Reclaiming the future of food and farming

GMOs

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

The "Big 6" drifting to a farm near you

Two weeks ago, I was speaking to a roomful of specialty crop growers and organic farmers from Indiana. They were concerned about the pesticide drift that is expected to accompany the planting of Dow and Monsanto’s new herbicide-resistant corn and soybean seeds this spring. Presenting alongside me was Anita Poeppel of Broadbranch Farms, a family-owned and operated farm in north central Illinois.

Anita shared a message with her fellow growers: We need to be ready. If USDA allows these new GE seeds — that’ve been designed to be sprayed with highly toxic, drift-prone herbicides — onto the market, we are all going to be in a lot of trouble.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Paul Towers's picture

Syngenta’s next target: Jackson County, Oregon

Last week, Swiss-based pesticide corporation Syngenta dumped tens of thousands of dollars into a county election in Southern Oregon. Sound familiar? It should. Still reeling from their recent defeat in Kaua'i, Syngenta and the rest of the "Big 6" don’t want to lose any more fights around pesticides and GMOs.

But Oregononians are holding their ground. Led by a group of farmers dubbed Our Family Farms Coalition, these residents put an initiative on the ballot that would restrict the planting of genetically engineered crops. The vote will be on May 20.

Paul Towers
Pesticide Action Network's picture

New chance for GE labels in California

The effort to label genetically engineered food is heating up in California again. Legislation recently introduced by State Senator Noreen Evans would require GE labels on any food sold in grocery stores that's been produced using genetically engineered ingredients.

A strong majority of Californians support the idea. Even though the Prop 37 labeling initiative lost, independent polls both before and after the 2012 election showed that 67% of Californians supported the idea of state-mandated GE labels. These same polls found that 21% of all Californians who voted against Prop. 37 actually support mandatory GE labeling.

Pesticide Actio...
Paul Towers's picture

Seeds of hope in Kaua'i

“We are a united Kaua’i.” That’s what over 4,000 Hawaiians chanted as they marched across the Garden Island last week in the sweltering sun. The broad Pass the Bill coalition of physicians, teachers, hotel workers and farmers has continued to press for greater information around pesticide use. The issue is being hotly debated before the Kaua’i County Council, and the world’s largest pesticide-seed corporations are clearly not happy about it.

Despite repeated statements about the desire for compromise and unity, this handful of pesticide corporations and their front groups (e.g. the misleadingly named “Save Kauai Farms”) have rejected any proposals that meet community concerns. They’ve refused to provide information about the pesticides they use on the island's test fields, or to consider no-spray zones around sensitive locations like schools.

Paul Towers
Pesticide Action Network's picture

The Big 6 bring big money to labeling fight

Here we go again. With November's election on the horizon, the world's largest pesticide and biotech corporations are investing heavily to defeat Washington state's GE labeling ballot initiative. Topping the list of opponents, Monsanto gave $4.6 million to the "No on 522" campaign earlier this month. And last week, DuPont gave $3.2 million.

Bayer and Dow — also among the "Big 6" pesticide corporations — have contributed significant funds to defeat the initiative, too. And as we know from last year's labeling battle in California, the corporate cash is likely to keep pouring in.

Pesticide Actio...
Zen Honeycutt's picture

Guest blog: Moms step up for GMO labeling

Moms Across America was born when I realized it was time to stop wishing I could do something about GMOs and just start doing it. Deeply inspired by Robyn O'Brien's Patriotism on a Plate TED talk about food and health and Pamm Larry's efforts to get Prop 37 on the ballot in California, I realized it was time for me to step up and make a difference too.

I connected with fellow mom and co-founder Kathleen Hallal, the California State Grange and the folks at LabelGMOs.org to create a national volunteer coalition of unstoppable moms pressing for GMO labeling. This 4th of July, moms will be marching for GMO labeling in 156 parades (so far!) in towns across the country. Please join us!

Zen Honeycutt
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

First ever long-term study on GE food health effects

Very big news exploding across the papers yesterday. Eating genetically engineered (GE) corn has been strongly linked to serious health effects — including mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage. A team of European scientists yesterday released the first independent long-term animal feeding study of its kind on the health effects of eating GE foods in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. 

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Bitter Seeds

The tragic true story of the failure of GE technology in India has been told in a powerful new documentary by Micha Peled. Bitter Seeds — now showing at the San Francisco International Film Festival — details the predicament of central Indian cotton farmers, trapped in Monsanto's genetically modified seed scheme.

Farmers, refused loans by legitimate banks, borrow from illegal moneylenders at exorbitant interest rates in order to purchase Monsanto's expensive GE cotton seeds.

Pesticide Actio...
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Kathryn Gilje's picture

Chile stands up to Monsanto

On March 21, the Chilean Transparency Council stood with its citizenry against Monsanto and other global seed corporations to protect Chileans' right to know about genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The Council's decision ensures that farmers, beekeepers and rural residents can find out exactly where GE crops are planted — basic information that is critically important as they seek to protect their farms, apiaries and families from toxic pesticide drift and contamination by pollen from GE plants.

Kathryn Gilje
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

China puts the brakes on GE rice

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.  

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman

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