By Ocean Robbins for the Food Revolution Network. In phenomenal and ground-breaking news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced that it is revoking the registration of the controversial chemical Enlist Duo. This is a huge set-back for the GMO industry. Enlist Duo is the super-toxic herbicide (a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D) that is designed to be sprayed on Dow Chemical’s genetically-engineered corn (and soy), widely referred to in the organic industry as Agent Orange Corn. The EPA recognized that the two active ingredients in Enlist Duo could result in greater toxicity to non-target plants, and issued a ruling that may effectively end the threat of Agent Orange Corn. But, at the very same time, Monsanto, Dow, and their special interest friends have unveiled a new, sneaky approach to hide information about GMOs. Recognizing that the “Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK)” act that they pushed through the U.S. Congress is likely dead in the Senate, they’re offering a “compromise” piece of legislation. It would require GMO labels on food products, but ONLY if they’re hidden in QR codes (which take a smart phone to decipher) on the back of a product.
By Staff of Center for Food Center – SAN LUIS, COLORADO (November 12, 2015)— THE CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY (CFS) is proud to support a new ordinance introduced today in Costilla County, Colorado that would establish a “Center of Origin” GMO-Free Zone of Protection to preserve the county’s unique agricultural products and traditional farming systems. The ordinance is intended to protect the county’s traditional acequia (community irrigation ditch) farmers and their land race heirloom maize varieties that are unique to the Upper Rio Grande watershed.
By Staff of Mint Press News – MINNEAPOLIS — An outspoken opponent of Monsanto’s genetically-modified crops recently challenged the agribusiness giant to prove that it’s working with safety assessment standards for its GMO soybeans and other products. If Monsanto follows through, the challenger’s Boston-area property could be at stake. Shiva Ayyadurai, an American scientist with a PhD in systems biology from MIT, challenged Monsanto Corporation to disprove a study published in Agricultural Sciences, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
By Staff of Organic Consumers Association – “The [Oct. 21, 2015] Senate Agriculture hearing reaffirmed the broad consensus among scientists and regulators that GMOs are safe . . . We were pleased to hear Senator Stabenow’s [D-Mich.] personal commitment to work to develop a bipartisan bill that can pass the Senate by the end of this year…”. – Pamela Bailey, Grocery Manufacturers Association, in an October 21, 2015 press release. In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offers this idea: Use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that consumers could just use their phones to scan special barcodes or other symbols on food packages in the grocery store.
By Jim Goodman for Popular Resistance. Wonewoc, WI – The US farm press is a segment of the media that most people never see. The glossy magazines tell farmers everything they need to know in order to be successful, efficient and progressive— that is, in constant growth mode. Most have no subscription fees, there are plenty of advertisers to cover costs. Editorial content is clearly tailored to keeping advertisers happy. By supporting the trend to bigger farms, they also support the sale of bigger and more expensive machinery. Labor management articles clue farmers in on how to keep the growing Hispanic agricultural labor force productive. Editorials endorsing Genetically Modified (GM) seed, the associated pesticides and their inherent ability to feed the world are frequent and insistent.
By Greenpeace – In the latest blow to the European Commission’s laissez-faire approach to GM crops, at least 16 EU countries and four regions (in two other countries) are in the process of banning the cultivation of GM crops on their territories, with more expected to follow by a 3 October deadline for notifications to the EU, said Greenpeace. Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “A clear majority of the EU’s governments are rejecting the Commission’s drive for GM crop approvals. They don’t trust EU safety assessments and are rightly taking action to protect their agriculture and food. The only way to restore trust in the EU system now is for the Commission to hit the pause button on GM crop approvals and to urgently reform safety testing and the approval system.”
By Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project – A new organizing initiative called “GE Trees Fall” launched with a four day GE trees action training camp outside of Asheville North Carolina, over September 24th to the 27th. Following the camp, activists converged on the world headquarters of ArborGen in Ridgeville, SC on Monday September 28th, resulting in two arrests. The action at ArborGen exposed their secret research and pointed out the potentially serious risks presented by these GE loblolly pine trees. Ruddy Turnstone, GJEP’s GE Trees Campaigner and I were arrested during the protest, which demanded ArborGen tear down their wall of secrecy surrounding their GE tree research and development, and pointed out that resistance to GE trees is growing, with more than a quarter of a million people signing on to letters and petitions rejecting GE trees, and protests against GE trees on six continents in 2015 alone.
