GMO in the News

July 2016 -- President Obama signs a GMO labeling law.  Some people are calling it the DARK act - "Denying Americans the Right to Know."

 

President Obama signed bill S 764 that sets labeling standards for foods that contain GMOs.  This bill supersedes the laws the States are working on or have passed.

 

"One criticism is that the bill allowed companies to use QR codes or 1-800 numbers as a form of GMO labeling, forcing consumers to scan the code or make a call to get more information. That’s why some opponents are calling the bill the DARK Act, short for “Denying Americans the Right to Know,” and argue these alternative labels discriminate against low-income consumers who lack the technology to access off-label info. Others have criticized the bill because it isn’t as stringent as a piece of Vermont legislation that will now be superseded by the federal law. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was among the federal bill’s critics, and urged his Twitter followers to contact their senators about the bill earlier this month."  Quote from Fortune.com

 

"GMOs are estimated to be in the majority of our food, somewhere between 75% and 80%. The Food and Drug Administration has said that they are safe for consumption, but most consumers argue that, safe or not, they have the right to know exactly what is in their food. American companies say that it’s too expensive to add GMO labeling to their packaging, but former financial and food industry analyst Robyn O’Brien pointed to 64 countries where they are already required to include those labels." ibid

 

The Department of Agriculture now has two years to write up the labeling rules.

 

 

February 2016 -- Russia bans ALL corn and soybeans from the US because of GMO and other contamination: 

"Russia’s food safety regulator Rosselkhoznadzor just announced a complete ban starting February 15 on all US corn and soy imports. This is a huge blow to organic and GM farmers alike, though the ban will be instated due to genetically modified crop and microbial contamination."  Quotes from http://www.infowars.com/russia-bans-all-u-s-corn-and-soy-imports-due-to-gmo-contamination/

 

"Though the total exports to Russia from the US are small in comparison to soybean exports, totaling over $156 million in recent years, with Russia importing only 4,742 metric tons of U.S. corn, the ban will still hurt US farmers.

 

"Assistant Director of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Alexey Alekseenko said: 'Restrictions will be imposed on imports starting from February 15. They (the US) have to establish a system to ensure safety of products imported to Russia.'

 

"So, a combination of microbial disease and genetically mutated genes are both a concern for Russia, China, and multiple other countries who are refusing GM imports from the US." Ibid

 

 

January 2016 -- Campbell Soup Co becomes first large company to decide to label products with GMO content:

"Campbell Soup Co is to start disclosing the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all its U.S. products, becoming the first major food company to respond to growing calls for more transparency about ingredients in food."  Reuters 20160111

 

US companies have spent millions of dollars over the last several years fighting against laws that would require them to disclose the presence of GMO products in the food they sell.

 

"Companies such as PepsiCo Inc and Kellogg Co have resisted such calls and have spent millions of dollars to defeat GMO-labeling ballot measures in Oregon, Colorado, Washington and California, saying it would add unnecessary costs.

"The six biggest agrochemical and biotech seed companies - Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, BASF Plant Science and Syngenta - spent more than $21.5 million to help defeat a 2012 California labeling proposition, according to state election data."  Ibid

 

These companies really must not want you to know what products have GMO ingredients.  When I first read the Reuters article I wondered why PepsiCo was first on the list, then it hit me... corn syrup.  I have been trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup for years thinking I was safe with sugar, but a lot of the sugar in the US is made with sugar beets and a lot of them are genetically modified.  (That does not me that you should start using high fructose corn syrup.

When these companies start listing ingredients as GMO, I believe they will start switching to more non-GMO ingredients.  US farmers are going to have even a harder time selling their 2016 GMO crops than what they did in 2015.

 

"In 2014, however, Vermont became the first U.S. state to pass a law requiring food companies to label GMOs on their products, which will come into effect in July.

"About three quarters of Campbell's portfolio consisted of ingredients derived from GMOs, said Mark Alexander, president of Campbell's Americas Simple Meals and Beverages unit.

