Can badly risk-assessed GMO grass genes be contained? It looks like Oregon will unfortunately be the 1st test case of the federal government shifting the job of managing GMO grass escapees to a state. Federal government regulatory failure, exacerbated by Obama’s USDA Secretary Vilsack, has essentially backed shifting GMO escapee control costs to states. In November of 2016, at the request of Scott’s and Monsanto, the USDA APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services section deregulated the grass stating: ” there is no longer any authority for APHIS to require a permit or notification for the importation, interstate movement, or environmental release of the regulated article pursuant to 7 CFR part 340.” In short, the federal government mismanaged the GMO grass control, and came up with this scheme for states to bear a dreadful burden. Can the promiscuous GMO genes be controlled or has the federal government opened up a wild Pandora’s Box?
A couple of years ago, the Connecticut legislature, under the forward looking leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams, put forth a pre-emptive initiative to keep promiscuous and pesticide-dependent GMO bluegrass genes out of CT lawns and ecosystems. However, Scott’s seed company, biotech industry interests and other political and industry interests, worked behind the scenes to stymie the legislation despite approval at the legislative committee level. Not only is GMO grass gene spread a critical issue wherever it has been tested, but containment is very problematic. The Federal government should not unfairly offload costly and risky control burdens to states via deregulation of the GMO grasses. Many states do not have the wherewithal to address these Pandora’s Box runaway genes, which independent scientists, researchers and many legislators have warned about for years. Instead , with the Oregon bentgrass deregulation and USDA easing the way, Scott’s has exploited a loophole to test the viability of GMO pesticide-dependent bluegrass in undisclosed locations, without public knowledge and lacking robust risk assessment. Instead of due diligence employing the Precautionary Principle as Europe has done to protect the public, the federal government has allowed Scott’s and other companies to situate test plots in unposted areas (unbeknownst to adjacent land owners) which could result in contamination of neighboring lands, nonGMO farm produce and more.
Consumers are at a serious disadvantage of being informed about Scott’s GMO pesticide-dependent lawn seed because is unlabeled due to negligent government risk assessment and industry-orchestrated PR science. It will also contribute to homeowner well water and surface water toxin contamination from applications of Roundup. And what if stronger pesticides like 2,4-D, Dicamba (and worse!) are used in a fruitless attempt to contain the Kentucky bluegrass and other GMO escapee grasses? Pesticide resistance is continuing to increase and more will have to be applied. Additionally, risks of export crop infiltration by unknown GMO genes could continue to result in losses to American export crops, particularly as many nations that will not accept GMO gene contamination.
Progress: First Nations are leading the way on the Failing, Flawed and Dangerous GMO Technology – If Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau can stand up for native peoples’ rights in Canada, we should be able to get the US to do same when it comes to citizens not wanting invasive GMO salmon http://earthjustice.org or promiscuous GMO crops. 8/31/2016 update “The biggest problem with genetic engineering in agriculture is that it runs completely against the grain of sustainable agriculture. It separates the domain of science from the domain of farming community. It externalizes everything that was internal to the communities and formed the basis of sustainability: seeds, manure, pest control and more than anything, community knowledge of agriculture. Biotechnology in agriculture today stands as the manifestation of corporate power that is shaping the food and farming policies in India. That is the reason why we must see biotechnology less as science and more as politics. Genetic engineering (GE), strangely, rides on the slogans of feeding the world and sustainability. It also claims that transgenics, a major product of biotechnology, can increase yields and reduce pesticide use, two traits that have produced more controversy than success.”
“We have heard the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that honouring the rights of First Nations are a “sacred obligation” to the Liberal Government of Canada,” said Hereditary leader and chief councilor Willie Moon, “our people have spoken we want salmon farms out of our territory.”
The rudeness with which the salmon farm employees were told to conduct themselves was in stark contrast to the integrity of the people performing ceremony with cedar bows. It was hard to witness.from www.cleansingourwaters.com
New Threat to Homeland Security? Pesticide Spraying Drones Approved by FAA and Available from Monsanto – Domestic Terrorism now enabled to your doorstep compliments of US Government, along with hackers who see a new opening: Dumping herbicides and pesticides from the sky seems like something the government should oppose, but instead, somehow the corporate giant has won federal approval for this monstrous development (FROM ARTICLE)
FAILING, FLAWED,DANGEROUS GMO TECHNOLOGY Here Millions Spent, No One Served: Who Is to Blame for the Failure of GMO Golden Rice?
7/31/16 Update: Obama went against the People and signed the flawed Food “Disclosure” bill, even with an official White House Peoples’ Petition to Veto and FDA critical remarks in their technical comment. We will continue to expose the two major Establishment parties’ incestuous GMO Myths . Now, check out other excellent options for food labeling in this election: Libertarians and Greens. The two party conventions showed the Establishment control is fracturing!
State laws resulted from citizen action; this national bill ignored citizens’ interests and rights in favor of corporate interests. If you don’t act now, and the President signs the bill it will become a very bad anti- consumer law. We Americans will be denied the right to know what is in our food. Very easy to leave a comment on the White House lines. This flawed bill, if not vetoed, will become law for a 2 year deferral on voluntary QR code labeling only – nothing in plain English on package as FDA customarily requires. It’s such a hastily drafted bill with conflicts and errors, of which the primary intent was to knock out Vermont’s mandatory food labeling law which went into effect July 1st, 2016. Please share widely as the more voices heard by Obama, the better! Click here for more details or scroll down to prior posts for important details.