By Global Ecology Justice Project – A plan by activists to inform Andrew Baum, President and CEO of ArborGen that over 250,000 people signed letters and petitions  rejecting Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees was interrupted when police arrested the two people who intended to deliver that message. Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and Coordinator of the international Campaign to Stop Genetically Engineered Trees, Anne Petermann, and Global Justice Ecology Project’s GE Tree Campaign organizer, Ruddy Turnstone were stopped by police and arrested. The letters and petitions rejecting GE Trees and international protests mark a growing concern about the dangers of GE Trees and the threats they pose to the environment.
By Amanda Froelich in True Activist – Victory! Following news of Scotland and Germany opting to ban genetically modified foods, news has surfaced of the Russian Government completely banning the use of genetically modified ingredients in any and all food production. During an international conference on biotechnology, Deputy PM Arkady Dvorkovich stated: “As far as genetically-modified organisms are concerned, we have made decision not to use any GMO in food productions.” Basically, Russia flew past the issue of GMO labeling and shut down the use of any and all genetically modified foods that would have otherwise entered the food supply through packaged foods (and the cultivation of GMO crops). For anti-GMO proponents, this is huge, exciting news. To put the bold move into perspective, imagine what effect this would have in the United States.
By Ronnie Cummins in Organic Consumers – After decades of self-destructive business-as-usual—empire-building, waging wars for fossil fuels, selling out government to the highest bidder, lacing the environment and the global food supply with GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, toxic sweeteners, artery-clogging fats, and synthetic chemicals, attacking the organic and natural health movement, brainwashing the body politic, destroying soils, forests, wetlands, and biodiversity, and discharging greenhouse gas pollution into the atmosphere and the oceans like there’s no tomorrow—we’ve reached a new low, physically and morally. Distracted by know-nothing media conglomerates and betrayed by cowardly politicians and avaricious corporations, homo sapiens are facing, and unfortunately in many cases still denying, the most serious existential threat in our 200,000 year evolution—catastrophic climate change.
By Natasha Chen in KiroTV – A dozen protestors met with a Costco executive Thursday to deliver a petition, urging the wholesale company not to sell genetically modified fish. The protesters told KIRO 7 they are particularly concerned about fish produced by a company called Aqua Bounty, who crosses the DNA of three different types of fish to create salmon that grows twice as fast. The fish is currently not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but several grocers have already pledged not to sell the fish if it ever gets approved. The protesters said those grocers include Target, Trader Joe’s, QFC, and Safeway. In a video shot by protesters when they met with the chief operating officer of merchandising, the executive told them it would be hard to promise never to sell the product: “That would be disingenuous to say ‘never.’ Never is a long time, right?” “They’re not listening to Costco members that are saying that they don’t want genetically modified foods,” said Danielle Friedman, the organizing director of Community Alliance for Global Justice.
By Alex Lazar in Open Secrets – Thursday’s House passage of a bill that would keep states from requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled was a big — and not at all close — win for agribusiness and food and beverage interests. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, known to its critics as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, sailed through by a vote of 275 to 150. While the bulk of its support came from the GOP and most of its opponents hailed from Democratic districts, the vote didn’t break cleanly along party lines. Among its 107 sponsors were 92 Republicans and 15 Democrats. But a more telling predictor of where lawmakers came down was the amount of support they’d received from interests with a stake in the legislation.
By Katherine Paul in Organic Consumers – Today, 275 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. By voting for the DARK Act, these politicians voted against truth and transparency, against science, against the more than century-old right of states to legislate on matters relating to food safety and labeling. They voted against the 90-percent of Americans who are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs. They voted against the producers of non-GMO foods. They voted against you. Now that the DARK Act has been approved by the House, we’ll have to stop it in the Senate. We have to move fast—because Monsanto is desperate to pass a bill that preempts mandatory GMO labeling laws at the state and federal levels, before Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect next year.
By Amanda Froelich in True Activist – Bees’ importance cannot be overstated. As TrueActivist has shared before, the tiny, bumbling insects are responsible for a lot – making them essential in the future of our planet. Therefore, with massive bee die-offs (otherwise known as ‘colony collapse disorder’), it has been the plight of many scientists, beekeepers, and educated activists to do whatever it takes to ensure bees survive. Some theories exist as to what is causing colony collapse, such as Monsanto’s GMO crops, the insecticides used to treat them, and EMF frequencies from excessive technological use… but debate persists. In wake of all the controversy, the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents almost 100,000 beekeepers, decided to take action by calling for a nationwide ban on GMO cultivation. The news comes from a report published by the German NGO keine-gentechnik.de.