Each week, news articles are selected from the news that pertain to agriculture, food, biotechnology and related issues.

SEP 13, 2016 - Glyphosate-resistant tumbleweed discovered in NE Oregon - Capital Press
Farmers in Northeast Oregon have discovered three infestations of glyphosate-resistant Russian thistle, also known as tumbleweed, Oregon State University researchers have confirmed. READ MORE

AUG 1, 2016 - Japan, S. Korea suspend U.S. wheat until new test in place - Capital Press
Japan and South Korea will defer new purchases of U.S. wheat until they can implement a new test for genetically engineered wheat, a U.S. Wheat Associates spokesman says. READ MORE

FEB 22, 2016 - Senator Roberts introduces GMO labeling bill - Ag Professional
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, introduced proposed legislation last week that would set up a federal voluntary GMO labeling system, which would also pre-empt state laws that would require GMO labeling. READ MORE

JAN 25, 2016 - NH lawmakers considering bill to require GMO labeling -My Champlain Valley
The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture committee is debating a bill that would require genetically engineered foods and agricultural commodities to be labeled. READ MORE

OCT 6, 2015 - Biotech developers may have duty to prevent export disruptions - Capital Press
Biotech developers may have a duty to prevent export disruptions from GMO crops, even if the products are approved by USDA, according to a court ruling. READ MORE

OCT 1, 2015 - USDA proposes more scrutiny for biotech wheat field trials - Capital Press
The USDA is considering requiring permits for growing biotech wheat, which is more rigorous than the current system of notifying the agency of field trials. READ MORE

SEP 11, 2015 - Dealing with the rational fear about GMOs and global catastrophe - Grist
Are genetically modified organisms just too risky to mess with? For about a year, I’ve been mulling a paper that answers this question with a loud, clear “yes.” The paper wasn’t peer-reviewed or published in a scholarly journal, but I think it is worth examining because it helps explain a rational fear at the base of a lot of the opposition to GMOs. READ MORE

SEP 11, 2015 - China to investigate illegal domestic GMO crops - Reuters
China will launch a nation-wide investigation over the suspected illegal cultivation of genetically-modified (GMO) crops, the agriculture ministry has posted on its website. READ MORE

AUG 31, 2015 - Can the Chinese government get its people to like GMOs? - New Yorker
China, which has one-fifth of the world’s population but just seven per cent of the world’s arable land, food security is a national obsession . READ MORE

AUG 20, 2015 - Yet another land mine for GMO Golden Rice - Grist
Good God, what a mess: That’s what I kept thinking as, face in palm, I read the latest updates on an evolving controversy over Golden Rice. READ MORE

AUG 19, 2015 - 'GMO-Free': A Boon for Companies Chasing 'Health Halo' Profits - NPR
As sales of GMO-free food skyrocket into the billions, savvy companies are noticing. The demand for those foods falls under what the industry calls the "health halo," the perception that a food is healthful. And that brings us to the marketing of such products as GMO-free potato chips. READ MORE

AUG 19, 2015 - New gene-editing techniques mean a lot of GMO loopholes - Wired
As the battle over GMO labeling plays out in supermarkets and in Congress, the definition of genetically modified organisms is fuzzier than ever. GMO regulation—insofar it exists in the US—relies on old statutes for plant pests, animal drugs, and pesticides repurposed for GM technology. The rules never worked well, and new, precise gene-editing techniques are stretching them to the breaking point. READ MORE

AUG 3, 2015 - Golden Rice—a star among GMO foods—has a major study retracted - Quartz
Golden Rice, often touted as a shining example of the benefits of genetic engineering, might not be as golden as originally thought. READ MORE

AUG 3, 2015 (originally published 1/24/15) - "All-natural" labels on food are meaningless. Let's get rid of them - Vox
Stroll down the aisle of a grocery store and you're bound to see all sorts of bizarre foods labeled as "natural" or "all-natural." There are "natural" Cheetos and "natural" cookies. There are "all-natural" fruit drinks that contain high-fructose corn syrup. These "natural" labels are basically meaningless — there are very few rules for how they're used and companies will slap it on all sorts of things. READ MORE

