After being delayed by the U.S. government shutdown, talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are quietly gearing up again. Tariff barriers between the U.S. and EU are already low, so these negotiations are focused squarely on achieving “regulatory coherence.” Read more
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With just one week left until Washington state voters decide on I-522, the ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), money for the opposition continues to pour in. According to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, the No on 522 campaign received an influx of $4.2 million last week from just two sources: The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Dupont Pioneer, the seed and agri-chemical company.
The hotly contested battle over GMO labeling just got hotter in Washington state. The latest wrinkle comes just a few weeks before November 5, when voters decide on I-522, the ballot initiative that would mandate labels on all genetically modified food sold in grocery stores.
Opposition has been fierce; the No on 522 campaign has raised $17.2 million, a record for monies raised against a statewide initiative, according to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission. From the opposing war chest, $7.2 million came from the Grocers Manufacturers Association (GMA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing hundreds of food and beverage companies. But unlike the GMA-funded opposition to Prop 37, a similar initiative in California last year, the GMA-funded opposition to I-522 has been a mystery–until now. Read more
The tropical paradise of Kauai, Hawai’i has become ground zero for genetically modified organism (GMO) research and development (R&D) testing over the past decade. GMO giants Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF, and Dow AgroSciences dump over 18 tons of pre-diluted, restricted-use pesticides on Kauai annually with their R&D seed operations. Today, Kauai residents are fighting back with Bill 2491. Read more
GMOs–aka genetically modified organisms–weren’t on GMO OMG filmmaker Jeremy Seifert’s radar till he and his wife Jen became parents and assumed the awesome responsibility of nourishing three young children. How much genetically modified food were they unknowingly feeding their kids? Are these foods safe to eat? Are GM crops safe to grow? Read more
In June, Claire Herminjard, a purveyor of organic grassfed beef, received some great news. After nearly a year of making her way through red tape and government paperwork, and collaborating with several other food companies, the news broke that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had approved a new label for GMO-free meat. As a result, the owner of Northern California-based Mindful Meats could finally use the Non-GMO Project Verified label on her beef. Read more
In the wake of protests in the Philippines over genetically engineered Golden Rice, a series of articles have appeared in the U.S. mainstream press (e.g., the New York Times) and alternative publications like Slate and Grist, all coming to the vigorous defense of the latest incarnation of this wonder rice designed to prevent malnutrition. Through veiled and at times explicit condescension, the U.S. media consensus seems to be that opposition to this wonder rice is based on scientific ignorance: Why wouldn’t you want to address global malnutrition? Read more
Jon McGoran’s new novel, Drift, is an ecological thriller about a small farming community invaded by a genetic engineering-focused crime ring. A writer with several forensic crime books and mystery novels to his credit, McGoran also has deep connections to the food and farming community, having edited The Shuttle, a monthly newspaper published by Philadelphia’s Weavers Way Co-op, for 20 years. He’s now the editor-in-chief at Grid, a magazine about sustainability. Civil Eats sat down to talk with McGoran about a work of fiction based on timely, non-fiction facts. Read more
As reported in the New York Times, the prestigious World Food Prize was awarded this week to a trio of scientists who had important roles in the early development of crop genetic engineering. One, Robert Fraley, is at Monsanto, and another Mary-Dell Chilton, is with another seed giant, Syngenta. The third is European scientist Marc Van Montagu. Read more