Category : GMO’s

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Proposition 37, GMO Labeling Mandate, Wins Support Of 100 Celebrity Chefs

From the Huffington Post Food Blog, 10/22/12

California’s GMO labeling ballot initiative Proposition 37 has already attracted lots of emphatic support and dissent from a host of voices, from Michael Pollan to Danny DeVito. But on Monday, a large contingent of people with a lot of credibility on food issues threw their weight behind the proposal: celebrity chefs.

Read more here.

Op-Ed: CA Right To Know Calls For Criminal Investigation Of ‘No on 37’

By Anne Sewell
Oct 18, 2012 in Food at DigitalJournal.com

 

Washington – In the latest in a line of misrepresentations and possible fraud, California Right to Know is calling for a criminal investigation of “No on 37? for misuse of the FDA Seal and a fabricated FDA quote, all in opposition to the labeling of GMOs.

Proposition 37 would require labeling of genetically engineered food in California. The opposition to Prop 37 is spending a whopping $35 million to discredit it. And they are doing this using misrepresentations and possibly even fraud.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/335080#ixzz29s1lpFBD

Coachella Valley California Women for Agriculture Host Public Forum: GMOs and Prop 37

The Coachella Valley Chapter of California Women for Agriculture will present an educational forum at 6PM tonight, October 18, at the Heritage Palms Clubhouse, 44-291 Heritage Palms Drive South.

This forum about California’s Proposition 37 and the mandatory labeling of genetically modified food is free-to-the-public and will provide valuable information about the initiative so you can make a well-informed decision at the ballot box. The expert panel will discuss GMOs and Proposition 37, for which the official ballot title is “Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute.”.

The scheduled speakers are Alan McHughen, a plant biotechnologist at UC  Riverside, Blythe farmer Grant Chaffin, and Nancy Madson, co-owner of Seawright  Custom Precast in Coachella.

Check out the Facebook page for the event here, and RSVP to rrios@agloans.com.

Volunteer: Your Right To Know and Labeling of GMOs

October 17, 2012

CallFor37.png

On November 6, Californians will vote on Proposition 37, which will require all genetically modified foods to be clearly labeled. This is an historic campaign – it will mean that for the first time in the United States, consumers will have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and feed to their families.

Nearly one million Californians put Prop 37 on the ballot, and over 90% of Americans say they support labeling GMOs.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that a host of pesticide and junk food companies, led by Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical, have committed nearly $40 million to defeating our efforts.

That’s why we need your help.

Can you sign up for the national phone bank to help reach one million more Californians before Election Day, November 6?

Proposition 37 is a common sense ballot measure that will require food sold in California to be labeled if it contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Unfortunately, opponents in the pesticide and junk food industry aren’t going to let this pass without a fight, and they’re spending a million dollars a day to confuse voters. They’d rather spend millions than let consumers make an informed decision about what they eat. Even more disturbing, no long term studies have ever proven genetically engineered foods safe – not for you, not for your family, not for anyone.

Across the country, passionate volunteers and supporters are joining together to make sure that Proposition 37 becomes law.

Please join the effort and sign up to volunteer for your Right to Know today!

This is the best chance that we have ever had to label genetically engineered food in the United States. For decades, companies like Monsanto and Dow have stopped efforts to inform consumers about what they eat. It’s time for the US to join more than 50 other countries that already require labeling, but it won’t happen without you.

Please volunteer today. Victory is within reach – with your help.

What Will You Do for the Revolution? Prop 37, D-Day for the Food Movement

By Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now

 

For the past 50 years there’s been a growing awareness about the relationship between the land, agriculture, chemicals, food, health and the environment. Even before Rachel Carson penned The Silent Spring, Albert Howard and J. I. Rodale discovered the virtuous circle of organic and sustainable agriculture and the dynamic relationship between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people.

Read more here…

Russia Suspends Imports of Genetically Engineered Corn in Wake of Rat Study; France Orders Probe of GMOs

Yes on Proposition 37, California Right to Know
For Immediate Release:  September 25, 2012?
Contact:  Stacy Malkan, 510-542-9224stacy@carighttoknow.org?

Russia today suspended the import and use of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn, following a study released last week that found serious health problems in rats fed this corn, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, the French government called for an investigation into GMOs and said it would seek an immediate ban on European Union imports if the findings indicate a detrimental impact on humans. The French agriculture Minister has asked European authorities to abandon the use of GMO crops.

“Across the world, there are heightening concerns about the health risks of eating genetically engineered foods,” said Proposition 37 Campaign Manager Gary Ruskin. “There is a giant question mark hanging over these foods and their health risks.  For those of us in California, the case for labeling of genetically engineered foods has never been stronger.”

The long-term rat study conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini and published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, looked at the most common type of genetically engineered corn in the American diet in combination with the commonly used herbicide Roundup. The study found serious health problems in the treated rats including mammary tumors, liver and kidney problems and premature death.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not reacted to the study.

California voters will decide this fall whether to require labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in the state – a requirement already in place in 50 other countries.

