September 26, 2016

House of Representatives Passes DARK Act

Center for Food Safety is expressing "deep disappointment" that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, a bill that will not allow state and local governments to label and regulate genetically engineered foods. The bill codifies a voluntary labeling system approach, blocks the FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food label, and would let food companies make misleading claims about how "natural" GE foods are. The bill is officially named The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. But opponents have dubbed it Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "passage of this bill is an attempt by Monsanto and its agribusiness cronies to crush the democratic … [Read more...]

DARK Act to Prevent GE Labeling Introduced to Congress

Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) have introduced what opponents are calling the "DARK Act" to Congress. This bio would block both the FDA and individual states from requiring labels on GMO and GE foods. And it would also supplant mandatory disclosure with voluntary labeling standards. The Deny Americans the Right To Know (DARK) Act was debated in the House Agricultural Committee last week. Two committee members said that more diversity of opinion was needed on the bill before voting on it. The Act is called, ironically, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "This bill is simply not the solution Americans are looking for. An overwhelming majority of American … [Read more...]

USDA Approves GMO Apple Despite Health Concerns

The USDA decided to approve a genetically modified (GMO) apple that doesn't brown after bruising or slicing. This apple, called the Arctic apple, was developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits. The apple, called the "botox apple", is produced by using a new form of genetic engineering called RNA interference or gene silencing. Consumer advocates and food safety groups are concerned about this apple and the new method of producing it. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "This produce is completely unnecessary and poses numerous risks to apple growers, the food industry, and consumers. For USDA to turn a blind eye to these risks for such an inessential technological 'advance' is foolish and potentially costly." These apple trees could easily … [Read more...]

Right to Know Files Emergency Lawsuit in Oregon GE Labeling Recount

According to the Center for Food Safety, Oregon citizens and Oregon Right to Know Campaign have filed an emergency lawsuit to ensure that their votes are properly counted in the recount of the Oregon GE labeling ballot measure. About 4,600 votes may be rejected. A mandatory statewide hand recount of Measure 92 is going on right now. The difference between "yes" and "no" was less than a tenth of a percentage point, or 812 votes. At this point, 4,600 ballots are being rejected without evidence of fraud or forgery. The lawsuit states, "these voters completed their ballots, signed their return identification envelopes pursuant to instructions provided by the Secretary of the State and local election officials, and timely returned their ballots. However, local election officials … have … [Read more...]

More Food Safety Election Day News

The election may be over, but the food movement is still making news about ballot initiatives and members of Congress. In Oregon, the initiative to label genetically engineered foods is still too close to call. Measure 92 is only 6,900 votes behind, and enough absentee ballots are still outstanding that it may pass. The ballots will be counted until November 18. In Maui, voters passed an initiative to "prohibit the growth, testing, or cultivation of genetially engineered crops" until environmental and public health studies show they are safe. The opposition, consisting mostly Monsanto and Dow Chemical, spent $362 per vote and still lost. Voters in California's Humboldt County also voted to ban GE crops from their farmlands. Four other counties in California already ban these … [Read more...]

GE Simplot Potato Approved by USDA

A new genetically engineered potato is going to enter the market soon. The potato is engineered to produce little or no acrylamide, a carcinogen, when cooked at high temperatures. The Simplot Potato is made using a new type of genetic engineering called RNA interference (RNAi). The potato was approved last week by the USDA. Doug Gurian-Sherman, Center for Food Safety's director of sustainable agriculture said in a statement, "we simply don't know enough about RNA interference technology to determine whether GE crops developed with it are safe for people and the environment. If this is an attempt to giver crop biotechnology a more benign face, all it has really done is expose the inadequacies of the U.S. regulation of GE crops. These approvals are riddled with holes and are extremely … [Read more...]

USDA Approves New 2,4-D Resistant GE Corn and Soy

The USDA has approved new GE corn and soy, which environmental and food safety advocates say will mean the release of millions of pounds of more pesticides into the environment. Center for Food Safety has condemned this decision to fully deregulate Dow Chemical's Enlist corn and soybeans. Those crops are engineered to withstand "repeated spraying of the herbicide 2,4-D." The EPA has yet to approve this new herbicide. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "2,4-D resistant crops pose a monumental threat to our nation's agricultural, environmental, and human health. With this approval comes millions of more pounds of toxic herbicides dumped onto our land. Center for Food Safety will pursue all available legal options to stop the … [Read more...]

Vermont Set to Enact Statewide GE Food Labeling Bill

The Vermont House voted to accept the Senate version of the GE labeling bill last week. Governor Shumlin is expected to sign the bill. All foods for sale in Vermont that are made with GE or GMO ingredients will have to carry a label effective July 1, 2016. The Center for Food Safety's executive director Andrew Kimbrell said, "this is an historic day for the people's right to know. It is now very clear that federal labeling of genetically engineered foods is going to happen in the foreseeable future. Should the industry try to challenge this law, Center for Food Safety will be there to help defend it and we are confident that it would survive any such challenge." While Vermont is not the first state to pass such a bill, it is the first bill that stands alone. No other states need to … [Read more...]

GE Food Labeling Bill Introduced in California

A new bill to label genetically engineered (GE) foods in California was introduced last week into the California senate. The bill is backed by the Center for Food Safety and other food safety and consumer advocates. It's sponsored by a coalition called Californians for GE Food Labeling. CFS west coast director Rebecca Spector said in a statement, "California consumers want the right to know what is in the food they eat, plain and simple. As a founding member of Californians for GE Food Labeling and lead authors of the legislation, we are proud to see our state legislators introduce this important bill." SB 1381 is a "simpler, cleaner" version of Prop 37, the proposed law that narrowly lost in election 2012. The No on Prop 37 group was heavily funded by large corporations such as … [Read more...]

Center for Food Safety Criticizes GMA GMO Labeling Block

The Center for Food Safety is criticizing the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for trying to block states from mandating labeling of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO) foods. GMA just announced the formation of a group called "Coalition for Safe Affordable Food" that is comprised of chemical groups, big food corporations, and biotechnology lobbyists. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety (CFS) said in a statement, "these companies spent nearly $70 million in California and Washington state to defeat GE labeling initiatives. They know that the food movement's power is growing and that labeling is not a matter of 'if' but 'when'. These companies have failed to win over consumers who overwhelmingly support the mandatory labeling of … [Read more...]

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