Food

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

A raging public controversy over genetically engineered (GE) rice in China captured media attention in recent months, and has culminated in a surprising win. A few weeks ago, the country’s State Council released a new Draft Food Law1 that, if passed, would protect the genetic resources of China’s food crops and restrict the application of GE technology in its main food crops.

This is significant progress in the effort by farmers and campaigners in China and indeed across Asia to protect the genetic integrity, diversity and heritage of their rice.  

Pesticide Action Network's picture

On Wednesday, PAN joined the ever-growing Occupy movement in Oakland and the supermajority of Americans frustrated with corporate control of finances, homes and yes — food.

PAN and partners — including Californians for Pesticide Reform and Food & Water Watch — carved out a space among the thousands of concerned people gathered in Downtown Oakland to discuss the challenges posed by our corporate-controlled food and farming system.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

A staggering majority of Americans, 93% in fact, want to know when we're eating genetically engineered food. With up to 80% of the non-organic products on our shelves containing GE ingredients, and little-to-no long-term studies on their effects, we are concerned. 

Meanwhile much of the rest of the world — including Japan, Australia, the European Union and China — already requires genetically engineered foods to be clearly labeled, but in the U.S., biotech companies like Monsanto enjoy unfettered and unlabeled access to the market. The only sure way to know that a food product contains no GE components is to look for the organic seal.

Karl Tupper's picture

Apples and celery this week. Cilantro a couple back. Stories about pesticide residues on food are making the rounds again. After my umpteenth media call, a blog seemed in order.

As I told the LA Times, here's my basic response: "It’s the farmers, farmworkers and residents of rural communities who are really most at risk" from pesticides, not consumers. While these folks are exposed to pesticides from food like the rest of us, they also must contend with pesticide fumes drifting out of fields, exposure from working directly with pesticides, and pesticide-coated dust and dirt tracked into their homes from the fields. Tom Philpott, newly migrated to MotherJones, nails this topic.

Karl Tupper's picture

As we reported in last month's update of What's On My Food?, USDA's 2010 pesticide residue data has been mysteriously delayed for five months.

As we suspected, it seems the produce industry isn't happy with the way USDA has been presenting its annual public summary of the data, and has been pressuring the Department to make changes. In a letter sent to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last month, they charge that the annual report "has, in previous years, been mischaracterized repeatedly by environmental activists and news media to the extent that it has discouraged people from consuming fresh produce." Apparently "mischaracterized" is industry-speak for "brought to the attention of the public".