7/27/16 Update from GMOFreeUSA: **100,000 signatures achieved** on a Whitehouse.gov petition site urging President Obama to veto the DARK Act, AKA S.764 – Many thanks to all of you who signed! In just a little over two weeks we reached our goal, making this petition one of the fastest to have reached its goal in the history of the Whitehouse.gov petition site. Now that we’ve met our goal, we need to light up the Whitehouse switchboard with phone calls demanding that President Obama veto this sham of a GMO labeling bill! This is our last chance to stop this terrible bill! *Please call today to reinforce that the President must VETO this anti-consumer bill (202) 456-1414 (202) 456-1111
On 7/26/16, only 860 more signatures needed to petition White House for a veto response on S.764, otherwise known as the “Dark Act”of GMO food labeling. We must use every avenue to try protect the integrity of our food supply and the American people, especially for our kids and future generations. Obama originally campaigned for GMO food labeling and his own FDA found many problems with this bill. This bill, if signed, will usurp mandatory state labeling laws already passed by VT, CT, and ME.
Stop this fraudulent labeling bill [S. 764] in its tracks to save GMO labeling! Important message from Consumers Union: The Senate just voted to block all state GMO labeling laws, including the historic Vermont bill that went into effect on July 1st. Defying Vermont’s citizens and consumers nationwide who want easy-to-read labels, some Senators sold us out to Big Food and Big Ag. It’s outrageous that our elected officials are siding with Monsanto and food industry lobbyists to thwart consumers’ interests to know critical ingredients in our food, especially due to the scientific-acknowledged creation of new potentially allergenic proteins from the GMO process itself. Having cleared the Senate, this new anti-labeling bill is headed to the House – but it’s not too late for us to speak up for GMO transparency. Contact President Obama to VETO this bill. Also HERE
Consumerist gives you the real scoop, even the FDA doesn’t like this bill! “When the text of the bill, written by Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) — who have received a total of more than $2.1 million in campaign contributions from agribusiness donors this year alone — was first released, the Food and Drug Administration responded with a Technical Assistance Memo [PDF] that outlines the potential for new loopholes.https://consumerist.com/2016/07/12/federal-gmo-labeling-bill-opens-more-loopholes-than-it-closes/
From NY Times: “The biggest problem with the Senate bill is that — instead of requiring a simple label, as the Vermont law does — it would allow food companies to put the information in electronic codes that consumers would have to scan with smartphones or at scanners installed by grocery stores. The only reason to do this would be to make the information less accessible to the public.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/opinion/a-flawed-approach-to-labeling-genetically-modified-food.html?_r=0
From Bloomberg article today: Americans Are Buying Gene-Edited Food That’s Labeled Non-GMO “Products made possible through gene-editing have landed on grocery shelves. Whether they’ll stay there is up to shoppers wary of technological tinkering.”and ““There’s an overall distrust of Big Food and Big Science.” “Doug Gurian-Sherman, director of sustainable agriculture at the Center for Food Safety, said today’s conversations about gene-editing remind him of GMOs in the 1990s — the rhetoric is lofty and promises abound about healthier food and drought tolerance. “This is largely unproven” Gurian-Sherman said. (quotes from Bloomberg article).
US Senate Heading Towards Green-Light for Unlabeled GMOs as Special Interests $$$ are heard more loudly than US citizens’ voices!
US Senate Bill #2609 would nullify state laws requiring mandatory, clear, on-package labeling of food with GMOs and replace them with an ineffective voluntary national standard full of exemptions and deferring voluntary labeling until two years from now by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Consumers Union Jean Halloran said:“The Senate shouldn’t fall for food and biotech industry scare tactics. They claim that Vermont’s law will cause ‘chaos’ and lead to higher food prices. But the fact is that food companies have already started labeling – we’ve received photos of labeled GMO products from consumers across the country. The sky has not fallen, and in general, prices have not risen on GMO foods.If this bill is passed by the Senate, it would be a clear case of Congress acting on behalf of industry interests, rather than on those of their constituents. We urge all senators to stand up for consumers – and real disclosure – and oppose this bill.”
To continue reading: http://sustainablepulse.com/2016/06/24/us-consumers-union-slams-new-gmo-labeling-dark-act/#.V3Qp-Feuf-Y
SB 2609 is not a labeling bill; it is an industry-orchestrated bill for corporations, not people. CORPORATE SABOTAGE OF GMO LABELING – Read Here and Here
Review the extensively footnoted back story on how GMO foods were illegally labeled.
Kellogg’s and Mars have joined General Mills and Campbell’s by announcing that they will start to label their products in the U.S. that contain GMOs with the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering”, after the blocking of the new Dark Act in the U.S. Senate. To continue reading from Sustainable Pulse, click here. ConAgra Foods will also begin adding labels to products nationwide by July 2016.
According to Sustainable Pulse: “This move by the GMA’s members must be treated with caution for now as it is only voluntary labeling that can be pulled at any time. The announcements also come at a time when Big Food is still pushing for anti-consumer federal compromise solutions for GMO labeling in the U.S., such as the use of mandatory QR codes or voluntary labeling”.
Plain and simply put- consumer-friendly mandatory GMO labeling involves FOUR SIMPLE WORDS: Produced With Genetic Engineering.
NOTE: But the food labeling legislative card tricks have not all been played! General Mills was asked a question about labeling , they made it clear that the company “will continue advocating for a national solution to GMO communications to consumers.” When asked if General Mills would now support a federal law that requires mandatory label, such as the bill recently introduced in the Senate by Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., a company spokesperson dodged the question. Expect more deceptive shenanigans when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others return from a Congressional Easter break!
***Stay tuned for action alerts to contact your representatives***