JUL 30, 2015 - As Patents Expire, Farmers Plant Generic GMOs - MIT Technology Review Press
Monsanto no longer controls one of the biggest innovations in the history of agriculture. READ MORE

JUL 24, 2015 - Hawaii GMO battles will shape West’s rules - Capital Press
GMO battles in Hawaii will shape the authority of state and local governments to regulate biotech crops in the seven states under the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction. READ MORE

JUL 23, 2015 - House Passes Bill to Prevent Mandatory GMO Labeling - New York Times
Food companies would not have to disclose whether their products include genetically modified ingredients under legislation passed by the House Thursday. READ MORE

JUL 20, 2015 - Non-G.M.O. product use rising across all age groups - Food Business News
Products labeled as non-G.M.O. are increasing in use among millennials — and among baby boomers, people in Generation X and pretty much all age groups in the United States, according to data from the Natural Marketing Institute. READ MORE

JUL 15, 2015 - Slate: Anti-GMO activists say the darnedest things - Grist
When activist organizations issue over-the-top press releases or make non-scientific claims, I just shake my head, but unless I’m writing at length on a topic I don’t set out to debunk their claims. Activists gonna activate — and often that involves hyperbole, or outright distortion. Also, it’s risky for a journalist to spend time fact-checking activists, because it looks like you are shooting at the ambulance. A journalist is supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, as Finley Peter Dunne put it. READ MORE

JUNE 24, 2015 - You'd Be Fine if You Ate the French Mutant Lamb - Wired
A lamb born to a genetically altered sheep was deliberately sold for meat at a Parisian meat market, according to a report in the French newspaper Le Parisien. READ MORE

JUNE 18, 2015 - Genetically modified food labeling bill bolstered - Agri-View
The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives last week applauded the release of a new discussion-draft of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, HR 1599, a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) and G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina) in March. This legislation would create a national, science-based standard for the safety and labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients. The discussion draft contains language that would further bolster food-safety certification and set up a process-based labeling program similar to USDA’s successful National Organic Progra.. READ MORE

JUNE 16, 2015 - Atomic Veggies: The Other Kind of GMO - Atlas Obscura
In 1959, during a dinner party at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London, Muriel Howorth, atomic enthusiast, served her guests peanuts. These peanuts were unusually large, and, as Paige Johnson recounts in the British Journal for the History of Science, special. Named N.C. 4x, this variety of peanut had been created by a scientist in North Carolina, who had subjected peanut seeds to radiation—17 times the amount that could kill a person, a local paper reported—until he had found a plant with qualities he wanted.. READ MORE

JUNE 8, 2015 - Fear, Not Facts, Support GMO-Free Food - New York Times
AAs happened with the explosion of gluten-free products, food companies are quick to cash in on what they believe consumers want regardless of whether it is scientifically justified. READ MORE

JUNE 3, 2015 - New Kind Of GMO Called 'Rewilding' Could Restore Crops' Lost Traits - Huffington Post
In a paper published this week in the journal Trends in Plant Science, the researchers from the University of Copenhagen propose using genetic modification to insert into modern crops genes that were present in more primitive forms of that same species, to imbue them with beneficial characteristics such as drought resistance. READ MORE

MAY 29, 2015 - USDA Verifies First Company Non-GMO Claim - Nutritional Outlook
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Process Verified Program (PVP) has verified a company’s non-genetically modified organisms (GMO)/non-genetically engineered (GE) claim. READ MORE

MAY 19, 2015 - Anti-GMO measure goes down - Corvallis Gazette-Times
After a hard-fought campaign marked by contentious public forums, dueling yard signs and vitriolic letters to the editor, Benton County voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure to ban genetically modified organisms on Tuesday. READ MORE

