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May 13th, 2013

Busy Few Days for Biotech Food Watchers

By Patty Lovera

Read the report, “Monsanto: A Corporate Profile”

If you’re following what Monsanto’s up to these days, it’s a truly mixed bag. Today, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a farmer had infringed on Monsanto’s patent by saving biotech seeds and replanting them. The farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, was ordered to pay Monsanto $84,000. Thus, Monsanto’s bullying of farmers who don’t play by their rules continues.

The good news? Last Friday, the USDA announced that it would be doing environmental impact statements for crops tolerant to dicamba and 2,4-D—the chemical that Monsanto and Dow, respectively, are seeking to commercialize to deal with superweeds that have evolved to become tolerant of applications of Roundup. The industry currently estimates that at least 60 million acres of crops are now resistant to at least one herbicide.

This more rigorous review of the chemicals is good news and shows that the USDA can be pressured to do the right thing if enough people speak up.

The USDA received over 400,000 petitions against Dow’s applications to deregulate 2,4-D corn and soybeans, and 500 individual comments and 31,000 letters on Monsanto’s petition to deregulate dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Food & Water Watch supporters submitted more than 50,000 comments opposing the approval of these crops.

This delay in commercialization is a victory for people concerned about industrial agriculture. So far, the Department has failed to address the critical need for a new approach to evaluating biotech crops and the chemical use that accompanies them. To fully address all of the environmental impacts of crops engineered to withstand applications of harsher herbicides, USDA must also review the evolution of superweeds that become resistant in droves to any and all herbicides matched with these biotech crops and the danger posed to the environment, farmer and farm worker health and neighboring crops that could be damaged by drift.

Finally, stay tuned tomorrow for the release of our new report that analyzes State Department diplomatic cables between 2005 and 2009. You’ll be interested to see how many times the name Monsanto comes up in official State Department communications about biotech crops.

5 Comments on Busy Few Days for Biotech Food Watchers

  1. eunice says:

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!!! THANK YOU TIMES 100^24TH!

  2. Anthony Andaloro says:

    I am a Viet Nam Veteran with extreme Agent orange exposure. I have many medical problems from exposure. Stop using this chemical. It is not safe.

  3. I am VERY UPSET at the thought of AGENT ORANGE being used on our food. My husband was in the Air Force and we lived on base where they sprayed this——–and I lost 3 babies. I am still sick and will be for the rest of my life.

  4. william doran says:

    I do not trust the FDA they are just going to wait a few months then they will ask for more money from the Monsanto bunch and then they will approve it. It is a joke that they want us to believe that our vote counts and to call this country a democracy. No one should be poisoned in this country just so corporate agribusiness can make a few billion more each year.If stock holders did not ask for more profit each year this might not happen but they don’t care who dies they will never eat the shit they make their money on that’s for the poor bastard who works for them.

  5. william doran says:

    If the small organic farmer was to get the subsidies that the big 6 000 arc farmers in Iowa gets, then our families could be eating good food that really builds cells in the body and then they could afford this good food. But the government subsidies are only for the guy who paid his congressman to get it.They want us to die early before we can get even one dam Social Security check, feed them monsantos junk then drug hell out of them and hope they die around 55 because at that point they have used you up.

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