Monsanto has supported GMO labeling in Europe but is spending millions to defeat it here in California.

For more information about Proposition 37, see www.carighttoknow.org

 

Paid for by Yes on 37 For Your Right to Know if Your Food Has Been Genetically Engineered  Supported by Consumer Advocates Makers of Organic Products and California Farmers, Major funding by Mercola Health Resources LLC and Organic Consumers Fund. 5940 College Ave, Suite F , Oakland, CA 94618, United States

G.M.O.’s: Let’s Label ’Em

September 16, 2012

California’s Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, will require the labeling of genetically modified (GM) and genetically engineered (GE) foods.

The list of those organizations, newspapers and pundits calling for support of Prop 37 continues to grow. The latest voice to join the chorus is Mark Bittman, blogger for the New York Times. Read his editorial from the September 16th edition here.

This week only—Watch Jeffrey Smith’s new GMO documentary free online

Courtesy of The Institute for Responsible Technology

This week only, watch for free online a new documentary that reveals the serious health impacts of genetically engineered foods in our diets and shows how you can protect your family.  Available from September 15th to September 22nd at www.GeneticRouletteMovie.com

It is in fact one of the most important stories ever told.—John Robbins, Bestselling author of Diet for a New America and Food Revolution

Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives has audiences rushing home to clear out their cupboards of dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods. The evidence presented in the film makes the best case yet for why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are linked to disorders such as allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, infertility, autism, and cancer, to name a few. One health practitioner, Mary Tobin, L.Ac., said the film “provides abundant evidence that eating a GMO-free diet is the single most important change Americans can make for their health.

That evidence not only includes doctors and patients testimonials, but also veterinarians and famers who describe dramatic health improvements in animals that switched to non-GMO feed. The categories of diseases that improve in humans and animals are the ones found in lab animals fed GMOs.  And these are many of the same categories, e.g. immune, reproductive, and gastrointestinal disorders that have been on the rise in the US population since GMOs were introduced.

Exposing the Dark Side

This 85 minute documentary reveals, what Author John Robbins calls, “the bullying and deceit of the biotech industry,”— including manipulation of research, attacks on independent scientists and their findings, and infiltration and control of government regulators.

The film also reveals for the first time to horrific impact among workers on a South Africa farm, who were consuming a higher amount of GMO corn than probably any other group in the world.

Upbeat, Empowering and World Changing

Although this film’s eye-opening evidence in the film is sometimes shocking, it is by no means a downer. According to Robbins, it “shines a bright light of hope that we can reclaim our health and our food systems.”Smith explains that as little as 5% of the US population switching to non-GMO foods should deliver a tipping point, inspiring food companies to kick out GM ingredients. It was such a consumer rejection that already kicked GMOs out of Europe.

The film is being released right in the throes of the California campaign for Prop 37. If it passes in November, food companies will have to label products made with GM ingredients (like they do in nearly 50 other countries). Not only will this make it far easier for people to buy healthier non-GMO choices, the expected migration away from labeled GM products will probably accelerate the tipping point.

Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives is a production of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT).

Genetic Roullette unveils a world most of us have never seen. It raises alarming questions about GMOs, and we deserve answers. For all that you love, hear this message and act now. — Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind

Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives, from September 15-22. The film lays bare the serious health impacts of genetically modified foods (GM) as reported by scientists, doctors, veterinarians, as well as other experts. We are launching this free viewing week now because the movie can better equip voters in California with additional information on GMOs that they need to make sensible choices for Prop 37, which would require labels on GE foods. Otherwise they might fall prey to Monsanto’s multi-million dollar disinformation campaign.

Will Congress Let Monsanto Write Its Own Rules?

By Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety
Co-Authored by Colin O’Neil, Regulatory Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety
Reprinted by permission of the Center for Food Safety

 

The agricultural biotech industry — well, let’s call it what it really is: the chemical industry — has gone on the offensive as never before with a set of slippery policy riders to the House Farm Bill. It’s a new low even for an industry that has spent years and tens of millions of lobbying dollars trying to dismantle the basic safeguards that stand between a regulated, healthy food supply and the profit margins chemical industry executives pine for. If passed, these riders would undermine the few laws that are currently in place to protect farmers’ rights, our health and our environment from the many adverse impacts of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Waking to the news this morning that the bill reported out of committee late last night with this suite of riders perfectly intact should give everyone interested in a safer, more secure food supply (and U.S. economy, for that matter) a definite chill, even during these incredibly hot July days. Why? Because one important question has become very real: Will Congress let the chemical industry write its own rules?

Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee’s voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) — one of the few statues that regulate GE crops — will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it. The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s “Agent Orange” corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops.

Science and time have shown that GE crops cause significant harm to agriculture and the environment. The overwhelming majority of these novel crops are engineered to be resistant to herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Roundup, and have dramatically increased overall herbicide use by 382 million lbs. This spike has, in turn, caused an epidemic scourge of herbicide-resistant superweeds. And they have caused repeated transgenic contamination of non-biotech crop, costing farmers and businesses billions of dollars, as well as permanent contamination of the wild.

