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Mike Mozart / Flickr

Germany to Put 'Massive Restrictions' on Monsanto Weedkiller

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner announced Tuesday she is drafting regulation to stop use of glyphosate in the country's home gardens, parks and sports facilities, Reuters reported.

The minister also plans to set "massive restrictions" for its use in agriculture, with exemptions for areas that are prone to erosion and cannot be worked with heavy machinery.

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Cotton crop in Barnala, India. Ashwani Verma / Flickr

Report: Monsanto May Leave India After Losing GMO Cotton Patent

Could Monsanto's six-decade presence in India be coming to a halt?

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court ruled that the biotech giant cannot claim patents for Bollgard and Bollgard II, its genetically modified cotton seeds, in the country.

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Food

Environmentalists and Farmers Seek Court Decision Halting Use of Dow’s 'Agent Orange' Pesticide

Late Wednesday, a coalition of environmental organizations and farmers represented by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice filed new legal papers in federal court seeking the reversal of Scott Pruitt and the Trump Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approval of Dow Chemical's toxic pesticide, Enlist Duo. The novel pesticide is a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D, to be sprayed over the top of corn, cotton and soybeans that are genetically engineered by Dow with resistance to both pesticides.

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Food
Bayer Crop Science Innovation Center. NCSUPlantPathology / Flickr

'Merger From Hell' Reportedly Approved by DOJ, Pushing Agrichemical Chokehold on Food System

By Andrea Germanos

Watchdog groups sounded alarms on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the proposed mega-merger of Bayer and Monsanto has cleared its final regulatory hurdle in the U.S.

The reported approval from the Justice Department came "after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets," the Journal reported, and despite concerns raised by hundreds of food and farm groups. It also comes weeks after the European Commission gave its thumbs up.

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Health
The use of glyphosate has increased significantly since the introduction of genetically modified foods in the 1990s.

Researchers Link Glyphosate to Shorter Pregnancies

Researchers from Indiana University and University of California San Francisco have linked glyphosate exposure in pregnancy to shortened gestational length.

The new study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found that 93 percent of a study group of pregnant women in Indiana had detectable levels of the widely used and controversial herbicide in their urine. Those with higher levels delivered earlier compared to those with less or none.

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Popular Beer and Wine Brands Contaminated With Monsanto's Weedkiller, Tests Reveal

By Zen Honeycutt

The past few years have revealed some disturbing news for the alcohol industry. In 2015, CBS news broke the announcement of a lawsuit against 31 brands of wines for high levels of inorganic arsenic. In 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even independent beers.

Moms Across America released test results of 12 California wines that were all found to be positive for glyphosate in 2016. We tested further and released new findings last week of glyphosate in all of the most popular brands of wines in the world, the majority of which are from the U.S. and in batch test results in American beer.

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Business
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 'We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full.' EU Commission Twitter

EU Approves Controversial Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The European Union approved Bayer's takeover of Monsanto, a major hurdle in the $66 billion merger that would create the world's largest integrated seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The European Commission said the German chemical-maker's takeover of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant is "conditional on an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture."

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Survey participant Vilicus Farms is a first generation, organic, dryland crop farm in northern Hill County, Montana. Anna Jones-Crabtree / Vilicus Farms / Flickr

Poll: Farmers Overwhelmingly Oppose Bayer-Monsanto Merger

An overwhelming majority of surveyed farmers are concerned about the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger and believe it will have a negative impact on independent farmers and farming communities, a recent poll has found.

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Animals
Mark Heatherington / Flickr

Monarch Butterfly Migration Could Collapse, Scientists Warn

The yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, released Monday, shows a decrease from last year's count and confirms the iconic orange and black butterfly is still very much at risk. The count of 2.48 hectares of occupied winter habitat is down from 2.91 hectares last winter.

Overall, monarchs have declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades.

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