Today, six chemical companies control 63% of the seed market, and their combined R&D budgets are 15 times higher than all U.S. public spending on agricultural research. And with recently announced efforts to merge it’s about to get worse.
What the agrichemical industry is selling, we ain’t buying. Learn more at seedmatters.org and sign our letter for change. #SeedMatters
The hubris is alarming; but the more subtle element of the propaganda campaign is the biggest and most dangerous improbability of them all: that CRISPR and related technologies are “genome editing” (Fichtner et al., 2014). That is, they are capable of creating precise, accurate and specific alterations to DNA.
Douglas Gurian-Sherman, with the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit group that has campaigned against genetically engineered crops, says the lack of formal regulatory review of gene-edited crops is disturbing. For one thing, it makes it difficult to know exactly what’s been done to the crop. “The company can just keep its data to itself,” he says.
The issues of CRISPR and other related new “genome editing” biotechnologies are the subject of intense activity behind the scenes. The US Department of Agriculture has just explained that it will not be regulating organisms whose genomes have been edited since it doesn’t consider them to be GMOs at all. The EU was about to call them GMOs but the US has caused them to blink, meanwhile the US is in the process of revisiting its GMO regulatory environment entirely. Will future safety regulations of GMOs be based on a schoolboy version of genetics and an interpretation of genome editing crafted in a corporate public relations department? If history is any guide it will.
FINLAND, Minn. – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced today that the nonprofit consumer advocacy group has filed suit against two infant formula makers—The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), owner of the Earth’s Best infant and toddler formula brands, and The Honest Co.—for falsely labeling “organic” products that contain ingredients prohibited under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OPPA).
Dole knew of Listeria; feds launch criminal investigation
BY CORAL BEACH | APRIL 29, 2016
UPDATED CONTENT 6:37 p.m. EDT — The U.S. Department of Justice in investigating Dole in relation to the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, according to a news release posted on the company’s website.
“Dole has recently been contacted by the Department of Justice in connection with its own investigation, and we will be similarly cooperating with the DOJ to answer questions and address any concerns,” according to the company statement. The statement came today after Food Safety News published information from the Food and Drug Administration’s inspection reports on the Dole salad production facility in Springfield, OH.
Company officials knew the salad plant was contaminated with Listeria for a year and a half before they shut it down — then they only took action after the U.S. and Canadian governments traced a deadly outbreak to the facility.
Inspection reports (483) obtained by Food Safety News revealed the timeline of positive Listeria results and inaction. Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. finally suspended production at its salad plant in Springfield, OH, on Jan. 21 this year after a random test by state officials showed a bagged salad contained Listeria monocytogenes.
By that time, at least 33 people in the U.S. and Canada had been sickened with the same strain of Listeria as was found when Ohio inspectors tested the Dole salad they collected from a retailer. All 33 victims had such severe symptoms they required hospitalization. Four of them died.