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Tag Archives: Center For Food Safety
Safety Review of Glyphosate Herbicide Faces Tough Critics
Glyphosate, the non-selective herbicide that is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup formula, is up for a routine safety review in the United States and Canada. The herbicide has been used in eliminating weeds in soybeans, corn, cotton, as well as for lawn and garden maintenance since the early 1970s. “More than 2 billion lbs of herbicide were used globally in 2007, with one quarter of that total – 531 million lbs – used in the United States in that timeframe, according to a report issued in February by the EPA,” recently reported Reuters. Since at least 1996, the thirst for glyphosate was fueled in large measure by the development of glyphosate tolerant crops (e.g., Monsanto’s Roundup Ready lines), which are able to withstand continued application of this herbicide. Continue reading
According to a just released report with input from 20 citizens’ organizations, GMOs are bad news – as reported in the London Guardian: “Genetic engineering has failed to increase the yield of any food crop but has vastly increased the use of chemicals and the growth of “superweeds”, according to a report by 20 Indian, south-east Asian, African and Latin American food and conservation groups representing millions of people.” You can read the Guardian article and download the report at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/19/gm-crops-insecurity-superweeds-pesticides?newsfeed=true
April: A lot of GM issues are heating up. The GE Salmon issue is taking on the same “face” as the Canadian Bill C-474, where we are getting these foods rammed down our throats at all costs. We’ll keep you updated here:
Adding a new twist to the controversy over genetically engineered (GE)
salmon, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) revealed in recent hearings on
transgenic fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knowingly
withheld a federal biological opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
prohibiting the use of transgenic salmon in open-water net pens pursuant
to the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“This adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat
to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to
approve the fish for commercial use,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive
director of the Center for Food Safety. “While the FDA applauded the
company’s choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never
revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered
salmon in open-water net pens.”
FDA Considers Approval of GE Salmon–the First GE Food Animal–Yet
Fails to Inform the Public of Environmental and Economic Risks
August 27, 2010
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT, from:
CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY
FOOD AND WATER WATCH
SALMONAID- NORTHWEST ATLANTIC MARINE ALLIANCE
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
THE LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY
SMALL BOAT COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHERMEN?S ASSOCIATION
THE GEORGIA STRAIT ALLIANCE
CALIFORNIANS FOR GE-FREE AGRICULTURE
THE ORGANIC & NON-GMO REPORT
PLANETARY HEALTH, INC.
SAY NO TO GMOS!
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
CANADIAN BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION NETWORK
INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES
AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY
PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT
FOOD FIRST / INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY
EDEN FOODS, INC.
THE NON-GMO PROJECT
NORTHWEST RESISTANCE AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING
PCC NATURAL MARKETS
GLOUSTER FISHERMEN?S WIVES ASSOCIATION
FRESH THE MOVIE
WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL
OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Washington, DC August 27, 2010
A coalition of 31 consumer, animal
welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and
recreational fisheries associations and food retailers submitted a
joint statement criticizing an announcement this week by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will potentially approve the
long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically
engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption.
From Aol News
(Aug. 4) — A major U.S. fish research company has tampered with the DNA of Atlantic salmon by adding a quick-growth gene that allows the fish to eat year-around and grow more quickly. And the Food and Drug Administration is about to allow these genetically engineered salmon to head to market, the company says.
But food safety activists insist that the FDA doesn’t have adequate tests and regulations to ensure the safety of modified seafood, and others question whether consumers are even ready for it.
AquaBounty / MCT
An AquaBounty salmon rests in a tank behind a standard salmon that is the same age.
“Far from being a benefit to consumers or the environment, this merely allows factory fish farms to double production rates,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety.
Please see below the very clear article by Andy Kimbrell of the Center for
Food Safety in Huffington Post, explaining the difference between
Monsanto’s spin and the reality of the US Supreme Court decision against
Monsanto’s GM alfalfa. For more information please also see
(You can also write your MP at http://www.cban.ca/474action )
It should be no surprise that Monsanto’s PR machine is working hard to spin
the truth in this morning’s decision in the first-ever Supreme Court case on
genetically engineered crops (*Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms*). Despite
what the biotech seed giant is claiming, today’s ruling isn’t close to the
victory they were hoping for.
High court ruled that the ban on GMO alfalfa remains intact, and that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.
The 7-1 decision issued today by the Supreme Court was on the appeal of the
Center for Food Safety’s (CFS) successful suit, which resulted in a ban on
GMO alfalfa. And, while the High Court ruled in favor of Monsanto by
reversing an injunction that was part of the lower court’s decision, more
importantly, it also ruled that the ban on GMO alfalfa remains intact, and
that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a case brought by
Monsanto to stop the current injunction on planting GM alfalfa in the
U.S., has upheld the injunction! The National Farmers Union brought
forward Canada’s experience with GM canola to support the case. Now the US Department of Agriculture will be the deciding party on GM alfalfa – they
are preparing their final Environmental Impact Statement (as ordered by
the courts). Canadian groups also submitted comments to the USDA as part
of this process.
