New changes in the House Agriculture Committee’s discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill will eviscerate the oversight function of the USDA over GMOs.
Did you know that United States permits the planting of genetically engineered crops in the nation’s protected wildlife refuges? Environmental groups have challenged this practice one region at a time.
There is a growing demand from consumers to know what is in their food. In response to this demand, sprouting across the nation are bills seeking to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
Despite a vocal opposition from residents, Colorado’s Boulder County recently decided to permit a second genetically modified crop, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, to be planted on public land.
This past November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report cited “severe efficacy issues” with Monsanto’s Bt corn after multiple states reported “unexpected pest damage.”
Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) has once again introduced a bill that would require require the labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with genetically engineered material. It is a counter-balance to another pending legislation that could strip USDA of some of its authority to approve to biotech crops.
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture is meeting to “review the causes and consequences of government over-regulation of agriculture biotechnology.”
A California Appeals Court reversed a lower court’s ruling which would have required the destruction of genetically modified sugar beet seedlings planted in September 2010.
On the heels of the decision to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa, this Friday USDA announced that it will allow the planting of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” GE sugar beets even though the agency has yet to finalize conducting an Environmental Impact Statement.
Yesterday, USDA’s Sec. Tom Vilsack announced that genetically engineered alfalfa, that has been modified to withstand repeated application of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, will be completely deregulated nation-wide, without any restrictions.
Several scientists at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences recently released a statement fully backing GMOs. While the Holy See tried to distance itself from these statements, recent WikiLeaks revelations belie the Vatican’s claim to neutrality.
Follow the money and you will see that the meat and the GMO industry are inextricably tied.
Last week, superweeds and GMOs were on the minds of many U.S. lawmakers. Reports continued on growing pesticide resistance. Bee colony collapse problem grows. EPA considers giving environmental justice a chance. EU approved more GM maize imports, while a GMO-Free Europe conference nears. And more.
When Barak Obama was elected, many in the sustainability movement believed that they finally had an ally in the White House. However, the President’s agricultural appointments tell a different story.
A coalition of agriculture groups and 75 Members of Congress wrote to Tom Vilsack, urging the USDA to allow limited planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa while the agency completes an Environmental Impact Statement.
Ever since the Supreme Court handed down its mixed 7-1 decision, ruling that the lower court overstepped its boundary by issuing an injunction on the planting of genetically modified alfalfa, some lawmakers were spurred to action.
Professor Brian Wynne was vice chairman of a steering group set up by the Food Standards Agency to gauge the public mood on genetically modified (GM) food. Prof Wynne said that he resigned when it became clear that the consultation was biased in favour of GM. Earlier in the week another member of the group, Dr Helen Wallace, Director of the non-governmental organisation Genewatch, resigned in protest at the Food Standard Agency’s allegedly close links with the agri-chemical industry.
President Obama’s appointment of Dr. Siddiqui to the post of the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, guarantees that the corporate agenda of biotech and pesticides industry will be promoted around the world, ensuring the continued global spread of GMOs and pesticides.
The United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS), which oversees biotechnology regulation, was heavily criticized by its own Inspector General 2005 audit report. Did APHIS change its way since then?
There is little doubt that Monsanto-farmer contracts are fundamentally unfair to the farmers. In this case, David does not fair well against Goliath. But are such agreements also fundamentally unfair to society because, unless you grow it yourself, what the farmer grows is what you eat.
As a result of policies enumerated by the Coordinated Framework, regulatory control over GMOs in the United States was divided among different regulatory agencies. The consequences of such a decision was a myopic, and at times, haphazard regulatory control by each agency over GMOs. For USDA, this raises significant questions as to the agency’s ability to effectively regulate second generation GMOs.
How can the public trust government agencies to ensure the safety of GMOs if those agencies have a long track record of failure? USDA’s regulatory track record begs the question of whether it is a government “regulatory” agency or an industry group.
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