Tuesday, December 23, 2014


December 19, 2014 4:30 pm  •  By CAREY GILLAM Reuters

KANSAS CITY • More than half of food tested by the U.S. government last year for pesticide residues showed detectable levels of pesticides, though almost all were within levels the government considers to be safe, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA looked at fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as well as infant formula, apple juice and other products.

Before allowing a pesticide to be used on a food commodity, the Environmental Protection Agency sets “tolerance levels” for how much of a pesticide can remain in the food that reaches the consumer.

The USDA’s sampling is designed to help ensure that pesticide residues are kept within those tolerance levels.

As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the world’s most widely used herbicide.

A USDA spokesman who asked not to be identified said that the test measures required for glyphosate (RoundUp) were “extremely expensive … to do on an regular basis.”

Concerns about glyphosate and other pesticide residues on food have been a hot topic of debate in the United States recently, and contributed to the passage of the country’s first mandatory labeling law for foods that are genetically modified, in Vermont earlier this year.
Other states are pursuing similar labeling laws. Some local governments have also been trying to rein in pesticide use on food due to health concerns.

Many genetically modified crops can be sprayed directly with glyphosate, and some consumer and health groups fear glyphosate residues in foods are harmful to human health, even though the government says the pesticide is considered safe.

Last year, Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co., the developer of Roundup, requested and received EPA approval for increased tolerance levels for glyphosate.

The USDA said that for the pesticides that it did test for, 99 percent of the samples showed residue levels within tolerance levels. It said “over 40 percent” showed no detectable pesticide residue, and residues exceeding tolerance levels were seen in only 23 samples out of 9,990.

Additionally, residues of pesticides with no established tolerances were found in 301 samples, USDA said.

Of the total samples analyzed, there were 8,526 fresh and processed fruit and vegetable samples, 356 infant formula samples, 756 butter samples, and 352 salmon samples. There were also 14 groundwater samples and 100 drinking water samples, taken, USDA said.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

GMO News - December 2014

Florida Mayor Calls For GMO Free Vending Machines

The Inquisitr - ‎1 hour ago‎
Peter Bober, the mayor of Hollywood, Florida, has passed a new mandate that will require all of the 45 vending machines that the city owns to offer GMO free choices. The mandate will also require those vending machines to include healthier offerings ...

Monsanto Is Pretty Much Eliminated From Russia After Country Officially Bans ...

The Inquisitr - ‎Dec 20, 2014‎
The results come from a lengthy battle, starting when Monsanto filed suit against the Hawaiian county after the GMO ban was voted in.

5 GMO food myths dispelled

FoodNavigator-USA.com - ‎Dec 19, 2014‎
All the rhetoric for and against genetically modified organisms voiced leading up to November when several states voted on GMO labeling initiatives can make it difficult to understand exactly what genetic engineering is, let alone the benefits and ...


UPDATE 2-China officially approves imports of Bayer GMO soy variety

Reuters - ‎Dec 19, 2014‎
Beijing has been taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops amidst growing consumer sentiment against GMO food in China and concerns amongst some government officials about excessive dependence on U.S. food supplies. The delay has ...

Farmers get hate mail, harassment for opposing GMO labels

Statesman Journal - ‎22 hours ago‎
When they did, they were called shameful sellouts, received hate mail, and endured abuse most of us can only imagine,” said Barry Bushue, president of the Oregon Farm Bureau.

Jackson County holds off enforcement of GMO ban

Washington Times - ‎Dec 19, 2014‎
The county has countered that the Legislature recognized the validity of the ban when it gave Jackson County an exception to a statewide prohibition on GMO laws. The county has also argued that the farmers assumed the risk of a potential ban when they ...

Technology is ready for synthetic foods. Are you?

The Guardian - ‎Dec 17, 2014‎
San Francisco-based Solazyme, manufacturer of Ecover's new cleaning agent, also sells into Sephora's beauty line. And Unilever announced in April that it was using Solazyme oils in its popular Lux soaps, skipping any reference to GMOs or synbio ...

Will synbio foods win over consumers?

Genetic Literacy Project - ‎Dec 18, 2014‎
Despite this queasiness over heavily modified food (a recent New York Times poll found more than 90 percent of Americans want GMOs labeled), a new era of so-called “extreme” genetic engineering is already dawning in grocery aisles. While genetically ...

These Three Companies For Babies Have GMOs In Their Baby Formula

The Inquisitr - ‎Dec 18, 2014‎
Thanks to the tight-knit community supporting organic foods and farming, the general public is learning more of the fallacies of genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Once believed to be the answer to possible food shortages to a rapidly growing ...

Video: Clearing the confusion over GMOs and hormones in milk

Genetic Literacy Project - ‎Dec 19, 2014‎
In visiting with her professor about her chosen topic, Kaley was told that although her teacher didn't know much about GMOs, she refused to feed her daughter “GMO-milk” because the “hormones would cause her to reach early onset puberty.” Wait, what?

California Cities Cannot Ban GMOs

KCET - ‎Dec 16, 2014‎
Last Monday, the Los Angeles City Council met to vote on whether the city should ban the selling and planting of GMO plants, the argument being that they may be possibly unfit for consumption and theoretically harm the biodiversity of the area.

Hawaii County Officials Will Appeal Monsanto Court Ruling

The Inquisitr - ‎Dec 18, 2014‎
However, some questions have been raised about the judge who may have Monsanto ties through his wife. This, along with the type of political and financial pressure that Monsanto wields, has called into question whether Judge Kurren was able to be ...