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Insights/Opinion
Kraig Scarbinsky / DigitalVision / Getty Images

There’s a Toxic Weedkiller on the Menu in K-12 Schools Across the U.S.

By Caroline Cox

Many parents cheered about 10 years ago when Michelle Obama took on the important task of improving school meals. Of course, every child should have a healthy lunch and breakfast. Most of us have school cafeteria stories; I still remember the feeling of failure I had decades ago when I realized my daughters never had time to eat more than their dessert before joining the stampede for recess.

Ms. Obama's work—and the work of many other concerned parents, teachers and staff—sparked significant improvements in school menus, some of which are now being undone by the current administration (allowing children to eat food with more salt and less whole grain). Schools must once again take another step forward.

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India is the world's largest cotton producer. Wikimedia Commons

Monsanto Can Claim Patent on GM Cotton in India, Top Court Rules

After a long-standing legal battle, India's top court ruled on Tuesday that Monsanto can own patents on genetically modified cotton seeds, overturning a Delhi High Court ruling that said plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under the country's laws, according to media reports.

The Supreme Court decision is a rare win for the seed giant—now owned by Germany's Bayer—which is facing more than 9,300 U.S. lawsuits over the safety of its controversial Roundup weedkiller.

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Advocates of labels for genetically modified food take part in the March Against Monsanto in Washington, D.C. Stephen Melkisethian / Flickr

'A Disaster': Critics Blast New GMO Labeling Rule From Trump's USDA

By Andrea Germanos

Food safety advocates are expressing sharp disappointment with the final federal GMO labeling rule, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While industry-friendly Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asserted in a press statement that the new standard for foods produced using genetic engineering (GE or GMO) would boost "the transparency of our nation's food system" and ensure "clear information and labeling consistency for consumers about the ingredients in their food," groups like the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)—and even food giants like Nestlé—say it does nothing of the sort.

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The USDA's approved "BE" symbol.

USDA Releases Final GMO Labeling Standard

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced its long-awaited rule on the labeling of foods containing genetically engineered, or GMO, ingredients. Just don't expect the letters GMO to appear on these products.

Under the new "National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard," such items will feature the term "bioengineered" or BE foods.

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Science
Pothos ivy was modified with rabbit DNA to clean dangerous household chemicals. Sian Irvine / Getty Images

Scientists Combine House Plant With Rabbit Gene to Form 'Green Liver' Against Indoor Air Pollution

Scientists at the University of Washington (UW) may have found an unexpected way to tackle persistent indoor air pollution: a common houseplant modified with rabbit DNA.

Researchers wanted to find a way to remove the toxic compounds chloroform and benzene from the home, a UW press release explained. Chloroform enters the air through chlorinated water and benzene comes from gasoline and enters the home through showers, the boiling of hot water and fumes from cars or other vehicles stored in garages attached to the home. Both have been linked to cancer, but not much has been done to try and remove them. Until now.

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Insights/Opinion
Classen / ullstein bild / Getty Images

GMO Potato Creator Now Fears Its Impact on Human Health

Of all the genetic engineers who have renounced the technology—Arpad Pusztai, Belinda Martineau, Thierry Vrain and John Fagan, among others—because of its shortsighted approach and ability to produce unintended and potentially toxic consequences, Caius Rommens' story may be the most compelling.

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Politics
Department of the Interior headquarters in Washington, DC. AgnosticPreachersKid / CC BY-SA 3.0

Former Monsanto Executive Picked by Trump to Lead Wildlife Agency

President Donald Trump said he will nominate a former Monsanto executive to head the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Aurelia Skipwith, who Western Values Project Executive Director Chris Saeger called "a darling of corporate special interests," worked at the agribusiness giant for more than six years. She has since worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of the Interior (DOI).

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Christopher Paquette / CC BY 2.0

Organic Farming With Gene Editing: An Oxymoron or a Tool for Sustainable Agriculture?

By Rebecca Mackelprang

A University of California, Berkeley professor stands at the front of the room, delivering her invited talk about the potential of genetic engineering. Her audience, full of organic farming advocates, listens uneasily. She notices a man get up from his seat and move toward the front of the room. Confused, the speaker pauses mid-sentence as she watches him bend over, reach for the power cord, and unplug the projector. The room darkens and silence falls. So much for listening to the ideas of others.

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L: Getty Images Entertainment / Mike Pont / Getty Images R: Patrick McMullan / Sean Zanni / Getty Images

Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci to Star in Anti-GMO Movie

Hollywood actors Christopher Walken and Christina Ricci are set to star in the new "anti-GMO" movie Percy, Deadline reported.

The film is based on the true story of Percy Schmeiser, a canola farmer from Saskatchewan, Canada who was sued by agriculture giant Monsanto over patent infringement in 1998.

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