GMO news related to the United States

09.10.2018 |

What is Non-GMO? What are genetically modified foods?

Non-GMO means non-genetically modified organisms. GMOs (genetically modified organisms), are novel organisms created in a laboratory using genetic modification/engineering techniques. Scientists and consumer and environmental groups have cited many health and environmental risks with foods containing GMOs.

As a result of the risks, many people in the United States and around the world are demanding “non-GMO” foods. We have created an ebook offering our top 13 tips for buying organic food to help keep your family safe and healthy.

08.10.2018 |

The world is against them: new era of cancer lawsuits threaten Monsanto

A landmark verdict found Roundup caused a man’s cancer, paving the way for thousands of other families to seek justice

Dean Brooks grasped on to the shopping cart, suddenly unable to stand or breathe. Later, at a California emergency room, a nurse with teary eyes delivered the news, telling his wife, Deborah, to hold out hope for a miracle. It was December 2015 when they learned that a blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) was rapidly attacking the man’s body and immune system.

By July 2016, Dean was dead. Deborah gets emotional recounting the gruesome final chapter of the love of her life. But in recent months, she has had reason to be hopeful again.

In an historic verdict in August, a jury ruled that Monsanto had caused a man’s terminal cancer and ordered the agrochemical corporation to pay $289m in damages. The extraordinary decision, exposing the potential hazards of the world’s most widely used herbicide, has paved the way for thousands of other cancer patients and families to seek justice and compensation in court.

03.10.2018 |

New Study Shows Roundup Kills Bees

Glyphosate targets undesired weeds—as well as honeybees

The most widely sprayed herbicide in the world kills honeybees, according to a new report.

Glyphosate, an herbicide and active ingredient in Monsanto’s (now Bayer’s) Roundup weed killer, targets enzymes long assumed to be found only in plants. The product is advertised as being innocuous to wildlife. But some bacteria also use this enzyme, including a microbiome found in the intestines of most bees. When pollinators come in contact with glyphosate, the chemical reduces this gut bacteria, leaving bees vulnerable to pathogens and premature death.

“The bee itself has no molecular targets from glyphosate,” Nancy Moran, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin and a coauthor of the study, told Environmental Health News. “But its gut bacteria do have targets.”

Moran and other scientists liken glyphosate exposure to taking too many antibiotics—and upsetting the balance of good bacteria that supports immunity and digestion.

“We all know that glyphosate is an antibiotic. It’s very toxic to bacteria. It’s even patented as an antibiotic,” says Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But very few researchers have actually dived into this issue. The good thing is, that’s starting to change.”

26.09.2018 |

The man who beat Monsanto: 'They have to pay for not being honest'

A jury ruled the agrochemical company caused Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. He tells the Guardian he wants to use the victory to make a difference while he still can

Dewayne Johnson looks on after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto. A California jury ordered the company to pay $289m to the former school groundskeeper dying of cancer.

Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying.

Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live, but he doesn’t like to dwell on death. These days, he has an easy distraction – navigating the international attention on his life.

The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller and prompted regulatory debates across the globe.

Johnson, who never imagined he would be known as “dying man” in dozens of news headlines, is still processing the historic win.

21.09.2018 |

Patented Plants: Who Owns Our Global Seed Supply?

At the Non-GMO Project, we believe that by encouraging a non-GMO seed supply, we are supporting the restoration of traditional seed breeding and the right of farmers to save and plant their own seeds and grow varieties of their choice. It’s one of our most important principles. But why do we need to restore these traditional farming practices in the first place? One important reason is that some of agriculture’s biggest corporations use patents to control how farmers grow crops.

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But What about Patents on Non-GMO Seeds?

Non-GMO seeds can be patented too. The key differences are the number of patents and the degree to which those patents impact large-scale agriculture. Some of the most commonly-patented non-GMO plants are actually flowers, not food. Meanwhile, some GMO-producing corporations hold more than thousands of patents (search here to explore these patents), and they hold them on major commodity crops such as soy and corn.

Do we really want to live in a world where we depend on just a couple companies for the whole world’s seed supply?