MAY 6, 2015 - Anti-GMO Cleanup Needed on Aisle 4 - Wall Street Journal
Chipotle made headlines last week after the company’s dubious decision to remove genetically modified ingredients from the food at its 1,800 stores. Less noticed was a federal judge’s decision in Vermont that could wreak havoc on the national food supply and allow anti-GMO pseudoscience to be enshrined in law. READ MORE

MAY 5, 2015 -Natural GMO? Sweet Potato Genetically Modified 8,000 Years Ago - NPR
The first genetically modified crop wasn't made by a megacorporation. Or a college scientist trying to design a more durable tomato. Nope. Nature did it — at least 8,000 years ago. READ MORE

APR 24, 2015 - Common sense emerges on GMOs - Capital Press
A proposal in the Oregon Legislature would help neighboring farmers resolve problems that might arise over growing genetically modified crops. READ MORE

MAR 13, 2015 - House backs measure to keep states from requiring GMO labeling - The Inquisitr
GMO labeling on a national scale might soon become a reality. The state of Idaho is preparing to push the federal government to adopt a nationwide genetically modified food labeling law, but only a voluntary one. READ MORE

MAR 6, 2015 - House backs measure to keep states from requiring GMO labeling - The Spokemans-Review
A non-binding memorial to Congress urging it to enact national legislation blocking any state from requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, won House support on a 41-24 vote today, after much debate. READ MORE

MAR 6, 2015 - Oregon GMO authority debated - Capital Press
Oregon lawmakers are considering new regulations on cultivating GMOs. READ MORE

FEB 20, 2015 - Former dean foresees ‘incredible advancement’ in ag technology - Capital Press
The former dean of OSU's ag school says he's fired up about the challenges of directing the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. READ MORE

FEB 11, 2015 - Biotech critics claim GMO loophole will backfire - Capital Press
GMO critics say a loophole in federal biotech regulations will backfire against major developers of transgenic seed. READ MORE

JAN 16 2015 - Coexistence possible for all crops - Capital Press
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will suggest legislation to create a framework that will allow conventional and GMO crops to coexist. The devil will be in the details. READ MORE

JAN 16 2015 - Monarch butterfly protections could restrict GMOs - Capital Press
Federal regulators think monarch butterflies may be a threatened species, which could eventually provide biotechnology critics with a new justification for restricting genetically engineered crops. READ MORE

DEC 19, 2014 - Labeling Food GMO-Free Is Now A Multi-Billion Dollar Business - KUNC Community Radio for Northern Colorado
Demand for products that don’t contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding. Many food companies are seeking certification that their products don’t have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even plain Cheerios, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs. READ MORE

DEC 18, 2014 - Bill Gates’ Human Experimentation with GM Bananas in Africa Condemned by Scientists - Global Research (Canada)
At least 124 food and outreach organizations, as well as 26 individual scientists, have signed onto a letter sent to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation protesting ongoing human trials of genetically modified (GM), beta-carotene-enriched bananas intended for Africa. READ MORE

DEC 11, 2014 - British Company Oxitec’s Proposal to Release Genetically Modified Mosquitoes in the US - Global Research
Last Thursday, a town hall meeting at Harvey Government Center in Key West drew a large crowd that erupted in opposition to a proposal to release genetically modified mosquitoes this coming Spring. It’s a proposal from a seemingly strange choice – the United Kingdom. READ MORE

DEC 5, 2014 - Why Did Vitamins Disappear From NonGMO Breakfast Cereal? - NPR
Remember when Cheerios and Grape-Nuts went GMO-free? That was about a year ago, when their corporate creators announced that these products would no longer contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms like common types of corn, soybeans or sugar beets. READ MORE

DEC 2, 2014 - Hawaii GMO ban overturned - Capital Press
A Hawaiian county's ban on biotech crops was overturned by a federal judge, but critics of genetic engineering say they scored an important legal point in the ruling.. READ MORE

NOV 25, 2014 - New GMO potato avoids USDA regulation - Capital Press
The USDA’s deregulation of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes recently generated much publicity, but another biotech potato was quietly cleared for commercialization without undergoing that regulatory process. READ MORE

