Genetically Engineered Trees: A New Frontier or Climate Catastrophe?


By: Kat Battaglia, Fellow, Green America’s Better Paper Project Most consumers in the United States are now aware of genetically engineered foods, but far fewer realize that, beginning formally in 1988, biotech scientists have been working on the next frontier of genetic engineering: trees. While the biotech industry claims GE trees could be a natural solution to deforestation, it’s far […]

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Business leaders ask IRS employees to give up coffee buzz for bees


Businesses and advocates are calling on the IRS to go one day without coffee — which benefits from pollination — to create urgency about a future without pollinators. The EPA’s April 14 deadline for comment for its risk assessment on the neonicotinoid imidacloprid — a leading driver of bee and pollinator deaths — coincides with the IRS’ busiest tax week […]

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Mmm Mmm Better: Campbell’s making progress on non-GMO and organics

by Todd Larsen, Co-Executive Director of Green America Campbell’s is one of America’s most iconic brands.  The company famous for soups also produces thousands of other food items.  Famous brands under the Campbell’s umbrella include Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, and Prego. Like most major food companies, Campbell’s had not kept up with the changing tide of consumer preferences for healthy and sustainable foods.  While the company bought farm fresh and organic companies like Plum Organics and Bolthouse Farms, many of their main products are still made with artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs. Over the past year Green America staff has been meeting with Campbell’s about a transition to non-GMO and organics across their main product lines.  We highlighted the growing concerns around GMOs and pesticides, and the need to include healthy ingredients in all Campbell’s products.  We talked with Campbell’s at a time when they were looking to innovate and the company was very open to hearing from stakeholders. This week, Campbell’s made several major announcements about improving the sustainability of their foods, including significant steps forward on going non-GMO and organic: Campbell’s will be launching several lines of organic kid’s soups, and removing MSG from all their kid’s soups.  In August 2015, the company will introduce Campbell’s Organic soup for kids in three chicken noodle varieties.  The soups will be non-GMO and certified Organic. Pepperidge Farm will be launching several organic wheat versions of their popular Goldfish Crackers.  Look […]

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Notes from the Hill: The Impact of Pesticides on Pollinators

Bumble bee

By Anna Meyer Yesterday Center for Food Safety hosted a congressional briefing on the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators. Neonicotinoids (neonics for short) are a class of pesticide developed from nicotine that pose numerous risks to pollinators and our environment. It is pretty likely that you have heard of this pesticide before. In recent years this class of pesticides was linked […]

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Don’t Get Scared by the Candy This Halloween!

Halloween is one of those holidays that most kids can’t wait for and most parents loathe due to the high amount of unhealthy sugary candy. Many of the go-to candy brands are also loaded with GE ingredients. This year, make the switch to non-GMO and healthier Halloween treats. The Non-GMO Project and Green Halloween’s Guide to a Non-GMO Halloween is an excellent resource, which details the most common GE ingredients such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and soybean oil along with many others. This post from Veritey covers the ingredients of many of the most popular Halloween treats and provides kid-approved alternatives. Additionally, the Natural Candy Store has a whole selection Non-GMO Project Verified snacks and candy. Along with concerns over GMOs in your children’s candy, it is also important to be conscious of food allergies of your children and other trick-or-treaters. As GMOs have become more prevalent in our food system, so have the pesticides used to grow them. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report on the link between a rise in pesticide use and childhood allergies. Many popular Halloween treats also have some of the most common allergens such as peanuts, dairy, soy and wheat. The Food Allergy Research & Education organization has started the teal pumpkin project. The project encourages homeowners to leave a teal-painted pumpkin on their porches to alert kids and parents that they have food-free treats. If you still […]

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GMO Debate Dominates General Mills Shareholder Meeting

On behalf of Green America, I attended General Mills’ annual shareholder meeting this morning.  Green America holds a handful of shares so that we can have a voice as shareholders. The topic of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) dominated the discussion, with Green America allies and me asking several questions about General Mills’ continued defense of GMOs in the face of growing public opposition.  While Ken Powell repeated last year’s rhetoric that GMOs have been proven safe by several international organizations and that General Mills supports national labeling of non-GMO products (as opposed to those with GMOs), many shareholders in the audience were on a different page.  Numerous individual shareholders voiced their concerns about GMOs and called for sustainable and safe ingredients.  As one shareholder put it, General Mills should “keep an open mind, please” about not using GMO ingredients. In addition to GMOs being a topic during the Q&A portion of the meeting, there was also a shareholder resolution to eliminate GMOs from General Mills’ products brought forth by As You Sow and supported by Harriet Crosby, great granddaughter of one of the co-founders of General Mills.  Though the resolution won’t earn a majority of votes (as is often the case) and all votes are not in yet, the preliminary votes in favor of the resolution amount to shares worth $682 million. Continuing Green America’s GMO Inside campaign’s request for General Mills to verify original Cheerios as non-GMO with a third-party, […]

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Gardeners May Be Unknowingly Harming Bees

Shared via GMO Inside. As we transition into summer, gardeners are relishing in the explosion of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and other beautiful plants on the land. Gardeners and farmers recognize that pollinators, such as bees, are essential for growing fruits and vegetables and add plants that are supposed to attract bees. However, what many of us do not know is that many of the “bee-friendly” plants sold at many garden stores contain pesticides that actually harm and kill bees. GMO Inside ally, Friends of the Earth, released a report today about their study showing that over half of the garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers (Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart) in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained pesticides called neonicotinoids. More and more evidence is indicting these pesticides as one of the causes for bee colony collapse disorder. All of the samples where neonicotinoids were detected could cause sub-lethal effects (on immunity, memory, reproduction) and death in bees. Forty percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonicotinoids, and some samples contained very high levels in excess of the lethal dose for honey bees. Also concerning is none of the plants had labels stating they contained pesticides. Therefore, people who are trying to decorate their yards, enjoy nature, help the bees, and increase pollinators might actually be unknowingly harming bees. While “bees” often annoy us at cookouts buzzing around our food and offering a sting, we must realize […]

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GMOs: The Uninvited Guest at Your Picnic

Shared via GMO Inside. The season of charcoal smells and checkered tablecloths has begun. It’s a great time to get together with family and friends to share laughs and delicious food. However, there may be an uninvited guest at your picnic or BBQ – GMOs. Unfortunately, almost everything on our typical plate is likely to have some GM ingredients, from the ketchup to the bun. Sometimes these GMOs are disguised and, unfortunately, often overlooked. Adding to the discreet infiltration of GMOs is the fact that meat, dairy, and eggs– even though not genetically modified themselves–are produced using GMOs. Corn and soy make up the majority of animal feed in the US. With 88% of corn and 93% of soy in the US grown genetically modified, our farm animals are raised on GMOs. Animals, like humans, are deeply impacted by the quality of their diets. A 2013 study showed that pigs fed an entirely GMO diet suffered from severe stomach inflammation when compared to pigs given non-GMO feed. Their GMO-fed bodies are then turned into food for us. Before you head off to your Fourth of July picnics and BBQs, review the items below for likely GM ingredients and tasty non-GMO alternatives. Then, share the knowledge. While the topic of GMOs has hit the mainstream, not everyone knows all the facts or understands the destruction GMOs are causing to our planet and our bodies. Use this picnic season as an opportunity to talk to your loved […]

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