At the Non-GMO Project, we do not. We do, however, want to live in a world where individual farmers have the power to collect, crossbreed, and save their own seeds.

17.09.2018 |

US synbio firm Intrexon investigated for securities fraud

Share price falls for firm that owns GM mosquitoes, salmon, and apples

US synbio firm Intrexon, which owns GMO mosquitos, salmon and apples, is being investigated by lawyers for securities fraud.

The law firm Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of Intrexon Corporation. The investigation concerns whether Intrexon and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices.

On August 9, 2018, Intrexon announced that it would restate the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements included in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. Intrexon advised investors that the restatement was the result of incorrect application of certain aspects of Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. According to the company, "these errors have resulted in an overstatement of deferred revenue and accumulated deficit by approximately $67 million as of the adoption date."

14.09.2018 |

Bayer May Face Next Roundup Cancer Trial Sooner Than Planned

By Bloomberg -- Bayer AG isn’t counting on another trial over its Roundup herbicide until February, but an elderly couple who say exposure to the weed killer gave them cancer has other ideas.

Among some 8,700 people who blame their cancer on Bayer’s recently acquired Monsanto unit, the couple is asking to go to the front of the line to present their case to a jury in December “before they die.”

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“A number of trials are currently scheduled beginning in February 2019, but may be subject to change,” Bauman said during the call. “So the bottom line -- there is no further case that is going to be tried for the remainder of the year.”

What’s Next in Court for Bayer Crop-Chemical Claims: QuickTake

Monsanto is fighting to postpone the Pilliod couple’s trial in state court in Oakland, California, arguing that they haven’t met the requirements for expedited scheduling.

A spokesman for Monsanto didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the couple’s request for an expedited trial.

Separately, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, who is handling all the Roundup cases in federal court, said he wants to schedule the first four trials for the spring of 2019.

The Oakland case is Pilliod v. Monsanto Company, RG17862702, California Superior Court for the County of Alameda. The federal case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

12.09.2018 |

Gene-edited organisms in agriculture: Risks and unexpected consequences

In the U.S., companies are racing to incorporate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) produced using new genetic engineering

technologies such as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) and other “gene editing” (or “genomeediting”) techniques into our food system with little to no oversight and public disclosure, despite scientific research that is demonstrating the potential for significant unintended consequences.

09.09.2018 |

Business: ‘Free-From’ Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced

General Mills Inc. spent five years and built a special eight-story sorting facility to get rid of an ingredient that wasn’t in its cereal.

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Dannon Cows

“Americans increasingly want to know what’s in the products they buy and how they’re made,” said Sergio Fuster, president of the U.S. yogurt division for Danone’s North American unit.

The maker of Dannon yogurt began reaching out to farmers eight years ago to identify ways to source non-genetically modified feed for cows. Since then, more than 65,000 acres of farmland have been converted to source the feed needed by the dairies, including grass and alfalfa, said Fuster.

The company’s Danimals brand, almost entirely transitioned to non-GMO, is among its best performers. Dannon’s market share in the kids segment grew by a third in the past three years to reach 41 percent in 2017.

Butterball sells organic and antibiotic-free products and recently expanded its all-natural products including turkey bacon, sausage and burgers to lure customers outside of the holidays, when demand for its poultry usually peaks.

22.08.2018 |

Carey Gillam and Nathan Donley: A story behind the Monsanto Cancer Trial — Journal sits on retraction

What "ghostwriting" by Monsanto means, how it has influenced, and still is influencing, material found in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Consumers and journalists around the world were stunned earlier this month when Monsanto, after being forced in a court of law for the first time to defend the safety of its popular weed killer Roundup, was found liable for the terminal cancer of California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson.

The unanimous 12-member jury found that Mr. Johnson's exposure to Monsanto's weedkiller was a "substantial" contributing factor to his disease and that there was "clear and convincing" evidence that Monsanto acted with "malice or oppression" because the risks were evident and Monsanto failed to warn of those known risks.

Aside from dueling expert testimony on both sides, the jury was provided with internal company emails and work plans indicating that Monsanto had been corrupting the scientific record by ghostwriting literature asserting safety.

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