Delivering the week’s top organic food news
1.3.2017
100% Non-GMO

Are We Finally Starting to Win the Fight Against GMOs and Pesticides?


Hello Friends,

Over the holidays, I did something that I hadn’t done in a while.

Instead of focusing on the day-to-day issues facing the organic food industry and thinking about all of the challenges ahead of us, I stepped back and tried to take a bigger picture perspective. And what I found was actually quite encouraging.

Many of us firmly believe that it is only a matter of time before all of society views GMOs and pesticides in the same light as how we currently view asbestos and tobacco – things that our government told us were safe but turned out to be very, very harmful.

If this, in fact, is the case, when will that time arrive? That was the question I pondered.

While it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when this will happen, the one conclusion that I came to was that the last quarter of 2016 was incredibly significant; and much more so than many people realize. It may even be a tipping point in our fight.

A few articles and a key research study brought me to this conclusion.

Danny Hakim’s piece in The New York Times doubting the promise of genetically-modified crops was absolutely enormous. (The NYT has a paywall after 10 free articles)

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, research from King’s College in London showed that GM-corn and Non-GM corn are “not substantially equivalent”. The reason that GMOs got approved in the U.S. was because of this deeply flawed principle of “substantial equivalence”. (Click HERE for more explanation on this.) So, this new piece of data puts the justification of approving GMOs in complete jeopardy.

Within the last week, The New York Times had two other amazing articles of note.

Stephanie Strom did a fantastic exposé about the shameful activities and massive conflicts of interest at the National Academy of Sciences, the “independent” governmental panel that advises on all matters related to biotechnology and other areas of society.

Lastly, Danny Hakim wrote about the atrocities and ridiculous conflicts of interest taking place at research universities when major chemical companies are involved. One scientist profiled in the piece called Syngenta, producer of toxic herbicide Atrazine, “a kind of devil”.

Whether you like or dislike the NYT or whether you trust or distrust the mainstream media, the fact remains that this newspaper is still the most influential one in the U.S. And to have it go after the chemical/biotech industry in this way is unlike anything I have seen.

Plus, when you add in the damaging data against “substantial equivalence”, something very dramatic has taken place over these last few months.

Does this mean that the fight is over and that GMOs and pesticides will be banned anytime soon? Absolutely not.

However, we ought to acknowledge that the truth is finally rearing its head. How long it will take politicians and government bureaucrats to recognize this and take the appropriate action is what remains to be seen.

Wishing you a fantastic 2017!

Max Goldberg, Founder

This Week's News Items

Weekly News Summaries

First Course
BevNet

Harmless Harvest Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Over Organic Certification

By Brad Avery

The coconut water giant agrees to settle a lawsuit over illegally using non-organic coconuts. Class action lawyers say that the organic certifier, Bioagricert, was not doing its job correctly.

AgWeb

Hunt's Tomatoes Faces Major Backlash Over Non-GMO Campaign

Hunt's Tomatoes posted a video proudly advertising that its tomatoes are Non-GMO. Needless to say, the pro-GMO community wasn't happy about this.

Japan Today

Japan's Seeks to Strengthen GMO-Labeling Laws

Japan is looking to tighten its GMO-labeling laws, which currently have a threshold of 5%. The EU and Non-GMO Project both use a threshold of 0.9%.

Second Course
Progressive Grocer

Whole Foods Opens Up First Bilingual Store

In El Paso, Texas, Whole Foods Market has just opened its first bilingual store and is positioning it as the "third place" for city residents.

Munchies

The Galapagos Islands Now Has Its First Organic Coffee Farm

By Clarissa Wei

A cool story about how an American from Ohio created the first organic coffee farm on these treasured islands in Ecuador.

The Today Show

Baldor's Deploys SparCs Food-Waste Initiative

By Craig Melvin

The Today Show did an interesting segment on how organic produce distributor Baldor's is putting 100% of its food scraps to good use.


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