NOV 21, 2014 - What's in a label? Not much, if it says 'all natural' - PRI
In May, Vermont legislators voted to make GMO labeling mandatory in the state, which sparked a lawsuit from a coalition of companies that includes Starbucks. Meanwhile, during the midterm elections earlier this month, ballot initiatives to require mandatory GMO labels failed in Oregon and Colorado. READ MORE

NOV 20, 2014 - Here’s why Hawaii’s anti-GMO laws matter - Grist
On Election Day two weeks ago, Maui County, which includes the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Lanai, and Molokai, approved a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified crops. This decision, by one small county, could throw a monkey wrench into the entire production system for genetically engineered seeds. READ MORE

NOV 7, 2014 - U.S.D.A. Approves Modified Potato. Next Up: French Fry Fans - New York Times
A potato genetically engineered to reduce the amounts of a potentially harmful ingredient in French fries and potato chips has been approved for commercial planting, the Department of Agriculture announced on Friday. READ MORE

OCT 30, 2014 - Afingen uses precision method to enhance plants - R&D Magazine
Imagine being able to precisely control specific tissues of a plant to enhance desired traits without affecting the plant’s overall function. Thus a rubber tree could be manipulated to produce more natural latex. Trees grown for wood could be made with higher lignin content, making for stronger yet lighter-weight lumber. Crops could be altered so that only the leaves and certain other tissues had more wax, thus enhancing the plant’s drought tolerance, while its roots and other functions were unaffected. READ MORE

OCT 30, 2014 - Genetically modified crops are the future and must not be blocked, say scientists - Telegraph
Genetically modified crops are being blocked on political rather than scientific grounds, botanists warn, as they call on Europe to end regulation. READ MORE

OCT 27, 2014 - The GMO debate: 5 things to stop arguing - Washington Post
Break out the party hats! Unearthed is one year old — and it has been one interesting, gratifying year. To celebrate, I’m revisiting the issue that kicked off this column a year ago: genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You might not think much of my idea of celebration, but I’m guessing you’d agree that the public debate about GMOs isn’t playing out in a constructive way. Both sides have dug trenches, and they’re lobbing grenades over the wall while nothing much changes. It’s the World War I of food issues, and something’s gotta give. READ MORE

OCT 14, 2014 - Hawaii GMO case heads for court - Capital Press
Oral arguments over a Hawaiian county's ban on genetically modified organisms will be held on Oct. 23. READ MORE

OCT 10, 2014 - China bans misleading labels on non-GMO products - ECNS.cn
China has banned misleading words like "healthier" and "safer" in advertisements for non-genetically modified (GM) products, the Shanghai-based China Business News reported. READ MORE

OCT 9, 2014 - APHIS needs to bolster its monitoring of GMO tests - Capital Press
Report on investigation into source of unauthorized genetically modified wheat demontrates APHIS oversight of GM crop tests plots is lax. READ MORE

OCT 16, 2014 - Quel fromage! Whole Foods' GMO labels make trouble for cheesemakers - The Guardian (appeared 8/7/14)
For artisanal cheesemakers working with Whole Foods, the company’s GMO commitment sends ripples up the supply chain. READ MORE

OCT 16, 2014 - ISU researcher to test altered bananas - Des Moines Register (appeared 8/2/14)
A dozen Iowa State University students will soon get the chance to earn $900 by eating the equivalent of three bananas each. There's a catch: One of the bananas will include a gene that scientists inserted to help people make vitamin A. READ MORE

SEP 17, 2014 - The Debate About GMO Safety Is Over, Thanks To A New Trillion-Meal Study - Forbes
Visit almost any anti-GMO website and you will find alarming headlines about the alleged dangers of GMO foods. They kill pigs, cows and sheep on farms and in lab studies! Humans are next! READ MORE

