News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.

China Continues to Reject U.S. GMO Crops, Hurting U.S. Exports

Earlier in 2014 we reported how China had rejected over 1.45 million tons of U.S. corn because it was found to contain a variety of genetically modified corn that is not approved in China. Much of that corn export product went to Brazil instead, as the U.S. continues to lose exports abroad due to its biotech policies of not labeling GMOs. Now, the U.S. is losing another huge export crop from America: hay. China is taking a tough stance on GMO alfalfa, which means the United States loses yet another major export agricultural product to China in hay, a livestock feed.

Investigation: Largest Factory Farms Producing USDA Certified “Organic” Milk and Eggs

In what has been called one of the largest fraud investigations in the history of the organic industry, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, announced filing formal legal complaints against 14 industrial livestock operations producing milk, meat and eggs being marketed, allegedly illegally, as organic. After years of inaction by the USDA, Cornucopia contracted for aerial photography in nine states, from West Texas to New York and Maryland, over the past eight months. What they found confirmed earlier site visits: a systemic pattern of corporate agribusiness interests operating industrial-scale confinement livestock facilities providing no legitimate grazing, or even access to the outdoors, as required by federal organic regulations.

The Microbiota Crisis: How the Herbicide Glyphosate is Killing Microbiomes

The results of a new study confirm many recent works showing glyphosate can wreak havoc in a mammal's intestine, affecting the microbiome. This epidemic is threatening the entire food system in the United States.

Rice Revolution: Non-GMO Super Strains Developed in Asia Require no Pesticides and Can Feed the World’s Poor

After 15 years of testing and implementation across the planet, “Green Super Rice,” developed jointly by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, is beginning to have a dramatic effect on crop yields. The target is to have 20 million hectares under cultivation in another 10 years, according to Dr Jauhar Ali, a senior scientist and regional project coordinator at IRRI in Los Banos, south of Manila. It is in effect another green revolution with the potential to make an enormous contribution to feeding the world’s poor in Asia and Africa. The ability to grow rice without pesticides or fertilizers, besides saving farmers money, is enormously important for the environment. Asia is becoming the dominant source of nitrogen pollution, producing as much as the rest of the world’s nations combined, particularly in the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas. Pesticide pollution is equally bad.

Largest International Study into Safety of GMO Food Launched by Russian NGO

A Russian group working with scientists is set to launch what they call the world’s largest and most comprehensive long-term health study on a GM food. The $25m three-year experiment will involve scientists testing thousands of rats which will be fed differing diets of a Monsanto GM maize and the world’s most widely-used herbicide which it it is engineered to be grown with. The organisers of the Factor GMO [genetically modified organism] study, announced in London (recently) and due to start fully next year, say it will investigate the long-term health effects of a diet of a GM maize developed by US seed and chemical company Monsanto. “It will answer the question: is this GM food, and associated pesticide, safe for human health?” said Elena Sharoykina, a campaigner and co-founder of the Russian national association for genetic safety (Nags), the co-ordinator of the experiment.

The Glyphosate Contamination of Organic Food: An Update

Health Impact News recently announced the result of an investigation by Tropical Traditions that revealed that many products in the organic grain market in the U.S. contain glyphosate residue at levels almost the same as conventional grains. In an effort to provide clean food free from glyphosate and GMO contamination, Tropical Traditions continues to test USDA certified organic products to determine which products may be contaminated. In this report we reveal which additional organic products have been tested, and what the results of those tests were.

Monsanto Sues Maui on GMO Ban Approved by Citizens

As we reported earlier this month, Maui's voter-resolved ban on GMOs in their county has met with opposition from the well-funded biotech industry. Monsanto and others have challenged the voter resolution in court, and the county has agreed to delay the ban until all legal challenges are resolved.

USDA Power Play Threatens the Future of Organic Foods

Last week saw an inter-agency power grab. It begins with the weakening of organic standards—and could end with the term “organic” becoming practically meaningless. Action Alert! Tell the USDA to use a public and transparent process for all major changes to organic standards by publishing proposed changes in the Federal Register, and actively seeking public input and discussion. In addition, tell the USDA to enforce the sunset provision of the OFPA as it was originally intended—allowing synthetic products to remain after their “sunset” date only after public debate and a two-thirds vote of the NOSB. More than 100 synthetics will be up for sunset consideration in 2015. We must act now to protect the integrity of organics.

Victory! Hawaii Leads Nation on Banning GMO Crops

This week's elections saw two victories regarding banning GMOs in the United States. A ballot measure in Maui County, Hawaii that calls for a ban on GMO crops passed by a slim margin this week. But while the margin was slim, the victory was HUGE, because it followed an $8 million campaign against it by Biotech giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences. The GMO industry sees Hawaii as a rich region to develop new GMO crops. The amount of money spent to defeat the GMO ban initiative was the largest amount ever spent on a political campaign in the history of Hawaii, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. And they lost. Maui consumers won. Well done Maui. In another election victory this week for Food Freedom, Humboldt County in California passed a County Measure "prohibiting the propagation, cultivation, raising or growing of GMOs in Humboldt County."

Gluten Intolerance and the Herbicide Glyphosate: A National Epidemic

Harvard educated Dr. Martin Michener, PhD, explains why the modern increase in gluten sensitivities, as well as a host of other diseases, are related to the harming of our gut microbiome due to increases in glyphosate from our food. He explains the widespread problem it is causing combined with other toxins in our environment, such as aluminum, and offers some practical solutions to help reduce toxic exposure.