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.”
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.