Despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval of many genetically modified foods, questions persist about the safety of eating them. Safety concerns should result in a halt to all sales of genetically modified foods until these questions are addressed. At the very least, consumers should have the right to know if the foods they are buying and eating have been genetically modified.
When it comes to labeling genetically modified (GM) foods, the United States lags behind nearly 50 developed nations, including all European Union member states, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The European Union requires all food, animal feeds and processed products with biotech content to bear GM labels.
With the rise of GM crops, coexistence between organic, non-GM and GM production has become more diffi cult due to the potential for gene flow and commingling of crops at both the planting and harvesting levels.
The biotechnology industry is aggressively promoting the environmental sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops. The industry claims that GM crops can reduce herbicide use, increase yields to feed a hungry planet, and develop new crops that are adapted to climate change.
In 1977, Congress passed a set of amendments to the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Together, the original act and the amendments came to be known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA set a strong and simple standard that polluting is illegal, and that the national goal is zero discharge of pollution into our public waterways. Failing achievement of zero discharge, the CWA set limits on discharges.
When it comes to labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods, the United States lags behind nearly 50 developed nations, including all European Union member states, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The European Union requires all food, animal feeds and processed products with biotech content to bear GE labels.
The United States and the European Union are moving toward privatizing their fisheries management systems through catch shares, while Iceland, with one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive catch share programs, is struggling to find a way to dismantle its program. Why? The answer is that catch shares have failed Iceland’s fisheries and the nation as a whole.
New drilling and fracking techniques have been a boon for the oil and gas industry in the United States, making it possible for companies to extract large quantities of oil and gas from shales and other “tight” rock formations. However, shale development has been a nightmare for those exposed to the resulting pollution.
Offshore aquaculture is factory fish farming of the sea, growing fish in huge, often over-crowded cages out in ocean waters. It can be problematic for both
the environment and the economy. The waste – fecal matter, uneaten food, and any chemicals or drugs used in the operation – flows directly into the ocean, and the result could be long-term damage to the seafloor. Despite its negative impacts, the following groups push for, or would profit from, factory fish farming in the United States and Europe.
The open water aquaculture and salmon industries tout fish farms as an opportunity to create jobs. Given current economic struggles worldwide, any potential for a new industry to increase job opportunities is hard to dismiss. Viable, gainful employment is badly needed. Unfortunately, Food & Water Watch found that the jobs created by fish farms are unstable, in some cases undesirable, and are very few in number related to the number of fish produced. In fact, the trend in the industry has been to cut jobs to increase “efficiency,” and to abandon communities if better sites arise elsewhere. Moreover open water fish farms can threaten previously-existing jobs in tourism, recreational fishing and commercial fishing.