Had the feds approved Monsanto's and Dow Chemical's new genetically modified crops, the Center for Food Safety said it would file suit. The Center for Food Safety has won several lawsuits against the government. USDA is supposed to issue an EIS (environmental impact statement) in the event a government regulation, like approving a new GMO crop, may potentially affect man's natural environment.
Dow Chemical wanted to push forth its new herbicide Enlist crops: cotton, soy, and corn.
Enlist, the herbicide resistant crops proposed by Dow, (soybean, cotton and corn crops) contain a substance ( 2,4-D, or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) found in the nuclear warfare chemical Agent Orange. Agent Orange is cited as a cause for a neurological and other ailments suffered by those who came in contact with it during and after the Vietnam War.
GMO crops are specialties with Monsanto, Dow and farmers because GMO foods are resistant to herbicides. "Botox apples", biotech Granny Smith apples from Canada are seeking approval for sale in the U.S.
Currently, GMO crops are called RoundUp crops, named after the herbicide RoundUp. The newer herbicide resistant crop, Enlist, Dow believed was certain to pass with USDA regulators. Dow Chemical execs wanted their Enlist soybean, cotton and corn crops on the market this year, or 2014 at the latest.
The USDA has refused to approve the new GMO crops until 2015 at the earliest. USDA says it has to conduct environmental impact statements (EIS) before it can approve GMO crops that potentially affect the environment and quality of life for the people who live in it. The analysis is a requirement before GMOS are approved for regular use. The Center for Food Policy has won lawsuits on this particular area that appears often ignored by federal regulators.
In addition to consumer complaints, and a huge round of online protest against the Monsanto Protection Act, organic farmers are concerned about biohazards as the potential for wind to carry the GMO herbicides and destroy non GMO crops remains as long as GMO crops are nearby. .
European countries, and Asia, broadly prohibit GMO crops. Fears of GMOs effect on humans and the affect GMO cultivated crops have on organic foods, prices and farmers were concerns voiced by American people to the Obama Administration particularly in the past few months as Congress passed the Monsanto Protection Act.
Monsanto and Dow execs reportedly were surprised at USDA's decision to disallow conversation about the crops until 2015. Other concerns about GMO crops are its seeds. Wind and travel (transportation, food trucks, etc) spread GMO crops which grow uncontrolled. As trucks with GMO crops pass through rural farming areas, the fear of seeds planting and intermingling with organic and non modified crops continues.
GMO crops use an herbicide called Round Up. The crops don’t resist the herbicide, crops stay alive and saves money, but the GMOs, coupled with the pesticides, haven’t been around long enough to deduce its real affect on humans and human resistance and vulnerability to toxic substances on farmed and farmed raised food.
The Enlist products are so named because the Enlist herbicide would replace the older, RoundUp herbicide.
Genetically modified foods haven't caught the attention of all consumers, partially because the foods are vegetables like soy, corn and canola. But genetically modified salmon is out there already and is seeking approval from FDA and USDA.
Currently, GMO foods do not require labeling. American consumers can assume that when purchasing canola oil, corn and soy, that they're likely purchasing GMO unless the brand specifically states "organic."