New Zealand: Hastings District goes GMO-free

By Doug Laing: The food industry in Hawke's Bay was ready to party last night after confirmation the Hastings District Council has become the first local body in New Zealand to block genetically modified food production.

Industry leader John Bostock showed all the enthusiasm of a province winning the Ranfurly Shield when he said last night: "We are so excited. It's a wonderful thing."

The ban comes in new Hastings District Plan rules, prohibiting release and field trials of GM crops and animals in the council area. Mr Bostock says food producers in the area can now brand their products as grown in a GM-free food producing area.

He and others who formed the campaign lobby Pure Hawke's Bay have been fighting for at least 15 years "because it will bring huge benefits to Hawke's Bay".

Food production is being driven more and more by the "clean, green and pure" image, he said.

California May Soon Label Monsanto’s Roundup as ‘Known to Cause Cancer’

Monsanto may be in for a big surprise, courtesy of the EPA California state. The EPA’s environmental health hazard assessment office out of California has announced a move to label the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide ‘Roundup’ (and four others) as “known to cause cancer.”

This could begin a legal precedent that leads to not only the labeling of Roundup as ‘known to cause cancer’, but other Monsanto creations (and crops known to be sprayed heavily with glyphosate-based products).
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/california-may-soon-label-monsantos-roundup-as...

Fracking Creates Massive Radioactive Waste Problem

The EPA openly acknowledges that fracking fluid contains "thousands of chemicals," but nowhere is there mention of radioactivity in its risk assessments. Now, a new study reveals the "natural gas" industry may be hiding a secret as dark and deadly as the one the nuclear industry has been trying to conceal for decades.

With recent news that California's fracking industry will be "repurposing" its toxic wastewater to meet the needs of an agricultural industry driven desperate by the drought, a timely new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives reveals fracking wastewater is not just a source of dangerous petrochemicals but also a highly toxic form of radioactive waste.
READ MORE: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/fracking-radiation-natural-gas-industry...

Humankind Has Halved the Number of Trees on the Planet

The good news: there are over 3 trillion trees covering the Earth—that's far higher than the 4 billion estimated just two years ago, a team of international researchers has found.

But here's the bad news: there were far more trees—46 percent more—before human civilization got hold, with an estimated 15 billion trees being lost own each year, with just 5 billion replanted.

"Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution," said Thomas Crowther, a Yale Climate & Energy Institute post-doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and lead author of the study, in a press statement.
READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/09/03/humankind-has-halved-number-...

Lawsuit Accuses Federal Government of Withholding Info on GMO Crops for 10 Years

On August 25th, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for failure to adequately respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to genetically engineered (GE) crops. This marks the fourth time the CFS has sued APHIS to force the release of records.

The CFS accuses APHIS of failing to respond within a timely manner to at least 29 of their FOIA requests or appeals. The lawsuit is the center’s latest attempt to force APHIS to respond to FOIA requests and to order the agency to “stop its practice of failing to respond to FOIA requests related to GE crops.”
READ MORE: http://theantimedia.org/lawsuit-accuses-federal-government-of-withholdin...

Monsanto Drops $46.5B Bid For Syngenta

Agriculture giant Monsanto has dropped a $46.5 billion hostile bid for Swiss competitor Syngenta , choosing to refocus on a five-year plan to double earnings over an unfriendly merger effort that risked backlash from large shareholders.

Monsanto’s decision to abandon it Syngenta bid after months of back and forth comes amid a share turn in global stock and commodity markets, and paves the way for the St. Louis-based seed and fertilizer giant to buy back stock at multi-year lows. The deal’s failure, Monsanto said, was the result of Syngenta’s unwillingness to engage in a merger the company believed would generate significant synergies for stockholders and increasing product offerings for farmers.
READ MORE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/08/26/monsanto-drops-46-5-b...

Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys – study

Long-term intake of the Monsanto’s most popular Roundup herbicide, even in very small amounts lower than permissible in US water, may lead to kidney and liver damage, a new study claims.

The research, conducted by an international group of scientists from the UK, Italy and France, studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and one of its main components – glyphosate.

In their study, published in Environmental Health on August 25, the scientists particularly focused on the influence of Monsanto’s Roundup on gene expression in the kidneys and liver.
READ MORE: http://www.rt.com/usa/313806-monsanto-roundup-kidney-damage/

How Humans Cause Mass Extinctions

There is no doubt that Earth is undergoing the sixth mass extinction in its history – the first since the cataclysm that wiped out the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. According to one recent study, species are going extinct between ten and several thousand times faster than they did during stable periods in the planet’s history, and populations within species are vanishing hundreds or thousands of times faster than that. By one estimate, Earth has lost half of its wildlife during the past 40 years. There is also no doubt about the cause: We are it.
READ MORE: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mass-extinction-human-cause-...

Amazon slowly eaten away by gold rush's illegal mines

Seen from above, the Amazon resembles a huge billiards table -- a field of intense green pockmarked by brown stains. These are the sites of illegal mines, and they reveal the scope of a gold rush that threatens the lungs of the planet.

"The loss of our natural resources is incalculable," says Antonio Fernandez Jeri, Peru's high commissioner on illegal mining.

"Each lost hectare represents unique flora and fauna species," he told AFP.
READ MORE: http://www.france24.com/en/20150813-amazon-slowly-eaten-away-gold-rushs-...

Geologist Warned That EPA Was Going to Cause Massive Environmental Disaster a Week Before it Happened

The spill which sent toxic waste from an abandoned mine into a Colorado waterway last week released three million gallons of contaminates into the state's 126-mile Animas River—not one million, as previously announced, according to new estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
MORE: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Toxic_Fallout_Continues_as_Colorado_Mine_...

LETTER: http://www.silvertonstandard.com/news.php?id=847

Geologist Predicted EPA Would Intentionally Poison Animas River A Week Before Toxic Spill: http://therundownlive.com/geologist-predicted-epa-would-intentionally-po...

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