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Genetic Engineering

News and Alerts

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released for public input its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on January 3, 2014, which calls for the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans engineered to be tolerant to the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. These new varieties of GE corn and soybean, created partly due to proliferate weed resistance resulting from the widespread use of glyphosate (Roundup) on other GE crops, is set to usher in dramatic increases in 2,4-D use with associated health and environmental hazards, according to environmental scientists.Read Beyond Pesticides comment on this DEIS.
  • Hawaii is the emerging battleground for GE regulations as Kauai County attempts to pass a bill that would protect people's right to know about spraying of restricted pesticides, set up buffer zones, and place a moratorium on new planting of GE crops until an Environmental Impact Assessment can be performed. Read our testimony in support of County Bill 2491.
  • Connecticut is the first state to pass GE Labeling Laws, but four other Northeastern states need to pass similar labeling laws before the bill is enacted, and one of those states must border Connecticut. We have a right to know if our food is GE, sign the petition and send an email to your members of Congress through the Just Label It! campaign.

Background

Genetic Engineering is an area that has gotten Beyond Pesticides attention in light of the pesticide paradigm that is being pushed in the form of genetically engineered food crops. Whether it is the incorporation into food crops of genes from a natural bacterium (Bt) or the development of a herbicide resistant crop, the approach to pest management is short sighted and dangerous.

Beyond Pesticides publicizes the serious health and pest resistance problems associated with the approach and provides important links to activists working in the pesticide community. Over 70% of all genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are altered to be herbicide-resistant. Increased planting of Herbicide-resistanat GE crops has led to a dramatic increase in herbicide use. The over use of Herbicide-resistant crops has also led to "super weeds", and the destructuion of pollinator habitat.

Our goal is to push for labeling as a means of identifying products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, seek to educate on the public health and environmental consequences of this technology, and generate support for sound ecological-based management systems. This technology should be subject to complete regulatory review, which is currently not the case.

Read More

As we move forward, we are united in opposing genetically engineered organisms in food production and believe that pressure to stop the proliferation of this contaminating technolgy must be focused on the White House and Congress. The companies responsible for this situation are the biotech companies whose GE technology causes genetic drift and environmental hazards that are not contained as the deregulation of genetically engineered alfalfa goes forward. The organic community stands together with consumer, farmer, environmental and business interests to ensure practices that are protective of health and the environment.

Genetically Engineered Food: Failed promises and hazardous outcomes

(2013 National Pesticide Forum)

As the emergent GE labeling movement challenges industrial agriculture, USDA continues to deregulate GE crops. This workshop was part of "Sustainable Families, Farms, and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices," Beyond Pesticides 31st National Pesticide Forum, April 5-6, 2013, Albuquerque, NM.