World War III in Hawaii Update: Maui GMO Ban Wins a Skirmish

As we reported in November, Maui residents successfully passed a ballot initiative banning new GMO crops in Maui County. The resolution passed by a slim margin, but Biotech giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences spent $8 million in a campaign to prevent the measure from passing. So while the margin of victory was small, the victory was HUGE! As soon it was obvious that the measure had been passed, Monsanto Hawaii filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the ban; and a preliminary injunction was granted by the court. Here in the second week of December, the grassroots organization in Hawaii called "SHAKA" has successfully filed a motion to become a party to the lawsuit Monsanto filed, and successfully moved the case to a different judge. The memorandum filed with the federal court appears to have been so compelling, that the existing judge, Judge Barry Kurren, really had no choice but to allow SHAKA to become a party to the lawsuit. Then they promptly booted Judge Kurren off the case. Kurren ruled earlier this year that county ordinances regulating GMO and pesticides on Kauai and the Big Island improperly preempted state law, which is probably why Monsanto and Biotech wanted him on this case as well. Read more about how getting SHAKA into this case is a victory for the people of Hawaii, for all of the U.S., and potentially for the rest of the world as well!

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.

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.

ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide

ALERT! Think you can avoid glyphosate by buying organic? Think again. A shocking new investigation by Tropical Traditions reveals that many products in the organic grain market in the U.S. contain glyphosate residue at levels almost the same as conventional grains.

New, More Toxic Breed of Genetically Engineered Crops Gain Approval

The United States now uses about 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides each year, and mounting research has linked pesticides to an array of serious health problems. What we need is not a new breed of chemical-resistant crops, but that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Big Processed Food Companies and GMO Seed Companies Spend Millions to Stop GMO Labeling

Voters in Oregon and Colorado will soon decide if genetically modified foods should be required to carry a label informing consumers that they are buying GMOs. If you live in either Oregon or Colorado, click on the appropriate Right to Know logo above to get more information. GMO seed companies and processed food companies have spent millions of dollars on negative campaigning in each of these two states to try and prevent these ballet measures from passing.

Organics Board to Review Rules for BPA, GMOs, and GMO Vaccines for Animals

The National Organic Standards Board will be meeting later this month to discuss and vote on fundamental issues that will determine the future of organic foods. They plan to research whether BPA in the packaging of organic food should be banned. They also will tackle cross-contamination of organic crops from GMO crops, and other thorny GMO issues. The deadline for comments is this week.