SEP 2, 2014 - On the Horns of the GMO Dilemma - MIT Technology Review
Can genome-editing technology revive the idea of genetically modified livestock? READ MORE

SEP 2, 2014 - Chinese Researchers Stop Wheat Disease with Gene Editing - MIT Technology Review (originally published 7/21/14)
Researchers have created wheat that is resistant to a common disease, using advanced gene editing methods. READ MORE

SEP 2, 2014 - Oregon hopes to be first state to map GMO fields - Associated Press (originally published 6/14/14)
Before residents in southern Oregon overwhelmingly voted to ban genetically modified crops last month, farmers negotiated for months with a biotech company that grows engineered sugar beets near their fields. READ MORE

AUG 20, 2014 - China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn - Science
China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China. READ MORE

AUG 13, 2014 - A Science-based look at Genetically Engineered Crops - National Academy of Sciences
The second public meeting of this study committee will be held on December 10-11, 2014, in Washington, DC. An agenda and further details on that meeting will be posted as soon as they are available. READ MORE

AUG 12, 2014 - Is Kauai Pro-GMO? Primary Election Results Suggest So - Honolulu Civil Beat
The issue spurred many people on the neighbor islands to run for office. The results may be telling. READ MORE

AUG 5, 2014 - Cool ruling could impact a GMO label lawsuit - Capital Press
A recent court ruling that upheld mandatory country-of-origin labeling of meat may come to bear on litigation over labels for genetically engineered food. READ MORE

JUL 21, 2014 - GM Scaremongering in Africa is Disarming the Fight Against Poverty - Chatham House press release
Biotechnology offers an opportunity to boost the security of staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa. We ignore this at our peril. READ MORE

JUL 10, 2014 - Chinese company creamed for GMO corn thievery - Grist
The FBI has captured members of a super-secret Chinese spy ring whose arsenal included false identities, corporate fronts, Cold War anti-surveillance techniques, Subway napkins and, perhaps most cruelly, Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn boxes. What were they after? Diplomatic communiques? Launch commands? Plans for the Death Star? No. They were after corn. READ MORE

JUL 10, 2014 - EPA considers regs to curb herbicide resistance in weeds - Capital Press
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may devise new restrictions to impede herbicide resistance in weeds due to genetically engineered crops. READ MORE

JUL 9, 2014 - GMO papaya disclosure curbed - West Hawaii Today
Judge Greg Nakamura granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday preventing Hawaii County from disclosing the identity and specific location of farms growing genetically engineered papaya. READ MORE

JUL 6, 2014 - Why does Europe hate genetically modified food? - Rappler
With new European Union rules that now seek to clear up years of internal deadlock that could, in theory, lead to widespread cultivation of GM foods, is Europe about to change its mind? READ MORE

JUNE 27, 2014 - Ag Secretary Sees Possible Alternative to GMO Labeling - Hooiser Ag Today
During the Aspen Ideas Festival – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke in a U.S. food policy discussion about GMO labeling – according to The Hagstrom Report. Vilsack says the challenge of the labeling debate is that food labels have either provided nutritional information or warned about possible allergies – but GMO labeling doesn’t fit into either category. Still – he says the consumer has a right to know. Vilsack believes putting information about genetically modified ingredients through barcodes on food labels – like Nestle does – could resolve the issue of labeling foods with GMOs. READ MORE

JUNE 25, 2014 - Consumers seek out 'natural', 'locally grown' on product labels: survey - Food Navigator
When shopping for food, twothirds of US consumers look for “locally grown” on labels, while 59% check to see if the products they’re buying are natural, according to a survey from Consumer Reports National Research Center. READ MORE

JUNE 16, 2014 - Researchers Hope ‘Super Bananas’ Will Combat Vitamin A Deficiency - Time Magazine
If approved for cultivation, the genetically engineered fruit could revolutionize child health in much of the developing world. READ MORE

JUNE 10, 2014 - Genetically modified mosquitoes offer hope in malaria fight - Reuters
Scientists have found a way of genetically modifying mosquitoes to produce sperm that only creates males, offering a potential fresh approach to fighting and eventually eradicating malaria. READ MORE

