A step forward for bees

And a possible change on the GMO-labeling front

February 1, 2013

Despite repeated petitions on behalf of honey bees, the Environmental Protection Agency has not banned the pesticide clothianidin. In late January, however, the European Food Safety Authority published a report stating that clothianidin and its fellow neonicotinoids did indeed harm bees, leading the European Union to call for restrictions on the chemicals. So now the pressure is back on the EPA to follow suit.

Meanwhile, as Tom Laskway noted on Grist, the entire GMO-labeling movement may be shifting ground, as big industrial food producers switch from opposing GMO labels to requesting them. Laskawy quotes Ronnie Cummins, the head of the Organic Consumers Association, who wrote about the matter on AlterNet:

Is it possible that the threat posed by the growing grassroots GMO labeling movement has prompted a number of Fortune 500 corporations to abandon Monsanto and the biotech industry, and rethink the PR and bottom-line costs of clinging to their anti-right-to-know positions? After all, it’s not as if these companies are incapable of making GMO-free products. Though many Americans don’t know it, Walmart, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Unilever, Kellogg’s, Starbucks — even McDonald’s — are GMO-free in Europe, thanks to strict GMO labeling laws.

All of which means the EPA might start regulating neonicotinoids — and the FDA might start doing the same with genetically modified food.

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