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Center for Food Safety

CFS Victories and Accomplishments

For 25 years, CFS has been at the forefront of organizing a powerful food movement that is fighting the industrial model and promoting organic, ecological, and sustainable alternatives.
Center for Food Safety

OUT NOW: 2020-2021 Victory Report!

The past year has been a historic one for CFS! We are incredibly proud of our victories and accomplishments protecting public health, oceans, animal welfare, endangered species and the environment.
“The opposition had Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow on their side and the largest campaign budget in our county's history, but with the expertise and support from the Center for Food Safety our group of 150 family farmers beat the chemical corporations and won a precedent-setting win that will protect family farmers from genetically engineered crops for decades to come.”
— Elise Higley
Farmer and Director of the Our Family Farms Coalition in Jackson County, Oregon
Join the Food Movement!

Victories and Accomplishments

For the last 25 years, Center for Food Safety has spearheaded the creation of a new food future, building an increasingly powerful food movement that is fighting against harmful industrial agriculture practices and promoting organic, ecological, and regenerative alternatives.

With you by our side, we share a collective vision for a food future that benefits all life on earth – allowing every living being and species to thrive. A food future which ensures that every adult and child has sufficient, nutritious, nontoxic food. Every day at Center for Food Safety we work towards this critical goal—through education and media, in courtrooms, and in state and federal agencies and legislatures across the country.  

We're proud to share some of the recent groundbreaking victories and accomplishments that we have achieved in 2023, together:

Interested in victories from previous years? See our Victory Reports below.

<< DOWNLOAD OUR 2020-2021 VICTORY REPORT >>

<< DOWNLOAD OUR 2015 VICTORY REPORT >>

 
Stopping GMO Foods and Animals

Challenging Legality of Hidden GMO Foods in the Marketplace: To augment our 2022 victory securing on-packaging labeling of GMO foods, we're now legally challenging a USDA loophole which excludes "highly refined" products from mandatory GMO disclosures unless the GE material is "detectable." Approximately 70% of genetically engineered ingredients in foods on supermarket shelves fall under this "highly refined" loophole.

Halted the Release of GE Mosquitos in CA: As a result of CFS pressure and advocacy, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation withdrew a permit application for a mass release of experimental genetically engineered mosquitoes in the Central Valley. 

 

Protecting Pollinators and Eliminating Toxic Pesticides

Fighting to Reverse the Approval of the Toxic Pesticide Enlist: CFS and allies sued the EPA for its unlawful re-approval of Enlist One and Enlist Duo, highly toxic herbicides sprayed "over the top" of corn, soybeans, and cotton genetically engineered to resist the herbicides.

Forced EPA to Cancel a Toxic Fungicide: Following legal pressure from CFS and courts, EPA withdrew its interim approval of difenoconazole, a potent and toxic fungicide sprayed on a wide range of fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, and soybeans.

Continued our Fight Against the Toxic Pesticide Dicamba: CFS and three other public-interest organizations representing farmers and conservationists filed arguments seeking to have a federal court again strike down the EPA's controversial approval of the drift-prone, volatile herbicide dicamba.

Pressured EPA to Regulate Pesticide Coated Seeds: CFS sued the EPA for failing to close a regulatory loophole allowing insecticide-coated seeds to avoid regulation. Years of inaction by EPA have allowed pesticide-coated seeds to proliferate across 150 million acres of U.S. cropland and cause widespread harm to bees, birds, and other essential pollinators, beneficial insects, and endangered species.

Required EPA to Address Harms of Four Pesticides to Endangered Species: CFS, in partnership with Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Defenders of Wildlife, secured a legal victory ordering the EPA to address the harms of the pesticides halauxifen-methyl, bicyclopyrone, flupyradifurone and benzovindiflupyr to endangered species.

Forced EPA Review of New Toxic Fungicide: Thanks to legal pressure from CFS and CBD, a Court ordered EPA to review the potential harm the new toxic fungicide inpyrfluxam poses to endangered species, delivering a major win for conservation groups and wildlife.

