The Organic Consumers Association announced that it has sued Smithfield Foods for falsely advertising Smithfield pork products as the “safest” U.S. pork products. In the complaint, OCA alleges that on numerous occasions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture testing of Smithfield pork has detected pathogens that are “commonly associated with human illness” and resistant to antibiotics. This makes the products far less than the “safest possible” in the U.S., according to OCA. The suit also alleges that many disease strains detected in Smithfield products have been found to be resistant to antibiotics that are designated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as “highly important” or even “critically important” for human health. OCA also alleges that Smithfield employs production practices that result in less safe conditions and products, including crowded conditions, the use of potentially carcinogenic drugs and rapid slaughter methods.
In appeals court in Lyon, France has upheld a 2012 ruling against Monsanto, in which the agribusiness giant was found guilty of the chemical poisoning a farmer named Paul François. The grain grower said that in 2004 he became ill due to Monsanto’s weedkiller, Lasso. François claimed he suffered from neurological problems, memory loss, headaches and stammering after inadvertently inhaling the herbicide. In François’ case, doctors determined the cause of his ill health was monochlorobenzene, a highly toxic substance that made up 50 percent of Monsanto’s herbicide, according to teleSUR.
Researchers from Iowa State University published the results of a study in which it was revealed that RT and Sputnik released more articles including the word “GMO” than the old-timers of the American media industry – Huffington Post, Fox News, CNN, Breitbart News and MSNBC – put together. The study was conducted by Associate Professor of Sociology Shawn Dorius and Associate Professor of the Department of Agronomy Caroline Lawrence-Dill. The scientist’s laboratory, according to Sustainable Pulse, is partly funded by the National Association of Corn Producers (NCGA). NCGA is a lobbyist for genetically modified crops. Russian TV channel does not campaign against biotechnology companies; “RT does not conduct any campaign against GMO products. We regularly cover this topic, as it worries our international audience. Following the motto of Question More, we tell viewers what the mainstream media does not say. This is what the results of the study by the American scientists confirms.”
By the Organic Consumers Association. Now that we’re so close to our first big GMO labeling victory—Vermont's mandatory labeling law scheduled to take effect July 1—Monsanto is going with the only strategy it has left to block it: a Senate version of the DARK Act. Roberts’ Senate bill is not identical to H.R. 1599, or what we refer to as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. But it aims to accomplish the same thing: block states from passing mandatory GMO labeling laws. If Roberts' bill makes it through the Senate, either as is, or with a "compromise" that involves delaying the implementation of Vermont's law, mandatory labeling will die.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Flush The TPP. President Obama will make his push for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a major part of the State of the Union as this is a major goal of his final year in office. This is an opportunity for a widespread discussion of the TPP and what impacts it will have on the economy, workers, the environment and more. Just yesterday the World Bank published a comprehensive analysis of the TPP and concluded that by 2030 the TPP will have a miniscule 0.4% impact on US trade. The economic impact for the United States is minimal but the impact on workers, the environment, food safety, traditional energy and the overall balance between corporate power and government is dramatic. The president’s claims about the TPP should be examined closely and measured against the facts of what the TPP will actually do and the impact similar trade agreements have had. We know from past comments by the president and the US Trade Representative that their sales pitch for the TPP is not always consistent with the facts.
By Ocean Robbins for the Food Revolution Network. In phenomenal and ground-breaking news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced that it is revoking the registration of the controversial chemical Enlist Duo. This is a huge set-back for the GMO industry. Enlist Duo is the super-toxic herbicide (a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D) that is designed to be sprayed on Dow Chemical’s genetically-engineered corn (and soy), widely referred to in the organic industry as Agent Orange Corn. The EPA recognized that the two active ingredients in Enlist Duo could result in greater toxicity to non-target plants, and issued a ruling that may effectively end the threat of Agent Orange Corn. But, at the very same time, Monsanto, Dow, and their special interest friends have unveiled a new, sneaky approach to hide information about GMOs. Recognizing that the “Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK)” act that they pushed through the U.S. Congress is likely dead in the Senate, they're offering a "compromise" piece of legislation. It would require GMO labels on food products, but ONLY if they're hidden in QR codes (which take a smart phone to decipher) on the back of a product.
Today’s final ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body against popular U.S. country-of-origin meat labeling (COOL) policy spotlights how trade agreements can undermine domestic public interest policies, Public Citizen said today. The WTO decision is likely to further fuel opposition to Fast Track authority for controversial “trade” pacts that would expose U.S. consumer and environmental protections to more such challenges. (A list of some of the past public interest policies undermined by trade pacts is below.) COOL requires labeling of pork and beef sold in the United States to inform consumers the country in which the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. “The president says ‘we’re making stuff up,’ about trade deals undermining our consumer and environmental policies but today, we have the latest WTO ruling against a popular U.S. consumer policy. Last week, Canadian officials announced that our financial regulations violate trade rules, and earlier this year, the Obama administration, in response to another trade agreement ruling, opened all U.S. roads to Mexico-domiciled trucks that threaten highway safety and the environment, “said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Masahiko Yamada, 73, a lawyer and minister in 2010 in the then Democratic Party of Japan government, filed the lawsuit at Tokyo District Court on Friday on behalf of more than 1,000 plaintiffs, seeking to prevent Japan from joining the Trans- Pacific Partnership, he said by phone. The litigation is another twist in efforts by Japan and the U.S., the top economies among TPP members, to expedite talks on the agreement covering about 40 percent of the world’s commerce. The accord would deepen Japan’s dependence on farm imports and threaten its food security, said Yamada. The nation, which relies on imports for about 60 percent of its food, has cut its self-sufficiency target as the government expands trade deals.
We already know that so-called “free” trade agreements aren’t free — they hurt jobs and wages and are deeply irresponsible. Indeed, just two past “free” trade deals, NAFTA and China’s addition to the World Trade Organization, resulted in a net loss of almost 135,000 Florida jobs. In addition, when — and if — those workers got another job, their annual wages plummeted an average $13,500. That net loss cost Florida’s economy almost $2 billion in annual wages. The TPP will make things even worse because we’ll be competing with corporations relocating to countries like Vietnam, where the average minimum wage is a meager 56 cents per hour. This agreement will allow foreign corporations to sue the United States through international tribunals over nearly any laws that they allege would cut into their expected future profits. That includes laws designed to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food on our dinner tables.