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Vermont Gov. Signs US’ First No-Strings-Attached GE Food Labeling Bill into Law – May 8, 2014

Law goes into effect in 2016. State girding up for legal challenge

It’s a big day for food safety activists in the United States. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin just signed the country's first no-strings-attached GE food labeling bill into law.

Vermont Governor making an annoucement in front state capitolPhoto courtesy Center for Food Safety

What this means is that the law will go into effect regardless of actions on the matter by other states. Food producers and manufacturers in Vermont will have to label products containing genetically modified organisms by 2016.

Vermont isn’t the first state to pass a GE food-labeling bill. Two other states – Connecticut and Maine – have also passed similar legislations, but… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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Even Bullets Haven’t Stopped Ramesh Agrawal From Fighting Big Coal – April 29, 2014

Goldman Environmental Prize winner’s crusade against coal mining highlights the risks environmentalists face in India

Ramesh Agrawal knew right from the start that he was putting his life on the line. When you take a stand against India’s politically powerful coal industry, that’s almost a given.

“I knew from their past history what they are doing to their agitators. So I knew anytime, anything can happen to me,” says the soft-spoken environmental activist who has spent the past decade helping villagers demand their right to information about the rush of industrial development projects in the mineral-rich Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

Ramesh Agrawal by a coal minePhotos courtesy The Goldman Prize Ramesh Agrawal at the site of a coal mine in… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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Showtime Series Uses Star Power to Drive Home the Truth About Our Warming World – April 11, 2014

Can a 60 Minutes-meets-Ocean’s Eleven show on climate change lure viewers away from Don Draper?

A Sunday night primetime television show, a documentary series at that, on climate change — that’s kind of ambitious, wouldn’t you say?

actor Harrison Ford with an orangutanHarrison Ford stirred up quite a flutter during his reporting trip to Indonesia when he bore down upon the country's foreign minister, asking repeatedly nothing was being done to curb illegal logging.

But add in a star cast of Hollywood heroes — Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, and Matt Damon. Mix in some hotshot journalists — The New York Times’ Tom Friedman, CBS’ Lesley Stahl, and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Have them travel around the country and different parts… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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Kentucky Lawmakers Using Animal Welfare Bill to Sneak in Ag Gag Provision – March 26, 2014

Senate ag committee introduces amendment that would penalize whistleblowers and undercover investigators at factory farms

Industrial Ag interests are at it again, trying to block public scrutiny of their operations in Kentucky this time. I just learned that the Kentucky state senate is using a popular animal welfare bill as a cover to quietly slip through an “ag-gag” stipulation that would criminalize independent, undercover investigations of factory farming facilities.

The original intent of HB 222 (Word doc), introduced by House Democrat Joanie Jenkins earlier this month, was to set euthanasia standards, such as restricted use of gunshots and a ban on using gas chambers, for animal shelters in the state.

Pigs confined in metal and concrete pens at a factory farmmore

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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California State Senator Introduces New GMO Labeling Bill – February 25, 2014

SB 1381 is a cleaner version of Prop 37, say bill proponents

California’s gearing up for round two of the GMO labeling debate. This time though the battle will be duked out in the state legislature rather than in the public arena.

photoname Photo courtesy Senator Evans' OfficeLast Friday, state Senator Noreen Evans, a Democrat from Santa Rosa, introduced a new bill
to label GM foods sold in California.

On Friday, state Senator Noreen Evans, a Democrat from Santa Rosa, introduced a new bill to label GM foods sold in California. SB 1381 would require food sold in state grocery stores to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. The bill’s proponents say it… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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