"Soybeans, sugar beets, canola and corn, the largest genetically engineered crops, are key ingredients in many Campbell soups and sauces."   Quotes from  Reuters 20160111

 

When I first read that three quarters of Campbell's products have GMO in them I was surprised,  but then when you consider that corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and canola are the largest GMO crops it is surprising that it is not more.  Campbells started making a line of kid's food GMO-free, which brought their GMO percentage down.  Now that they are going to start labeling their GMO products, I bet the percentage will drop even further.

 

December 2015 -- Philippine Government is challenging its highest court's decision to ban GMO soybean meal:

"The Supreme Court struck down a 2002 government regulation that allowed the import of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and imposed a temporary ban until new rules were formulated.

"The order will halt the Southeast Asian country's imports of soybean meal, which amount to around two million tonnes a year and mainly come from the United States. Nearly all of the imports of the animal feed are genetically modified."   Reuters 20151217

 

Two million tons a year of soybean meal going to one country...  Countries worldwide can at anytime ban a GMO product.  US farmers might think that they are safe because they have sold their product on the futures market, but where are they going to deliver, and who is going to pay that contract if the crop becomes banned?

 

"Markets have been sensitive to GMO issues in big Asian consumers. In November 2013, China began rejecting U.S. corn shipments saying they were tainted with a GMO Syngenta corn variety approved in the United States, but not in China. Beijing has since eased the restrictions.

The food industry in the Philippines is also raising alarm bells. "You would not have pork, chicken, and fish available in the market."  The fish they sell are fed soybean meal?

"Banning GMO soymeal imports would mean that Philippine buyers need to buy non-GMO supply which would be easily $80-$100 a tonne more expensive, said a Manila-based importer." Quotes from Reuters 20151217

 

$80 a ton more for the non-GMO product!  No wonder Vladimir Putin has told his countrymen to grow enough non-GMO crops to supply the world at the expense of the US.

 

December 2015 -- Vladamir Putin wants Russia to supply the world with GMO-free products:

Putin said in his address to the Russian Parliament: "We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing,"

"Ten years ago, we imported almost half of the food from abroad, and were dependent on imports. Now Russia is among the exporters. Last year, Russian exports of agricultural products amounted to almost $20 billion - a quarter more than the revenue from the sale of arms, or one-third the revenue coming from gas exports,"  Quotes were found on RT.com

Putin hopes to make up for the loss in revenue from oil by supplying the world with a healthy alternative to US's GMO products.  Read more about this:  Pending Landrace Seed Shortage               GardenSeeds website and Russia and non-GMO food

 

October 2015 -- EU Countries opt-out of using GMO products:

Nineteen out of the twenty-eight European Countries in the EU want to ban GMO products. "Although widely grown in the Americas and Asia, public opposition is strong in Europe and environmentalists have raised concerns about the impact on biodiversity."  Reuters 20151004

The following nineteen countries met the October 3, 2015 deadline to opt out of allowing GMO products in their countries, or specific regions in their countries:  Austria, Belgium for the Wallonia region, Britain for (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany (except for research), Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia.

 

April 2015 -- Chipotle announces that its restaurants are GMO-free:

"Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on Monday said the 46 ingredients used in its roughly 1,800 restaurants were now free of genetically modified organisms, becoming the first major U.S. restaurant chain to make that switch."

"GMO advocates have warned that producing foods that are not genetically engineered would increase costs. Chipotle, however, said its move did not result in significantly higher ingredient costs, and it did not raise prices as a result of going GMO-free." Reuters 20150427

As more companies switch to GMO-free the cost of GMO products will probably go down and the non-GMO products will go up. (There will be too many GMO products on the market and not enough non-GMO)

 

Garden Seeds website promotes Non GMO Seed Companies.  Heirloom seeds are non gmo by definition.  Check out our pages of Non GMO Seed Companies.