December 3, 2016

FDA Approves AquaBounty GE Salmon

Genetically engineered salmon created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. has been given market approval by the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is seeking comment on labeling guidance documents for companies that make and sell food items containing the genetically engineered product. AquaBounty says that because the U.S. currently imports over 95 percent of the Atlantic salmon it consumes,  AquAdvantage Salmon offers a new domestic alternative. The salmon, AquAdvantage Salmon, has been genetically enhanced to reach market size in less time than natural salmon. The company says using land-based aquaculture systems to produce the fish is an environmentally friendly way to produce food without damaging the ocean. But the green track record isn't perfect. Last year, the … [Read more...]

Vermont Asks Court to Dismiss GMO Lawsuit

Vermont's attorney general has asked a federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and other food industry groups over a new Vermont law that requires all food made with genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such. “The State’s motion makes the case that Vermont’s labeling law withstands all five challenges to its constitutionality made by Plaintiffs and that the Court should dismiss the suit without requiring the State to answer the Complaint or engage in further litigation,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell. “While the Plaintiffs prefer not to disclose that their products are made with genetic engineering, over 90 percent of the general public supports labeling genetically engineered foods,” he added. The motion, filed … [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...]

Monsanto Protection Act Removed From Senate CR

The "Monsanto Protection Act" has been removed from the Senate Continuing Resolution appropriations bill, which funds the government for another three months past September 30, 2013. The U.S. House added the rider to the version they sent to the Senate. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) said in a statement, "The Monsanto Protection Act is bad policy for the country and the State of Hawaii. The Senate version of the Continuing Resolution Act does not include this provision. This provision took the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to fully exercise his regulatory power over GMOs, and compromised the role of our courts as a check on the legislative and executive systems, making it significantly more difficult for concerned citizens to present their case." He continued, "I strongly … [Read more...]

Senator Mikulski Introduces Bill to Repeal Monsanto Protection Act

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is introducing an alternative short term government funding bill today that would repeal the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act." Last week the House passed a Continuing Resolution that would fund the government for three months beyond the deadline of September 30, 2013, and also extended a rider that guarantees agrichemical companies can sell GMO and genetically engineered seeds even if a federal court declares them unlawful. Mikulski's bill would strip that provision before sending the bill back to the House. Center for Food Safety is asking interested consumers to call their senators and ask them to support Senator Mikulski's bill. Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for food Safety said in a statement, "Chairwoman Mikulski's … [Read more...]

GE Alfalfa Contamination Reported in Washington State

An export shipment of alfalfa from Washington state was rejected after it tested positive for contamination from genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant alfalfa. The U.S. is the primary supplier of alfalfa to Japan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries which have banned GMO foods or require labeling of the product. The market was valued at $1.25 billion in 2012. Earlier this year, unapproved GE wheat was found growing in Oregon in violation of the Plant Protection Act. There are no GMO wheat crops approved for sale or growth in the U.S. at this time. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "for nearly a decade, Center for Food Safety has vigorously opposed the introduction of GE alfalfa, precisely because it was virtually certain to … [Read more...]

GE Wheat in OR Not a Food Safety Issue Says USDA

Genetically engineered wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. and many other countries, so it was an unwelcome surprise when a "volunteer" crop of it was found growing in an Oregon field. While major markets for U.S. wheat including Japan, Korea and Taiwan, have postponed imports as they continue to study the situation, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials say there is no evidence that the GE wheat entered the market and there is no food safety of public health concern. USDA Office of Communications Director Matt Paul released a June 14 statement about the situation, describing it as an isolated incident. "On May 29, USDA announced that a small number of volunteer wheat plants in an Oregon field had tested positive for genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant … [Read more...]

Vermont House Passes GE Labeling Bill

The Vermont House of Representatives became the first legislative body in the country to pass a bill requiring all genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled as such with its passage of H112 by a vote of 99-42 on May 10. Because the vote came near the end of this session, it's likely that that next step, a vote in the Vermont Senate, will not come until January 2014. Labeling GE foods is required in dozens of countries, but not in the U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have recently introduced a federal bill and, on a state level, bills similar to Vermont's are pending in Maine, Connecticut and Washington. Alaska has already passed legislation requiring labeling of GE fish. And, laast fall, a ballot initiative in California that would have required all GE … [Read more...]

Retailers Just Say No To Genetically Engineered Salmon

Whole Foods, Aldi and Trader Joe's are among the retailers saying no to selling genetically engineered salmon at their stores. The retailers are part of  “Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood,” a coalition of consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups committed to preventing genetically engineered seafood from entering the marketplace.  The coalition is asking grocery stores, seafood companies restaurants and chefs to publicly commit to not knowingly purchasing or selling genetically GE salmon or other GE seafood. The move comes growing as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) conducts its final review of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon developed by AquaBounty of Massachusetts.  AquaBounty says its GE salmon, called "AquAdvantage Salmon," can reach … [Read more...]

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