phasing out the use of neonicotinoids and greatly reducing the use of herbicides and pesticides on county-owned open space lands. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) further provided direction to staff to develop a work plan that includes the continued monitoring of soil health, water quality, and pollinator health on Boulder County agricultural land, and that also looks at developing an Agricultural Research Station in Boulder County, and studies other identified barriers to successful local farming in Boulder County.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – General Mills will start labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all its food products, thanks to Vermont’s impending GMO law and the failure of the ‘voluntary labeling’ law in U.S. Congress this week. “We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers, and we simply won’t do that,” wrote General Mills U.S. retail chief Jeff Harmening in a post to the company’s website on Friday. “The result: Consumers all over the country will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills food products.”
By the Center for Food Safet for Ecowatch. The US Senate refused to include a policy rider in the must-pass federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws. Three states—Connecticut, Maine and Vermont—have passed such laws, with Vermont’s slated be to be the first to go into effect in July 2016. All three democratically passed laws would have been nullified, while any future state GE labeling legislation would have been preempted. More than 30 states have introduced bills to labeling GE foods in just the past few years. This is an amazing people powered victory over one of the most powerful corporations in the world. Monsanto wanted this badly to stop the labeling movement at the state level, but the people defeated them.
By Sustainable Pulse. Washington State – In a decision made public late Friday, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association violated Washington campaign finance disclosure laws by shielding the identities of major corporate donors funding efforts to defeat a food labeling initiative in Washington. “This landmark case has been a long fight for accountability,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “This ruling sends an unequivocal message: Big money donors cannot evade Washington law and hide from public scrutiny. My office will hold you accountable.” The case, State v. Grocery Manufacturers Association, concerns GMA’s financing of a 2013 campaign against Initiative 522, which sought to require labeling of genetically engineered products. GMA, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, was the largest single donor to the “No on 522” political committee.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Defying the rights of Americans who overwhelmingly want to know more about what they eat, a Senate committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that will block states from requiring that foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO) be labelled. The so-called Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act (pdf) passed the Senate Agriculture Committee 14-6. It now moves to the upper chamber’s floor, setting up a Congressional battle as Vermont prepares to become the first state to implement a mandatory GMO labeling law.
By Staff of JBA Healthy News – On November 25, the High Court in Paris indicted Marc Fallous, the former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, for “forgery” and the “use of forgery.” The details of the case have not been officially released. But according to this article from the Séralini website, Fallous used or copied the signature of a scientist whose name was used, without his agreement, to argue that Séralini and his co-workers were wrong in their studies on Monsanto products, including GM corn.A sentencing for Fallous is expected in June 2016.
By Katherine Paul for Organic Consumers Association – The late, great political columnist Molly Ivins, who railed relentlessly against money in politics, would be all over the GMO labeling fight. She’d be especially keen to tackle the next battle, set to take place any day now in the U.S. Senate. On Thursday (February 25) this week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry will take up a bill introduced last week (Friday, February 19) by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). Roberts’ bill aims to establish a voluntary labeling plan that would block Vermont from enacting its mandatory GMO labeling law on July 1.
By the Organic Consumers Association. Now that we’re so close to our first big GMO labeling victory—Vermont’s mandatory labeling law scheduled to take effect July 1—Monsanto is going with the only strategy it has left to block it: a Senate version of the DARK Act. Roberts’ Senate bill is not identical to H.R. 1599, or what we refer to as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. But it aims to accomplish the same thing: block states from passing mandatory GMO labeling laws. If Roberts’ bill makes it through the Senate, either as is, or with a “compromise” that involves delaying the implementation of Vermont’s law, mandatory labeling will die.
By Clara Herzberg for Truthout – From Indiana to Louisiana, a movement among thousands of corn farmers in the United States is trying to hold a Swiss GMO agribusiness giant to account for willful deceit and is making steady progress in court. According to these lawsuits – which may soon become class action – Syngenta, one of the world’s largest agrochemical companies, deliberately misled small farmers into thinking that the genetically modified Viptera corn it was pushing on them would be approved for export to China.