JUNE 9, 2014 - Genetically Modified Cheese… Is Nothing Safe? At the Boundaries of the GMO Controversy - Scientific American
A couple of years ago, my fiancée and I wanted to try to make some home-made mozzarella cheese, but ran into a problem. In order to turn milk into cheese, you have to add a substance called “rennet,” which causes the milk to coagulate, allowing you to separate the curd (mostly fats and hydrophobic proteins) from the whey (the water and soluble stuff). So what’s the problem? Rennet is not that tough to find, and it’s provided in most cheese-making kits you can buy (this is the one we were using). The problem: my fiancée is vegetarian, and the usual source of rennet is the lining of calf stomachs. READ MORE

JUNE 5, 2014 - The next front in the GMO war: Synthetic biology - Grist
The New York Times recently revealed that some soap companies were replacing the palm oil in their products with a substitute made by yeast algae. The controversial part is that the yeast algae are genetically altered — they’re the product of a new discipline known as synthetic biology. READ MORE

JUNE 3, 2014 - Non-G.M.O. category may need to tell its story better - Food Business News
Sales of food and beverage products with non-bioengineered ingredients might be increasing, but companies promoting them could explain the category better. Consumers may wish to know why they are buying the products and how they can be sure the products are free of bioengineered ingredients, also called genetically modified organisms, according to The Hartman Group, which is based in Bellevue and provides consultation on consumer trends and culture. READ MORE

MAY 28, 2014 - Australian organic farmer loses GM test case (Update) - Phys.org
An Australian farmer who lost his organic produce licence after his fields were contaminated by a neighbour's genetically modified canola crop failed Wednesday to win his test case for losses. READ MORE

MAY 23, 2014 - Jackson County, Oregon, approves GMO ban - Yahoo News
Residents in a southwest Oregon county voted emphatically to ban genetically engineered crops following a campaign that attracted a bushel of out-of-state money. READ MORE

MAY 21, 2014 - UPDATE 2-Rural Oregon voters back ban on GMO crops amid U.S. labeling uproar - Reuters
Voters in two small Oregon counties on Tuesday approved controversial ballot measures to ban cultivation of genetically engineered crops within their boundaries, though one measure is vulnerable to legal challenge under a new state law. READ MORE

MAY 15, 2014 - GMO producers should be punished as terrorists, Russian MPs say - RT New
A draft law submitted to the Russian parliament seeks to impose punishment up to criminal prosecution to producers of genetically-modified organisms harmful to health or the environment. READ MORE

MAY 12, 2014 - Oregon ag dept. has little authority over GM crops - Capital Press
An Oregon task force about genetically engineered crops recently met to discuss the limitations on state regulators' authority and other issues. READ MORE

MAY 7, 2014 - For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living - NPR
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms. The agency just released the latest one, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country. But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.. READ MORE

MAY 5, 2014 - Base food labeling on fact, not fear latimes.com - Los Angeles Times
The scientific evidence on genetically engineered food, which has been around for two decades, indicates that it is as safe for human consumption as any other food. A California bill that would require the labeling of bioengineered food — whose DNA has been modified in the laboratory to introduce certain traits — caters to a scare campaign that is not based on solid evidence. READ MORE

APRIL 30, 2014 - More expanisve GMO labeling bill moving through legislature - Lexology
Last week, SB 1381, California’s revived genetically engineered (GE) food labeling bill, passed through the California Senate Judiciary Committee. If enacted, SB 1381 would take effect on January 1, 2016. As the bill has moved through the legislature since it was introduced in February 2014, various amendments have been introduced that could significantly impact the food industry. A summary of some of those amendments follows. READ MORE