Stopping Endocrine-Disrupting Pesticides: CFS filed new litigation against the EPA for failing to test and regulate dangerous endocrine-disrupting pesticides as required by law. And as a result of CFS pressure, EPA announced the implementation of a new endocrine disruptor screening program for pesticides.

 

Dismantling Factory Farms and Protecting Animals

Secured Animal Welfare in the Organic Standard: As a result of 6 years of CFS advocacy and litigation, USDA announced the final Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) rule, delivering an important victory for farmers, consumers, and animal welfare advocates. OLPS is a vital step in providing strong animal welfare protections under the USDA Organic label.

Passed the First Reform of Industrial Factory Farm Regulation in Decades: CFS, in partnership with the Stand Up to Factory Farms coalition, passed SB85 in Oregon to protect the state's environment and communities from the threat of factory farms. The bill is the first legislation in decades to reform the regulation of Oregon's factory farms.

Stopped Construction of Factory Farms in Oregon: As a result of CFS pressure, the construction of several factory farms in Oregon were forced to end. This includes two proposed mega-chicken operations owned by Foster Farms and a proposed mega-dairy of 30,000 cows.

Protecting Communities from Factory Farm Pollution: Thanks to a lawsuit brought by CFS and allies, two factory farm dairies in Yakima Valley, WA have agreed to clean up and limit their water pollution. And along with community members in NY, we also sued Wood Dairy Farms to end the operation's pollution of the St. Lawrence River and the greater Lake Ontario watershed.

Fighting the Approval of the JS Ranch Factory Farm: CFS is representing a number of local farmers and farm advocacy groups in fighting the approval of a water quality permit for a proposed mega-chicken operation capable of raising nearly 3.5 million broiler chickens per year in Oregon. This lawsuit is ongoing in 2023.

Forcing EPA to Regulate Water Pollution from Factory Farms: CFS and 12 groups sued the EPA over the agency's failure to regulate factory farm pollution under the Clean Water Act.

Filed New Endangered Species Petition: To support our ongoing work to protect our most vulnerable pollinators, CFS filed a new legal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Iowa skipper butterfly as endangered.

 

Protecting our Oceans from Polluting Aquaculture Facilities

Protected Washington Coasts from Destructive Industrial Shellfish Aquaculture: As a result of a CFS lawsuit, a court in WA has revoked a general permit which would have broadly approved industrial shellfish operations in Washington. CFS challenged the permit for failure to follow key environmental laws and protect coastal wildlife, ecosystems, and recreation.

Continuing the Fight Against Industrial Finfish Aquaculture in Federal Waters Nationwide: CFS filed a federal case challenging the U.S. Army Corps approval of nationwide permit 56, which allows for the construction of offshore finfish aquaculture facilities in federal waters around the country. In the approval, the agency failed to comply with several core environmental protection laws and to analyze the impacts of its actions on ocean ecosystems and endangered species.

 

And here are some of our most important victories from previous years:

 
Stopping GMO Foods and Animals

First GE animal approval held unlawful: After a four-year CFS lawsuit, a federal court declared the approval of the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) animal, a GMO salmon, to be illegal! This decision is a huge victory for wild salmon, the environment, tribes, and our fishing communities.

"QR" code GE labeling found unlawful: After years of litigation to stop corporations from hiding GMO ingredients from their customers, we won! As a result of our lawsuit, a court held that USDA's decision to allow genetically engineered (GMO) foods to only be labeled with a "QR" code was unlawful, and that USDA must instead add additional disclosure options to those foods. This is a huge victory towards ensuring every Americans right to know what is in their food.

New lawsuit to stop deregulation of GMO foods: CFS filed a federal lawsuit challenging a USDA decision to eliminate oversight of genetically engineered (GE) foods. If not overturned, GE foods and animals could flood the market, and be grown and sold without testing, oversight, or scientific review.

