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From across the web, some interesting things we’ve read this month

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2016 September Issue Newsletter

By Amie Lindenboim

Oil pump in orchard of orange tree saplings in central California. Istock.

Good stuff you may have missed while you were planting, picking, or lying on the beach:


Lawmakers Call For Clear Labeling Of GMOs, Decry Federal Law

Coverage of our GMO labeling coalition’s August 18th press conference

Blumenthal Says He Will Fight Federal GMO Labeling Restrictions

On the same day, Sen. Richard Blumenthal told a crowd of about 20 people at a farmers’ market in Hartford, Conn., that he will fight the GMO labeling law signed by President Barack Obama late last month and that he plans to introduce legislation that would repeal the federal preemption provisions in the next session.

GMO Wheat Found In Washington State Could Affect US Trade

GE Roundup-Ready wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the U.S. and found growing in a field in Washington state in August poses a possible risk to trade.  Several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after GE wheat was found in a field on an Oregon farm in 2013. It also popped up in a field at a university research center in Montana in 2014.  Monsanto conducted limited field trials of similar wheat from 1998 to 2001, but it was never commercialized.  More disturbing: the Monsanto spokesperson said the plants were similar to the one discovered in Oregon three years ago, but the same inserted DNA was now in a different location (in the plant DNA).


Organic Standards

National Organic Program Removes Five Non-Organics from List

NOP announced in the Federal Register that egg white lysozyme, cyclohexylamine, diethylaminoethanol, octadecylamine and tetrasodium pyrophosphate can't be used in organic products made after Sept. 12. The removal of the ingredients from the list is in line with 2015 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board. All of the roughly 200 items on the National List are reviewed by the board every five years to determine if they are still necessary for organic food production



Nearly Two Decades Of Data Reinforce Concerns That Pesticides Are Really Bad For Bees

New research has provided some of the strongest evidence yet that pesticides can do serious, long-term damage to bee populations.

Bee-Harming Pesticides Are Declining At Plant Nurseries, Report Shows.

Retailers appear to be selling fewer ornamental plants laced with pesticides linked to bee population declines, according to a new report. (Though nursery plants are only a small percentage of total neonic seed treatments—A.L.)


Water, Megafarms

Are You Eating Food That Was Irrigated with Oilfield Wastewater?

California environmental activists say oil wastewater doesn’t belong on farms until it is proven safe. California water districts disagree.

Meet The California Couple Who Uses More Water Than Every Home In Los Angeles Combined

Amazing article on who’s winning and who’s losing when people buy POM pomegranate drinks, Fuji water, Cuties mandarins, or pistachios and almonds from California.


All of the Above

The Neurotic Eater’s Grocery List: The Ethical, Environmental, And Health Problems Of Virtually Every Food In The Supermarket

There really is nothing left to eat.  An extensive guide to our bountiful yet highly problematic food supply.  Statements are not entirely comprehensive, but you’re sure to read something new here (just take it with a grain of local, sustainably-harvested sea salt).

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