GMO Headlines

Nearly all US packaged food with a “natural” label in fact contains high levels of genetically modified ingredients, tests by the product testing watchdog Consumer Reports reveal.

Consumer Reports said its study included more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy – the two most prevalent genetically modified crops in the US – to determine if the “natural” labels was in fact true, Reuters reports.

The conclusion: consumers are being deceived by the “natural” label, Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability, told the agency.

While the “non-GMO” and “organic” labels proved trustworthy, the study found that nearly all of the food bearing the natural “label” contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients. The watchdog tested a minimum of two samples from each of the 80 products, which were purchased between April and July 2014. …

​Monsanto’s experimental genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in the second US field in Montana, about a year after the discovery of the company’s unapproved crop growing in Oregon disrupted US wheat exports.

The plants were discovered at a test site at Montana State University, where back in 2000-2003 Monsanto was conducting field trials of its wheat, genetically modified to tolerate Roundup herbicide.

Although the government believes the wheat never reached market, it has still opened an investigation into finding the rogue plants at a site that was not supposed to host any tests after 2003, USDA’s Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service announced on Friday.

“We’ve now opened an investigation into this regulatory compliance issue,” said Bernadette Juarez, director of investigative and enforcement services for APHIS, adding however that “there are no safety issues with this wheat.” …

Three class-action lawsuits filed Friday claim that agribusiness power Syngenta is to blame for depressed corn exports to China since the seed company released a genetically-engineered variant of the crop before it was approved by Beijing.

At issue is Syngenta’s 2009 release and distribution of its MIR162 genetically-modified corn known as Agrisure Viptera, which is engineered to fend off certain insects known to decimate corn crops. While approved for use in the United States, Chinese regulators have yet to sanction the export of Viptera.

Syngenta is responsible for “destroy[ing] the export of US corn to China,” which led to “depressed prices for all domestic corn,” according to Volnek Farms, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in an Omaha, Nebraska federal court. Volnek and others are claiming $1 billion in compensation. …

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