GMO-free news from the Netherlands

2015-02-27 |

USA: GMO foods - What you need to know

Why is there so much fuss over genetically modified ingredients? This will help you sift through the facts.

Foods made with canola oil, corn, or soy often contain GMOs.

It’s a growing controversy: Should GMO foods always be labeled so consumers are aware that the product contains genetically modified ingredients?

GMOs—or genetically modified organisms—are created in a lab by altering the genetic makeup of a plant or an animal. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe that GMO foods—widely found in kitchens across the country—should be labeled before they’re sold, according to a recent nationally representative survey of 1,004 people from the Consumer Reports National Research Center. (Last year our tests discovered that GMOs were present in many packaged foods, such as breakfast cereals, chips, baking mixes, and protein bars.)

Demand for non-GMO foods has skyrocketed: In 2013, sales of non-GMO products that were either certified organic (by law, organic products can’t be made with GMO ingredients) or that carried the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal increased by 80 percent, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. It has prompted a growing number of companies to avoid using GMOs in new products or to voluntarily reformulate existing ones so that they can sport reliable non-GMO labels. PepsiCo, for example, sells Stacy’s Simply Naked bagel and pita chips with the Non-GMO Project Verified seal; General Mills, which introduced a non-GMO original Cheerios cereal early last year, also has the non-GMO product lines Cascadian Farm and Food Should Taste Good.

2015-02-27 |

USA: Federal GMO Labeling Legislation Re-Introduced

Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore)–joined by chef-lebrity Tom Colicchio–announced the reintroduction of The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, a federal bill that would mandate the labeling of foods or beverages containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

2015-02-27 |

GMO debate ensnares state apple industry

The debate over genetically modified organisms didn’t end in 2013, when this state’s voters narrowly rejected an initiative that would have required labels on GMO products.

2015-02-27 |

IGEN pilot program to demonstrate GMO transparency in dietary supplement supply chains

After two years of development work, Nutrasource is starting to talk about its IGEN (International Genetically modified Evaluation and Notification) program, with William Rowe, President and CEO, giving a presentation at 12pm on Friday, March 6th at the Marriott Hotel during Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.

2015-02-27 |

Hershey's pulls GMO ingredients from best-selling chocolate bars

Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars will start featuring 'simpler ingredients' this year, the company announced
It comes after pressure from anti-GMO activists, who claim the technology is environmentally suspect and a possible health threat

2015-02-26 |

GMO related trade: EU-US (TTIP), EU-Brasil and WTO

AMENDMENT 1 - 156 Draft opinion, Bart Staes, (PE544.393v01-00) on recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (2014/2228(INI))

B n. whereas the EU and US legislators have taken a very different approach as regards the regulation of genetically
modified organisms (GMOs): while in the EU, GMOs need to pass a risk analysis process prior to authorisation, regulators in the US allow them on the market without a distinct regulatory regime;

C f. Whereas European consumers are informed of the presence of GMOs in foodstuff thanks to mandatory labelling while in the US, the FDA recognises GMOs as "substantially equivalent" to
their non-GMO counterparts.

C g. Whereas several industry sectors representatives have called for the removal trough the regulatory convergence mechanisms of the EU zero tolerance policy for unauthorised GMOs in food and feed.

AMENDMENTS 157 - 314 Draft opinion Bart Staes (PE544.393v01-00) on recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (2014/2228(INI))

4. Agrees with Commissioner Malmström that there should not be a trade-off between the economic goals and the people's health, safety and the environment; agrees further with the
Commissioner that where Europe and the United States have very different rules, there will be no agreement, such as GMOs, the use of hormone in bovine sector, REACH and Cloning;

5. Calls on the Commission to exclude any terms in all the horizontal chapters and all the sectoral annexes of the TTIP that would affect the EU's integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on GMOs,

– the EU's integrated approach to food safety, including GMOs,

– European legislation on food safety and relating to GMOs,

– affect the EU’s integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on animal welfare and GMOs,

– affect the EU’s integrated approach to food safety, including EU legislation on GMOs and novel foods,

5 d. Calls the commission to make sure that TTIP do not lower the GMOs standards at EU and member states level: in this regards the GMO labelling system should be considered a non-negotiable instrument to ensure consumer's right to choose. Furthermore it urges EU negotiators to preserve the right of the
European legislators to introduce further regulations on OGMs products including those derived from animals (meat and dairy) fed with GMOs..

2015-02-25 |

Hershey's non-GMO pledge

Hershey’s has confirmed that as part of its commitment to simpler ingredients, its two iconic products will be non-GMO by the end of the year.

Green America Food Campaigns director Nicole McCann states: “We congratulate Hershey’s on this important move and great first step. As one of the leading chocolate companies in the US, this commitment will help move the rest of the companies in this sector. Hershey’s joins General Mills, Unilever, Post Foods and other leading companies in responding to consumer demand to make at least some of its products non-GMO.”

2015-02-25 |

Seed Libraries Fight for the Right to Share

It’s easy to take seeds for granted. Tiny dry pods hidden in packets and sacks, they make a brief appearance as gardeners and farmers collect them for future planting then later drop them into soil. They are not “what’s for dinner,” yet without them there would be no dinner. Seeds are the forgotten heroes of food—and of life itself.

Sharing these wellsprings of sustenance may sound innocuous enough, yet this increasingly popular exchange—and wider seed access—is up against a host of legal and economic obstacles. The players in this surreal saga, wherein the mere sharing of seeds is under attack, range from agriculture officials interpreting seed laws, to powerful corporations expanding their proprietary and market control.

Seed libraries—a type of agricultural commons where gardeners and farmers can borrow and share seed varieties, enriching their biodiversity and nutrition—have sprouted up across the U.S. in recent years, as more Americans seek connection to food and the land.

2015-02-25 |

Can Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Eliminate Dengue Fever? - Room for Debate

Is it safe and sensible to put genetically changed mosquitoes into the environment to fight disease?

2015-02-25 |

US ag groups press EU on 13 pending biotech approvals

A consortium of U.S. commodity, seed and biotech groups has passed a letter to the European Health & Food Safety Commissioner asking for quick approval of more than 13 new biotech products, some of which have been waiting for the EU's OK for more than a year.

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