You can write to your MP today to support alfalfa farmers and request that
your MP supports Bill C-474 http://www.cban.ca/474action
SUPREME COURT ruling in “Monsanto Case” is victory for Center for Food Safety, Farmers
High Court Delivers Ruling That Leaves Ban on Planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa in Place in First-Ever Case on a Genetically-engineered Crop
Washington, DC June 21, 2010 – The Center for Food Safety today celebratedthe United States Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the Supreme Court. Although the High Court decision reverses parts of the lower courts’ rulings, the judgment holds that a vacatur bars the planting of
Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation
occurs. It is a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the Farmers
and Consumers it represents.
April: There just wasn’t enough time in the day to post the really good stuff in full, so I am going to start listing the links to articles I think you may want or need.
Facebook Page (Arzeena Hamir, GE Free Steering Committee) on Roger’s Sugar: asking us to send Roger’s an email on GMO Sugarbeets. Please let Roger’s know that you will not buy their products anymore.
by Elizabeth Weise, USA Today, August, 21 2002
Genetically engineered fish, shellfish and insects escaping into the wild and taking the place of their natural cousins is scientists’ biggest concern associated with advances in animal biotechnology, says a report released today by the National Academy of Sciences.
A panel of 12 scientists was asked to review current research on the issue of genetically modifying animals to produce improved food or biomedical products. This year’s report of goats that had been modified to produce spider silk in their milk is an example.
”There’s uncertainty about what happens when transgenic animals with attributes that give them advantages over wild animals get out into the environment,” says Michael Taylor, a member of the committee that wrote the report.
Other concerns include the possibility that transgenic-animal products might trigger allergies in people who eat them and the adverse effects of bioengineering on the animals themselves.
By: Christy Hardin Smith Friday November 21, 2008 4:30 pm
This is truly the stuff of nightmares. As someone who lived through years of infertility and miscarriage misery, I can’t imagine being in the shoes of a desperate-to-be-mother who found out that an ingredient in our food — unmarked because of government bowing to the lobbying interests of farming giants like Monsanto who don’t want you knowing that there is frankenfood in your meal — was the cause?
…Yet none of our regulatory agencies required long-term animal feeding studies before allowing all that test-tube corn to enter our food supply, according to the Center for Food Safety, and much of the short-term research that has been done was sponsored by the biotech companies that stood to profit from GE crops.
Which is why it was particularly chilling late last week to read the results of an experiment that was both long term and not conducted under the auspices of a big chemical company.
Dr. Jurgen Zentek, a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, reported that he fed one group of laboratory mice traditional corn and another group GE corn made by the Monsanto Company. The GE crop is bred to survive being sprayed by herbicide and to produce its own insecticide. The mice maintained their diets for 20 weeks, long enough to produce four litters of offspring.
Zentek found that the mice who dined on modified corn had fewer litters, fewer offspring, and more instances of complete infertility than those receiving a conventional diet. Not only that, but the infertility of the GM-corn-fed rodents became more pronounced with each passing litter.
Zentek said that further studies to corroborate his results were “urgently needed.”
April: This is an important issue around GM foods and crops. An independent researcher (such as myself) cannot study Monsanto products. If you want to do an environmental study, you have to sign a contract first, and Monsanto has to approve the study before it’s published. There is no “freedom of study”.
How many of you out there knew this? Does this affect your impression of GM foods?
The following article sheds some light on this.
NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, VOLUME 27, NUMBER 10, October 2009
*Are the crop industry’s strong-arm tactics and close-fisted attitude to sharing seeds holding back independent research and undermining public acceptance of transgenic crops? Emily Waltz investigates.
The increasingly fractious relationship between public sector researchers and the biotech seed industry has come into the spotlight in recent months. In July, several leading seed companies met with a group of entomologists, who earlier in the year had lodged a public complaint with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over restricted access to materials. In a letter to the EPA, the 26 public sector scientists complained that crop developers are curbing their rights to study commercial biotech crops. “No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions involving these crops [because of company-imposed restrictions],” they wrote.
In turn, the seed companies have expressed surprise at the outcry, claiming the issue is being overblown. And even though the July meeting, organized by the American Seed Trade Association in Alexandria, Virginia, did result in the writing of a set of principles for carrying out this research, the seed companies are under no compunction to follow them. “From the researchers’ perspective, the key for this meeting was opening up communication to discuss the problem,” says Ken Ostlie, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who signed the complaint. “It will be interesting to see how companies implement the principles they agreed upon.”
What is clear is that the seed industry is perceived as highly secretive and reluctant to share its products with scientists. This is fueling the view that companies have something to hide.
Who’s in control?
It’s no secret that the seed industry has the power to shape the information available on biotech crops, referred to variously as genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM) crops. Commercial entities developed nearly all of the crops on the US market, and their ownership of the proprietary technology allows them to decide who studies the crops and how. “Industry is completely driving the bus,” says Christian Krupke, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Posted on January 15, 2010 by Heather at The Center For Food Safety
Monsanto Takes Center for Food Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.
The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, between public interest non-profits and a corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”