News

2018-03-31 |

Biotech maize field trials fail to get crop agency green light

In Summary

This is the latest attempt by the proponents of GMO to seek the government’s go-ahead for the trial of the crop ahead of commercialisation.

Kenya imposed a ban on GMO crops in November, 2012, citing danger to public health, a decision that locked out many countries, including South Africa, from exporting maize to the country.

2018-03-30 |

USDA is flying blind on genome-edited crops

The USDA has announced it won't be regulating "new GM" products – but its statement is at odds with the scientific facts

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a statement to provide "clarification" on the department's "oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding techniques which include techniques called genome editing".

However, while the statement certainly makes clear the USDA's attitude to new GM techniques, when it comes to the scientific facts, it offers only smoke and mirrors.

The USDA says, "Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests. This includes a set of new techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods."

2018-03-29 |

Fruit and Vegetable Producer Del Monte Is Going Non-GMO and Non-BPA

As American consumers find themselves gravitating toward “natural” products, particularly non-GMO and BPA-free products, food industry veteran Del Monte is also taking a hint.
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Del Monte also announced that it would move away from GMO, or genetically modified crops. The company also announced Tuesday that not only would vegetables, fruit cups and most tomato products be non-GMO, so will added ingredients used as sweeteners and soybeans. About 154 products will be non-GMO, and they will be labelled as such. Granted, the benefits and downsides of GMO have long been debated.

2018-03-29 |

Inside Monsanto's Day in Court: Scientists Weigh in on Glyphosate's Cancer Risks

Lee Johnson, a 46-year-old resident of Vallejo, California developed a severe skin rash in 2014, two years after he started spraying Roundup as part of his groundskeeping job at the Benicia Unified School District. “He read the label on the container,” says his lawyer, Timothy Litzenburg, “and he followed all the safety instructions, which were written by Monsanto.”

The rash turned into an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Doctors estimate Johnson has six months left to live; he will leave behind a wife and two children. His is one of 2,400 lawsuits filed against Monsanto by cancer victims in courts across the country, and Johnson’s case is the first one scheduled for a jury trial.

These victims are suing to hold Monsanto accountable, claiming that glyphosate, the listed, active ingredient in its popular herbicide Roundup, caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

2018-03-27 |

Amazon sells GMO Arctic apples unlabelled

GM apples have not been safety tested in animals

GM Arctic apples are being sold on Amazon without disclosing that they are GM. They are engineered not to brown when cut and thus are advertised as "preservative free".

There's nothing illegal about this, since GM foods do not have to carry a GM label on the package in the US and the apples are not being sold outside the US.

However, selling GM Arctic apples unlabelled is irresponsible because they have not been safety tested in feeding trials on animals. Nor have US regulators assessed the health or environmental risks of the GM technique used to develop them.

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