April 2015: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s decision to expand the use of Enlist Duo® to nine additional states was challenged by a coalition of conservation, food safety and public health groups.
February 2015: Environmental groups charged EPA with violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA), filing a lawsuit documenting EPA’s failure to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the impact of Enlist Duo® on two endangered species.
October 2014: Enlist Duo® was registered, despite objection from concerned farmers and environmental groups. Immediately following the registration announcement, a coalition of farmers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging Enlist Duo®’s registration in six Midwest states.
September 2014: Dow AgroSciences’ GE 2,4-D tolerant corn and soybean crops were approved for U.S. cultivation by USDA. These new GE crops were being sought in order to combat the rapid proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds with the use of 2,4-D Enlist Duo®, a new 2,4-D and glyphosate formulated product to be exclusively used on GE 2,4-D tolerant crops, despite the many human and environmental health risks associated with 2,4-D use and exposures.
July 2015: A federal judge ruled that the voter-passed GE moratorium is preempted by federal and state law, and is invalid. The decision, at least temporarily, invalidates a local ordinance that sought to protect against serious harms caused by these practices, and ignores the harms to Maui county and the Hawaii Constitutional mandate placing obligations and duties on the counties to protect the natural environment.
November 12, 2014. Five Maui residents, along with the Shaka Movement, preemptively filed a lawsuit one day before industry filed their own lawsuit against the county. The residents’ suit sought to assure transparency and influence over the implementation of the initiative, in light of the enormous amount of money Ag companies poured into the county in an attempt to beat the initiative. Industry’s lawsuit is in opposition of the moratorium stating that the “referendum is invalid and contrary to long established state and federal laws that support both the safety and lawful testing and planting of GE plants.”
November 4, 2014: Voters of Maui County passed a ballot initiative prohibiting the growth, testing or cultivation of GE crops in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show that the planting operations are safe for the community.
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.
The USDA's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) released its report on coexistence with GE crops, suggesting that organic and non-GE conventional farmers should pay for crop insurance or self-insure themselves against unwanted GE contamination. Read the National Organic Coalition's (NOC) criticism of the report.
Beyond Pesticides has joined the Just Label It Campaign to urge the FDA to label consumer products containing GE ingredients.
Beyond Pesticides, with a coalition of organic companies and environmental organizations, opposes USDA's GE alfalfa decision, which threatens organic and non-GE conventional farmers. Read our open letter to USDA. Read National Organic Coalition (NOC)'s 7-Point GE Contamination Plan.
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.