Academies of Science finds GMOs not harmful to human health

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

SAN FRANCISCO -- Genetically engineered crops are safe for humans and animals to eat and have not caused increases in cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney disease, autism or allergies, an exhaustive report from the National Academies of Science released Tuesday found. Work on the 388-page report began two years ago and was conducted by a committee of more than 50 scientists, researchers and agricultural and industry experts convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It reviewed more than 900 studies and data covering the 20 years since genetically modified crops were first introduced. Overall, genetically engineered (GE) crops saved farmers in the United States money but didn't appear to increase crop yields. They have lowered pest populations in some areas, especially in the Midwest but increased the number of herbicide-resistant weeds in others.

Bees die needlessly as Zika prompts US state to spray pesticide

New Scientist

It was an avoidable massacre. Beekeepers in Dorchester County, South Carolina, saw 48 of their hives killed off on 28 August. The culprit was a pesticide, sprayed from a plane with the aim of killing mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. But South Carolina's mosquito population isn't yet known to carry Zika – and even if the virus is present, there are ways to kill the mosquitoes without killing bees. In response to four local cases of Zika, Dorchester County sprayed a pesticide called Naled, a neurotoxin which kills adult mosquitoes and other insects.

Monsanto's Roundup weed killer contributed to man's cancer, first U.S. federal trial told

The Japan Times

LOS ANGELES - The controversial weed killer Roundup was a "substantial factor" in the cancer of a U.S. man who woke up one day with a lump in his throat and was soon diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, his lawyer said Monday, opening the first U.S. federal trial of its kind. Edwin Hardeman, of Sonoma County north of San Francisco, filed a complaint against Roundup's manufacturer, Monsanto, in early 2016, a year after being diagnosed with the cancer. His is the first case to be heard in a U.S. District Court but follows the groundbreaking case last year of Dewayne "Lee" Johnson. Jurors in a California State Court last August unanimously found that Monsanto acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and Ranger Pro contributed "substantially" to Johnson's terminal illness. Roundup, a brand owned by German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer after its purchase of U.S.-based Monsanto last year, contains glyphosate that environmentalists and other critics have long maintained leads to cancer.

Researchers test self-destructing moth in cabbage patch

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Researchers in a New York cabbage patch are planning the first release on American soil of insects genetically engineered to die before they can reproduce. It's a pesticide-free attempt to control invasive diamondback moths, a voracious consumer of cabbage, broccoli and other cruciferous crops that's notorious for its ability to shrug off every new poison in the agricultural arsenal. 'It costs $4-5 billion a year globally to manage this pest,' said Anthony Shelton, a Cornell University researcher who's been studying the species for 40 years. The diamondback moth is a voracious consumer of cabbage, broccoli and other cruciferous crops that's notorious for its ability to shrug off every new poison in the agricultural arsenal. The moths have a synthetic'self-limiting' gene that makes their female larvae die before they mature.

Man Claims Roundup Weedkiller Gave Him Cancer, Takes Monsanto To Court

International Business Times

Over 800 patients sued Monsanto over the past year, claiming that the agrochemical company hid the cancer risk of their popular Roundup products. In a landmark trial on June 18, Dewayne Johnson will become the first patient to take them to court on these allegations. Forty-six-year-old Johnson used their weed killer product 20 to 30 times a year when working at a school district in California from 2012 to 2015. According to his lawsuit, his responsibilities included "direct application of Roundup and RangerPro, another Monsanto glyphosate product, to school properties." He received his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis in August 2014, referring to cancer which starts in the white blood cells or lymphocytes.