APRIL 25, 2014 - A journalist and a scientist break ground in the G.M.O. debate - New Yorker
There was a trace of mischief in Michael Pollan’s smile as he took the stage of Wheeler Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, last week to introduce a lecture for a course that he co-teaches, with the activist Raj Patel, called Edible Education 101. The auditorium was crammed with seven hundred students, most looking as you might expect young Berkeley food activists to look: wholesome and bright-eyed, visibly eager to help make the global food system “more equitable, healthful and sustainable,” as the course mission states. This group constituted a kind of monoculture, and Pollan was about to introduce an invasive species. READ MORE

APRIL 16, 2014 - Trait by trait, plant scientists swiftly weed out bad seeds through marker-assisted breeding - Washington Post
Alan Krivanek, a tomato breeder for Monsanto, dons a white protective suit, wipes his feet on a mat of disinfectant and enters a greenhouse to survey 80,000 seedlings. He is armed with a spreadsheet that will tell him which ones are likely to resist a slew of diseases. The rest he will discard. READ MORE

APRIL 15, 2014 - GMO food label legislation: FDA, not states, would decide - Tri-State Neighbor
U.S. agriculture is coming down on both sides of recently introduced federal legislation on genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling.. READ MORE

MARCH 20, 2014 - Reports show lax enforcement of biotech rules - Capital Press
OUSDA's oversight of field trials for genetically engineered crops is inadequate, and the agency is unable to track even the number of "noncompliance" incidents that developers report, critics say. READ MORE

MARCH 17, 2014 - Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It - Wired
One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification. After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn. READ MORE

MARCH 13, 2014 - GM crops: UK scientists call for new trials - BBC News
A new report on genetically modified (GM) crops, commissioned by the prime minister, calls for more UK field trials and fewer EU restrictions. READ MORE

MARCH 13, 2014 - Group seeks court order on USDA over genetically modified alfalfa - Reuters
A public interest group is asking a court to force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to turn over documents explaining its approval of a genetically altered alfalfa even as the department acknowledged the crop's potential to do environmental damage. READ MORE

MARCH 7, 2014 - Meat Makes the Planet Thirsty - The New York Times
California is experiencing one of its worst droughts on record. Just two and a half years ago, Folsom Lake, a major reservoir outside Sacramento, was at 83 percent capacity. Today it’s down to 36 percent. In January, there was no measurable rain in downtown Los Angeles. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency. President Obama has pledged $183 million in emergency funding. The situation, despite last week’s deluge in Southern California, is dire. READ MORE

MARCH 3, 2014 - Conventional agriculture winning some, losing some in culture war - Cattle Network
The intellectual war over modern agriculture has been won by the "cultural elite," but agriculture's continued commercial and technological success still bode well for its future, a political scientist said. READ MORE

FEB 16, 2014 - One in four Americans 'don't know the Earth orbits the Sun' and only half believe in evolution - The Independent (UK)
With the possible exception of 'is the Earth flat?' it is (according to Discover magazine at least) the most basic question in science: 'does the Earth orbit the sun?' The good news is that 74 per cent of Americans know the answer. The very bad news is that means 26 per cent really don't. READ MORE

FEB 11, 2014 - What We Talk About When We Talk About GMOs - PBS
Debates about GMOs rarely involve facts, according to David Ropeik, a consultant on risk perception. Instead, they tend to revolve around fear and emotion; our built-in risk-o-meters elicit those feelings, whether we like it or not. Ropeik writes in Cosmos Magazine that the “argument about GMOs isn’t really about the facts, any more than the argument about whether climate change is real, or whether vaccines cause autism. The facts on all three are pretty clear.” READ MORE

FEB 4, 2014 - Organic growers discuss GMO tolerance levels - Capital Press
Organic farmers are discussing the best way to handle the possibility of contamination from genetically modified crops. The question of “tolerance levels” for genetic contamination of organic crops is coming to the forefront of the organic industry, experts says. READ MORE

