U.S. regulators for the first time are proposing limits on the planting of some genetically engineered corn to combat a voracious pest that has evolved to resist the bug-killing crops, a potential blow to makers of biotech seeds. The measures proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency represent a bold step to thwart the corn rootworm, a bug that ranks among the most expensive crop threats to U.S. corn farmers.
Brian Shilhavy, CEO of Tropical Traditions, sent a letter recently to Tropical Traditions customers explaining why the company has had so many of its products out of stock or back ordered at the beginning of 2015. Tropical Traditions found out in late 2014 that much of the USDA certified organic wheat supply in North America was contaminated with residues of the herbicide glyphosate. Tropical Traditions has been in the process of testing all of its products for the presence of glyphosate since that discovery. Besides organic wheat and other organic grains that were tested positive for glyphosate and removed from the Tropical Traditions product line, they also tested and found glyphosate present in organic flax seeds, organic hemp, and organic freeze-dried strawberries. Products containing those ingredients are no longer available on the Tropical Traditions websites. Tropical Traditions also announced that they will be phasing out the USDA organic certification on its products, and replacing it with their new Healthy Traditions logos.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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! 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.
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.