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Tag Archive: Agriculture

Influence Explored: Big Ag Lobbies Against Prop 37 in California

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A recent New York Times Magazine article by Michael Pollan highlights the potential momentum for a new “food movement” in America if California voters decide to enforce the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods by passing Proposition 37, the Genetically Engineered Foods Right to Know Act next month. Proposition 37 proposes to label all GMO foods, including processed foods that contain GMO ingredients, and to prevent GMO foods from being labeled or advertised as “natural.” Agriculture industry giants opposed to Prop 37 are pouring money into California to defeat the ballot measure. According to the California watchdog group, Maplight, agribusiness giants have already sunk $35.6 million into defeating the prop with agrochemical titans Monsanto and DuPont emerging as the top two proponents with contributions totalling $7.1 million and $4.9 million, respectively. The bulk of that money has gone to the committee, No on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme, Sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers. Other agrochemical and agroscience institutions like BASF Plant Science, Syngenta Co., Bayer Cropscience and Dow Agrosciences LLC have each contributed $2 million to the cause. Meanwhile, advocacy and industry groups in support of Prop 37 have only managed to raise $7.7 million in support.

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FDA Lags USDA in Accessible Food Safety Data

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Salmonella in peanut butter. E. coli in cookie dough. Tainted Serrano peppers. Fetid Chinese seafood. All these recent problems fell within the domain of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which shares food inspection responsibilities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA inspects meat, poultry and some egg products while the FDA monitors everything else. Food-safety advocates say the USDA is more forthcoming about its inspection activities and are prodding the FDA to do better.

Almost two years ago, Washington, D.C.-based Food & Water Watch filed a lawsuit against the FDA after it refused to release ...

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