FEB 4, 2014 (originally published OCT 22, 2013) - The Irrational Fear of GM Food - Wall Street Journal
Farmers can now produce more crops in an environmentally sustainable way at a lower cost thanks to the efforts of hundreds of scientists over the past half-century. Seeds are developed in a laboratory and then field tested to enhance nutritional value or resistance to drought, disease and herbicides. Genetically modified crops are now planted on nearly a quarter of the world's farm land by some 17.3 million farmers. More than 90% of those farmers are smallholders who harvest a few acres in developing countries. READ MORE

JAN 29, 2014 - Hawaii's GMO War Headed to Honolulu and Federal Court - Truth-Out
The debate over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Hawaii is reaching a fever pitch. The battleground has shifted from packed local meetings to a federal court and the Legislature as powerful agrichemical interests push back against a grassroots movement that has succeeded in passing laws through two county councils. The question facing the island state that has become a cradle of GMO development: Do county governments - and the local communities they represent - have the power to regulate global chemical companies and the pesticide-laden process of developing genetically engineered seeds? READ MORE

JAN 23, 2014 - Do you know what you're eating? States chew over whether they should put labels on genetically altered food - Daily Mail
Up to 24 states are considering adding labels to food products that will clearly display whether items contain genetically modified contents however there are many who are split over whether such and idea is even necessary. READ MORE

JAN 13, 2014 - U.S. Food Makers To Seek Single Federal Standard For GMO Labeling - Huffington Post
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents more than 300 food companies, is preparing a petition to the chief U.S. food safety regulator and a push in Congress to require changes in oversight and labeling of new genetically modified foods, an association leader said Monday. READ MORE

JAN 12, 2014 - What Will the Next GMO-Free Cereal Be? - Daily Finance
In the start of what may be a growing trend among food manufacturers, General Mills announced that Original Cheerios will be produced GMO-free. While the actual amount of genetically modified seed used in the manufacture of Original Cheerios is small, the results of the move could be broad-reaching if other food manufacturers follow General Mills' move with efforts to remove GMOs from their own products.READ MORE

JAN 9, 2014 - What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters - Grist.com
About a third of the way through this series on GMOs, after a particularly angry conflagration broke out on Twitter, I asked my wife, Beth, if I could tell her what had happened. I was hoping to exorcise those digital voices from my head. Someone had probably accused me of crimes against humanity, shoddy journalism, and stealing teddy bears from children — I forget the details, thank goodness. But I remember Beth’s response. READ MORE

JAN 4, 2014 - A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops - New York Times
From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced in May 2013, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council here had ever considered, even the perennially popular bids to decriminalize marijuana. READ MORE

JAN 2, 2014 - General Mills Starts Making Some Cheerios Without GMOss - Wall Street Journal
General Mills Inc. has started producing Cheerios free of genetically modified content, making the 73-year-old breakfast cereal one of the highest-profile brands to change in the face of growing complaints over such ingredients from activist groups and some consumers. READ MORE

DEC 19, 2013 - What an 'organic' food label should mean - Los Angeles Times
Many Americans would like to know more about what they eat, including whether the food they purchase contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. That desire has sparked ballot initiatives and bitter fights in states across the country. But what a lot of concerned consumers don't realize is that there is already a way to ensure that the foods they purchase are free of GMOs. READ MORE

DEC 12, 2013 - GMO apple stirs up storm in industry - Capital Press
A Canadian grower hopes to gain USDA and Canadian approval to grow and sell genetically modified apples early next year. The U.S. apple industry fears it will damage sales. READ MORE

DEC 9, 2013 - Caution: GMO Labeling Regulations Could Soon Become Obsolete - Big Picture Agriculture
Yesterday, there was an article on the opinion page of my local newspaper, the Daily Camera, by Andrew Staehelin, who is a professor emeritus of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology here at the University of Colorado. The piece was titled “Mandatory GMO food labeling — a subsidy for the organic food industry.” Scientist Staehelin has been a staunch defender of GMOs here in my community which harbors many anti-GMO activists. READ MORE

DEC 5, 2013 - Big Island Mayor Signs Biotech, GMO Ban Into Law - Huffington Post
Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law on Thursday, prohibiting biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops. READ MORE