Australian Commission:
Lift GMO ban

Unknown quantity: Marketing benefits claimed by GM-free states are irrelevant given evidence that GM and non-GM crops can coexist, the report says.
Unknown quantity: Marketing benefits claimed by GM-free states are irrelevant given evidence that GM and non-GM crops can coexist, the report says.

According to NATALIE KOTSIOS, The Weekly Times, a new Productivity Commision report argues that all moratoriums on genetically modified crops should be scrapped as there in “no justification” for the bans. It seems that Australia is going through some of the same hard questions that the U.S. are regarding individual states making laws regarding GMOs vs. national laws. In Australia, territories can make their own laws regarding GMOs. The commission recommends taking away this power to foster a “nationally consistent system”. Read Natalie’s article.

Reality Check – 7 Myths

Love debunking myths? Check out aplus.com for more Reality Check!
Love debunking myths? Check out aplus.com for more Reality Check!

Lisa Winter @lisa831 debunks 7 popular GMO myths. 

  1. GMO foods aren’t nutritious.
  2. GMO crops will cause cancer, asthma, and other diseases
  3. Other countries have banned GMOs, so the U.S. should, too
  4. Farmers are unable to save seeds from GMO crops to use the next year.
  5. GMOs are unnecessary.
  6. Non-GMO foods are better because they don’t use pesticides.
  7. If GMOs are safe, there’s no reason to oppose labeling.

Check out Lisa’s reality check.

Kosher Foods Go Missing in Vermont

Demand off for Kosher foods in Vermont. Supermarket (illustration)Hadas Parush/Flash 90)
Supermarket (illustration)Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

The Burlington Free Press reports that some Kosher foods have been pulled from shelves in Vermont supermarkets. Evidently, there is not enough demand in Vermont (there are less than 20,000 Jews in Vermont) to prompt producers to comply with the labeling law. Recently, the House passed a GMO labeling law that is expected to be signed into law by the President. Read the whole story here.

The Future of Food

© Kirsty Pargeter | Dreamstime Stock Photos
© Kirsty Pargeter | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The fight over the future of food is here, according to Lauren Hepler in this article for GreenBiz. We are at a precarious crux in history. Given the increasing population, difficulty finding farm labor, and climate change, we seem to be on a collision course with hunger. However, there are tools that can make a difference, from GMOs to robot harvesters. The public, government, and agribusiness are facing off in this struggle over labeling and GMOs.

House Signs Labeling Bill

The GMO labeling bill has been passed onto the President’s office, who is expected to sign it into law. It has been a long discussion, the battle lasting the last seven years. Most believe that this is a good thing, despite the fact that it is seen by some as a blocker of sorts to state regulations that might have been more restrictive and not rely on the potential use of QR codes.

“What today really means is that we’ve left the legislative period of this battle after seven years and moved into the regulatory and marketplace phase of it, which was where it was always headed anyway,” said Gary Hirshberg, a founder of Just Label It, a coalition that advocates labeling.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Hirshberg, right, at the Capitol in 2015, with Senator Richard Blumenthal, left, and Senator Pat Leahy. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Hirshberg, right, at the Capitol in 2015, with Senator Richard Blumenthal, left, and Senator Pat Leahy.
Credit
Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Read the entire story here.

Florida Lab Accredited for GMO Testing

In this article for the Bradenton Herald, Janelle O’Dea talks about SRQ Bio’s recent ISO certification to do GMO testing in it’s Sarasota facility. This is news likely to be repeated across the nation as labs come on board with the science required to carry out certified testing. It’s one thing to mandate labeling and testing (89% of Americans favor the mandate, according to the Mellman Group), but quite another to put in place the necessary resources to carry out said tests. I believe it will be important to have these (certified) resources locally throughout the country to expedite testing, especially since some of our trading partners require it as well. SRQ Bio tests human food, pet food, and cosmetics as well.

Ghania Ait-Ghezala, SRQ Bio’s technical director for GMO testing stands in front of SRQ Bio’s GMO-testing lab, which is certified under an international standard to conduct the tests. Janelle O’Dea jodea@bradenton.com
Ghania Ait-Ghezala, SRQ Bio’s technical director for GMO testing stands in front of SRQ Bio’s GMO-testing lab, which is certified under an international standard to conduct the tests. Janelle O’Dea jodea@bradenton.com

Read more here