Monsanto’s latest genetically engineered (GE) seeds are wreaking havoc this season in soybean country. “Xtend,” the corporation’s new GE soybean, is engineered to tolerate application of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba. The seed was approved in 2015, and now soybean farmers who did not adopt it are reporting damage to their crops from dicamba drift.
[Update: On July 7, the Senate voted to pass this latest version of the DARK Act. The House approved the bill on July 14. It is now headed to the President's desk.]
The fate of Monsanto's flagship herbicide in the European Union (EU) remains unclear. Earlier this week, the standing Committee on Plants, Animals Food and Feed declined to extend authorization for glyphosate sales in the region. The sales license is set to expire at the end of this month.
Earlier this month, France's health and safety agency announced plans to withdraw authorization of herbicides containing both glyphosate and the additive tallowamine. As reported by Reuters, a spokesperson for the agency said:
"It is not possible to guarantee that compositions containing glyphosate and tallowamine do not entail negative effects on human health."
Yesterday, the "Pollinator Protection Act" took a big step forward in the California legislature, moving closer to becoming state law. This is just one of many positive developments for bees in recent weeks.
In a surprise move earlier this week, European officials put a hold on continued use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's flagship herbicide RoundUp. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now well into its seventh year of reviewing the controversial chemical.
The European delay comes in the face of strong opposition to the proposed 15-year re-licensing agreement from Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is planning to introduce a bill that would block state rights to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.
More than 20 years after neonicotinoid pesticides hit the market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its first assessment of the impacts on honey bees. Looking at one neonic in isolation — Bayer's imidacloprid — the agency acknowledges some harm to bees. But it's still missing the big picture.
This week, federal agencies are accepting input on how the rules governing genetically engineered (GE) crops should be updated. The expansion of GE crops in the last 20 years has brought hundreds of millions of additional pounds of pesticides into U.S. fields, along with the development of herbicide-resistant "superweeds" and other problems for farmers.