Federal courts have ruled for farmers, businesses and public interest plaintiffs numerous times, holding that USDA had violated federal law when approving GE crops by failing to adequately consider and regulate their harms. But rather than address these continued failures, the chemical industry’s allies in Congress are trying to change the law via the Farm Bill. The logic being: if you can’t win the game, change the rules.

These changes, if allowed to become law, would have numerous negative impacts and outlaw responsible governance. For example, one proposed rider would outlaw any review of GE crops’ impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other environmental laws. This suite of “biotech riders” would have a devastating impact on our country’s protection of endangered species. It would also outlaw review by any agency other than the USDA. As a result, the potential impacts of GE crops, including increased pesticide use, on endangered species and other wildlife would not be assessed by our expert wildlife agencies, allowing a GE crop approval to go forward, even if it would cause the extinction of a protected species. Such changes in regulation leave our protected wildlife populations in severe jeopardy and undermine the agencies working hard to ensure their survival. Instead, USDA would only be required to perform narrow, newly established cursory environmental analysis. It even goes so far as to prohibit the Department from using any funds to conduct any additional environmental analyses, even if a federal judge deems such analyses necessary.

To make matters worse, the proposed riders include several means for “backdoor” approvals of GE crops. One rider would allow potentially dangerous GE crops to be commercialized without necessary safety assessments by establishing deliberately impossible deadlines for USDA to meet. Under this provision, if USDA fails to review and approve a GE crop within the short agency deadline, an immediate “default” approval and commercialization would be granted. Thus commercialization of novel GE crops could occur without any agency analysis, let alone any approval, taking place. This new one-year deadline to approve or deny an application (with an optional 180-day extension) will put unreasonable pressure on the Department and will undoubtedly impact its willingness to even attempt rigorous risk assessments.

It’s no secret — our federal agencies are underfunded and already swamped with the important task of reviewing and assessing new industry products, including GE crops. To suggest that approval of new crops that are resistant to toxic pesticides — like 2,4-D and Dicamba — should occur “automatically,” without a thorough environmental and economic analysis, is absurd. It flies in the face of farmers’ basic rights to grow their crop of choice, be protected from transgenic contamination and not be subjected to chemical drift from the use of ever-increasingly higher levels of toxic herbicides.

But it doesn’t stop there. The riders also open up a proposed second backdoor approval opportunity for GE crops that have gone through an initial public comment period and are currently under review by the USDA. Under this condition, if USDA is unable to approve or deny a crop application within 90 days of the Farm Bill passage, then the crop would be deemed approved. That’s right. If USDA can’t get through the process on schedule — a schedule created to make sure they won’t — then all the safeguards come down and a new GE crop enters the public sphere without a regulatory roadblock in its way.

And if that doesn’t sound serious enough for you, consider the fact that one of the crops that this could apply to is Dow’s 2,4-D corn. Some know it better as “Agent Orange” corn, a GE crop engineered to withstand exposure to one of the chemicals in the infamous Vietnam-era herbicide. There’s no doubt about it, the deadlines would be impossible to meet given the volume of public and scientific comments the Department receives (the agency received over 350,000 on the proposed Dow corn approval alone) and the number of applications currently being considered.

Conventional (non-biotech) and organic farmers, as well as grain handlers, grain millers and processors have already suffered substantial economic losses in the past due to transgenic contamination from GE crops. If these proposed provisions become law, the Secretary of Agriculture may be unable to prevent costly contamination episodes, like Starlink corn or Liberty Link rice, which result in market rejection, loss of foreign and domestic markets and untold millions of dollars in lost revenue to farmers and the food industry.

But the chemical interests thought of that, too. They’ve inserted a rider that would compel USDA to establish an extremely controversial national policy for the “low-level presence” of GE material in crops, setting for the first time an acceptable level of GE contamination in non-GE crops in the U.S. The disassociation of the chemical industry’s priorities from reality is almost inexplicable. Consumer demand for GE-free foods is higher than ever, both in the U.S. and abroad. Any policy that intentionally allows for GE material in crops and does nothing to prevent contamination of conventional and organic crops poses serious and irreversible economic harm to thousands of farmers, handlers, food processors and manufacturers. And beyond that, this illogical and unreasonable policy would severely impact the capability to export U.S. agricultural products to vital foreign markets that have restrictions on GE material in food.

American agriculture is at a crossroads. The mere fact that these riders are actually under discussion in today’s House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill mark-up session is a testament to the changed reality we are facing. Far from moving closer to a safer, healthier and better regulated food supply, we’re all witness to an attempted shift away from those principles — delivering our regulatory and decision-making powers over U.S. agriculture into the hands of industry. It’s a scary scenario.

So, will Congress let the chemical industry write its own rules? For the sake of all American farmers, consumers and the environment, let’s hope the House Agriculture Committee and other members of Congress will see the true intent of these riders and strike them from the Farm Bill before more damage is done.

 

Please take a moment to send a letter to your Representative, urging him/her to oppose the riders in the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill – just click here.