GMO crops

Bayer ‘not surprised’ by second Roundup rebuff

For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court rejected Bayer's attempts to shield itself from lawsuits alleging that its Roundup weedkiller is carcinogenic. Bayer said it "is not surprised" by the decision on Monday and pointed to the possibility of a change in the legal environment in its favor.

GMO wheat approved for consumption in Australia and New Zealand

Food regulators approved a genetically modified wheat variety for human consumption in Australia and New Zealand, a victory in the rocky campaign to apply biotechnology to grains directly consumed as part of the diet. No GMO wheat is approved for sale in the United States.

UK’s Johnson opens door to GMO foods from the U.S., as he seeks trade deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasted no time, after officially exiting the European Union last Friday, in courting a bilateral trade deal with America, decrying “hysterical” fears about U.S. food standards such as genetically-modified crops, The Guardian reported. “I look at the …

Japan buys U.S. wheat, puts new GMO testing system in place

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture purchased $18 million worth of U.S. wheat last week, days after announcing it would not interrupt imports because of the discovery of GMO wheat in a fallow field in Washington State. The Japan Agricultural Times reported the ministry said on July 17 that it had adopted a new inspection method so there was no need to suspend purchases.

Ibach: Gene editing might fit in organic agriculture

The USDA official overseeing organic agriculture said the sector, which rejects GMO crops along with the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, might benefit from gene-edited varieties. “There is the opportunity to open the discussion,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach.

USDA identifies two Monsanto strains in rogue GMO wheat in Washington State

The GMO wheat discovered growing wild in a Washington State field this spring actually sprouted from two different strains developed by Monsanto, the USDA announced over the weekend. Genetically engineered wheat is not approved for cultivation anywhere in the world, yet "volunteer" herbicide-resistant plants have been confirmed four times in the U.S. Northwest more than a decade after field trials ended.

Federal jury awards $80 million in Roundup trial

In a bellwether trial, a federal jury found Monsanto liable for causing blood cancer in a man who used its Roundup weedkiller, and awarded the man, Edwin Hardeman, more than $80 million in damages, said The Recorder.

FERN/Reveal investigation shows EPA ignored decades of science on dicamba drift

A new investigation by FERN and Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Journalism, shows that the EPA "ignored scientists’ warnings and extensive research that showed dicamba would evaporate into the air and ruin crops miles away, according to documents obtained through public records requests and lawsuits. Instead, the EPA’s approval was based on studies by the companies that manufacture dicamba, which independent scientists say were seriously flawed." (No paywall)

State regulators call for early cutoff date for dicamba use

Many states have reported significant complaints from farmers about dicamba damage to their crops and plants, said an association of state pesticide regulators in calling for the EPA to tighten its rules on use of the weedkiller.

Groups ask appeals court to take dicamba off the market

Environmental groups told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday that the EPA had failed to properly assess the risks posed by the weedkiller dicamba to nearby crops and should be ordered to revoke its approval of Monsanto’s version of the herbicide, reported Reuters.

Weed scientist: When will agriculture hit the reboot key?

“Off-target” herbicides are creating tremendous discord in farm country, writes weed scientist Ford Baldwin in an essay for Delta Farm Press, adding that “dicamba technology has been the most divisive of my career.”

GMO pioneer to leave Monsanto after Bayer takes over

Robert Fraley, who won the World Food Prize in 2013 for his role in the development of agricultural biotechnology, will leave Monsanto following its merger with Bayer, ending a 35-year career at the company.

Farmers seek $1.5 billion from Syngenta for GMO corn snafu

U.S. corn farmers are seeking federal court approval of a $1.5-billion settlement with Syngenta for its decision to sell them a GMO corn variety before China had approved it for import, reported Reuters.

Study: GE crops not driving herbicide-resistant weeds, but still cause for concern

In a new study, published in the December 2017 issue of the journal Weed Science, University of Wyoming weed scientist Andrew Kniss finds that GE corn does not produce increased herbicide resistance in weeds relative to non-GE crops, but that soybean and cotton plantings do — but only to a limited extent. (No paywall)

Dicamba blamed for damage to oak trees in Midwest and South

State officials in Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee have received hundreds of complaints blaming the weedkiller dicamba for damage to oak trees this summer, says the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR). Usage of dicamba — and complaints of crop damage — has increased with the release of soybean and cotton varieties genetically modified to tolerate doses of the chemical.

Crop damage unacceptable, says soy group seeking path forward on dicamba

The dicamba "issue" — widespread reports of crop damage from using the weedkiller — "isn't going away, in fact it's only getting worse," said Ron Moore, the American Soybean Association president and an Illinois farmer. "We are committed to establishing both a cause and a path forward ... including what actions need to be taken to assure that soybean farmers can use the product safely without damaging their own or their neighbors’ crops."

GMO corn found in most tortillas in Mexico

Ninety percent of tortillas tested by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico contained traces of genetically modified corn, said the site Mexico News Daily. The lead researcher said the results were striking because “cultivation of genetically modified corn in open fields is not allowed in Mexico.”

Americans less accepting of GMO food than GMO meds

Two Purdue researchers say Americans are far more skeptical of genetically engineered crops and livestock than a GMO solution to a health risk, such as the mosquito-spread Zika virus. A survey of 964 people found that 78 percent would support release of GMO mosquitoes to stop Zika while 44 percent would accept GMO livestock, 49 percent would accept GMO crops and 48 percent would accept GMO produce.

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