Archive for April, 2012

What’s the Problem with Labeling GMO Foods?

Since genetically-modified (GM/GMO) crops came onto the market, there’s been a lot of debate about whether foods containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled. Some people believe it’s a right-to-know issue, and all products containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled as such. Others believe that since there’s no difference between GM and non-GM ingredients, labeling shouldn’t be required.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees food labeling in the United States. The FDA has found there is no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by biotechnology present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding. As such, the FDA does not require food derived from biotech crops be labeled differently from other food products, unless the modification results in a meaningful difference, such as changing the compositional or nutritional profile of the food. In that case, the meaningful difference would need to be reflected in the description of the food.


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Posted by Dave on March 28, 2012
NEW YORK – March 28, 2012 – Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed.

“Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed,” said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs. “Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed.”
The original complaint in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff lawyers at PUBPAT then filed arebuttal brief on August 11, 2011. Judge Buchwald called for oral argument on the motion to dismiss, which was held in Manhattan on January 31, 2012.  The judge’sdismissal ruling was issued February 24th and plaintiffs were given thirty days in which to file their Notice of Appeal.
“Farmers are under threat.  Our right to farm the way we choose, and to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our families and for our customers is under assault,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Appellant OSGATA. “We are honor-bound to challenge an erroneous ruling which denies family farmers the protection the law says we deserve. We’re not asking for one penny from Monsanto. Ultimately, our fight is for justice and is waged to defend the right of the people to have access to good and safe food.”

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