Media/News Archive

Monsanto Safety Data Under Fire in Court

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: A man who was twice drenched in Roundup during the course of applying it in schoolyards, DeWayne Johnson, is suing Monsanto for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma that he alleges is due to exposure to the poisonous chemical. Charles Benbrook, an expert on glyphosate toxicity, testified last week that the studies which led to the approval of Roundup were not valid. A toxicologist also testified that Monsanto’s Roundup can cause cancer. Monsanto’s lawyers have focused on discrediting expert testimony. Cornucopia will continue to monitor this story as it unfolds.

Monsanto Accused of Fraudulent Data in Roundup Cancer Trial
Courthouse News Service
by Helen Christophi

Source: Mike Mozart

Attorneys for a school groundskeeper suing Monsanto over his terminal lymphoma suggested to a California jury Friday that the agrichemical company submitted fraudulent cancer data to U.S. regulators so it could sell its Roundup weed killer, against court orders barring testimony on the topic.

The study to which Baum Headland Aristei Goldman attorney Brent Wisner had referred was done in the mid-1970s by Industrial Bio-Test (IBT) Laboratories. Monsanto hired the now-defunct lab to conduct toxicology studies on Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate, which are required for the approval of herbicides by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Roundup was initially approved for sale in 1974 based in part on the IBT data. But the data was later found to contain discrepancies invalidating IBT’s conclusions that glyphosate was safe.

A subsequent review by the EPA found that IBT routinely falsified data, and three of its executives were convicted of fraud, according to plaintiff DeWayne Johnson’s complaint. Read Full Article »

Legumes and Potatoes are Not Sufficient Nutrition for Dogs

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: The FDA has alerted dog owners that a diet low in meat is more susceptible to canine DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy), a disease of the heart muscle. Cornucopia’s Pet Food Report and Buyer’s Guide can help you better understand product labels and make healthier choices for your dogs and cats.

FDA warns of possible link between food, canine heart disease
Food Safety News
by Phyllis Entis

Source: Dana

Pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients may be linked to cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs, according to an alert to pet owners this week from the Food and Drug Administration.

Certain large and giant breed dogs, including great danes, boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish wolfhounds, saint bernards and doberman pinschers, are thought to have a genetic predisposition to DCM. Atypically, cases of DCM reported to FDA have been of mixed breeds and of smaller breeds that were not thought to be predisposed to this condition, including: golden and Labrador retrievers, whippets, a Shih Tzu, a bulldog and miniature schnauzers.

Canine DCM is a disease of the heart muscle, resulting in an enlarged heart, which can lead to congestive heart failure if not treated successfully. Dogs suffering from DCM may show symptoms of heart disease, such as decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse. Read Full Article »

Proposed GMO Labeling Law Would Not Label Most GMOs

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: The proposed GMO labeling law set to take effect in 2019 exempts products containing GMO sugars and oils or less than 5% GMO ingredients total. A recent Environmental Working Group analysis suggests that this would exempt the majority of products currently on the market containing GMO ingredients. Read the article below for more problems with the proposed legislation.

EWG Analysis: Loophole Could Exempt Over 10,000 GMO Foods from Disclosure Law
EWG Ag Mag
by Colin O’Neil, Legislative Director and Sean Perrone-Gray, Director of Consumer Database Architecture

Source: Anthony Albright

Loopholes proposed by the Trump administration could exempt over 10,000 – or one out of six – genetically modified foods from a new GMO disclosure law, according to an EWG analysis.

The draft rule may exempt foods produced with GMOs if the food products contain highly refined GMO sugars and oils.

There is a high rate of adoption for many GMO crops like corn, soybeans, canola and sugar beets, meaning that ingredients derived from these crops have a high likelihood of being GMO. Based on an analysis of ingredient-level information for more than 105,000 food products in our Food Scores database, EWG estimated that roughly 67,111 food products contain at least one of these ingredients, which are likely produced with genetic engineering. Read Full Article »

Gene Editing to be Regulated like Other Biotech Seeds and Food in European Union

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: Controversy continues to rage in the U.S. about whether foods and seeds created with new genetic engineering techniques, like gene editing, should be classified and regulated as GMOs. The European Union has settled the matter, to the chagrin of biotech companies. Cornucopia hails the European Court decision as a victory for common sense.

European Court rules new genetically engineered seeds and foods should be classified and regulated as GMOs
Friends of the Earth

Source: NIH Image Gallery

Friends of the Earth U.S. applauds ruling affirming gene editing, other new genetic engineering techniques subject to safety assessment, traceability, labeling

The European Court of Justice made a precedent-setting decision today that all new types of genetic engineering techniques and applications to seeds and food need to be regulated as GMOs.

This decision, which was in response to a case filed by Friends of the Earth France, affirms that new genetic engineering techniques like gene editing should be classified under the EU legal definition of GMOs. It also affirms that new genetic engineering techniques must be subject to the same EU safety laws that cover most existing GMOs, to check for their impacts on human health and the environment which include safety assessments, traceability and GMO labeling. Read Full Article »

Unregulated Gene Editing Technique Causes Unintended Gene Mutations

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: CRISPR gene editing is an inexpensive technology now available to anyone with the equipment. It is billed by biotech companies as a very exact process, and U.S. regulatory bodies have so far chosen not to include organisms modified using CRISPR in GMO regulation and labeling. The study below actually found significant unpredictability in gene modifications made using CRISPR, including many that are likely to go unnoticed in existing DNA tests.  CRISPR needs more careful regulation and transparency for consumers.

BREAKING: CRISPR Could Be Causing Extensive Mutations And Genetic Damage After All
Science Alert
by Peter Dockrill

Source: Ryan Lash / TED

“It became clear that something unexpected was happening.”

CRISPR has been heralded as one of the most important breakthroughs in modern science, but there could be a hidden and potentially dangerous side effect to the wonders of its genetic editing technology, a new study reveals.

A systematic investigation of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in mouse and human cells has discovered that the technique appears to frequently cause extensive mutations and genetic damage that the researchers say wouldn’t be detected by existing DNA tests.

“This is the first systematic assessment of unexpected events resulting from CRISPR/Cas9 editing in therapeutically relevant cells,” explains geneticist Allan Bradley from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK.

“We found that changes in the DNA have been seriously underestimated before now.”

It’s not the first time scientists have raised alarm about the potential pitfalls of CRISPR. Read Full Article »