GMO In the Know – June 14th, 2013
A wrap-up of GMO-related headlines and developments.
This week, a bill to label genetically engineered foods passed easily through Maine’s House and Senate, furthering New England as a leader in the right-to-know movement. The bill will now go back to the House and Senate for a final enactment, before being signed into law by Governor LePage.
Like Connecticut, who passed a GE labeling bill earlier this month, Maine’s bill will not go into effect until a number of neighboring states enact similar legislation. So, who’s next, New England?
According to a paper published in the journal “Nature Biotechnology,” five major pest species have become resistant to Bt toxins found in genetically engineered corn and cotton plants since 2010. With the explosive growth of Bt crops planted in the past decade, many scientists predicted it wouldn’t be long before pest resistance, also known as “superbugs,” would effect GE farmers.
A study published by Australian and U.S. researchers this week in the “Journal of Organic Systems” showed that pigs fed genetically modified grains suffered a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation and developed heavier uteri. While many critics pointed out flaws in the study, others stressed the crucial need for further research into the effects of GE feed on animals.
In response to growing demand for organic, non-GMO products, American’s 2nd largest retailer has announced its aim to eliminate all GMO-based products from its “Simply Balanced” product line by the end of 2014. Target’s decision emulates similar ones from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, who have created private labels as trustworthy options for consumers.