 
Protecting Pollinators and Eliminating Toxic Pesticides

Found the reapproval of glyphosate unlawful: In one of our most impactful victories yet, a federal court overturned the EPA's decision that the toxic pesticide glyphosate is safe for humans and imperiled wildlife, finding that the agency failed to adequately consider both whether glyphosate causes cancer and its risks to endangered species. This is a huge step forward in stopping glyphosate, the most used pesticide in history!

Invalidated registration of bee-killing pesticide: In another victorious CFS lawsuit, a court ruled that EPA failed to assess the risks to endangered species when it approved the bee-killing insecticide sulfoxaflor, and as a result found the registration unlawful. 

Saving Monarch butterflies! As a result of CFS's legal and scientific actions and a court settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that Monarch butterflies deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This means Monarchs will soon be protected from further risk of extinction and put on the path back to recovery. This is a major and much needed victory for the survival of these iconic butterflies!

Banned a brain-damaging pesticide: After studies found that the pesticide chlorpyrifos harms children's brain development, CFS wrote, lobbied, and passed a first-of-its-kind bill that banned the pesticide chlorpyrifos in Hawaii, and helped secure similar bans in California, New York, and now at the federal level.

Overturned a toxic Monsanto pesticide: We had one of the most important legal victories ever against pesticides and GE crops in 2020. As a result of our lawsuit, we made history when a federal court overturned the approval of Monsanto's toxic pesticide dicamba, used primarily on GE crops. The decision also forced EPA to consider impacts of pesticide drift on farmers and the environment when approving future pesticides. 

Forced EPA to admit risks of neonicotinoids on endangered species: As a result of CFS litigation, EPA acknowledged that three major neonicotinoids are "likely to adversely affect" over 1,000, or 79% of all endangered species. This admittance will pave the way for strong future arguments against neonicotinoid insecticides. 

Stopped the approval of a new toxic pesticide: In response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity, chemical giant BASF agreed to stop the manufacture and sale of the pesticide trifludimoxazin, which has been found to "likely cause severe harm" to many threatened and endangered fish, including endangered populations of Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, Atlantic sturgeon, and smalltooth sawfish.

Securing the listing of bees as endangered in California: In a major victory for pollinators and other vulnerable insects, a California court ruled that the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) can protect invertebrates, including four species of imperiled bumblebees. This is the first time insects will receive endangered species protections in the State!

Blanket pesticide spraying found unlawful in CA: In a major victory for public health and the environment, a California court ruled that a sweeping state pesticide spraying program is unlawful due to failures to adequately study and minimize public health threats from pesticides.

Filed a lawsuit to stop the endocrine-disruptor atrazineone of the most used pesticides in the U.S. We also have active litigation to stop the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor, as EPA failed to consider the pesticide's harms to endangered species and bees. 


Dismantling Factory Farms and Protecting Animals

Shutting down mega-dairies: CFS has shut down polluting factory farms in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—and we're pushing every day to shut down even more!

Struck down controversial "ag-gag" laws in Kansas and Iowa that criminalized sharing information critical of animal agriculture (working in coalition with animal and consumer organizations). This is a huge victory for animals and for free speech!


Protecting our Oceans from Polluting Aquaculture Facilities

Struck down illegal aquaculture regulations: CFS is one of the only organizations fighting industrial fish farms, also known as aquaculture facilities ("floating factory farms of the sea"). We scored a landmark victory when a federal appeals court struck down illegal regulations that would have established for the first time permanent commercial aquaculture operations in U.S. federal waters. While the case centered on the Gulf of Mexico, the scheme was a model for all US federal waters.

Stopping polluting commercial shellfish aquaculture: CFS won another first-of-its kind case to stop polluting commercial shellfish aquaculture operations in state coastal waters, a huge win for vital species like salmon and orcas. This decision recognized for the first time the harmful impacts that shellfish aquaculture has on coastal ecosystems.


Fighting for Strong and Meaningful Organic Standards and Promoting Regenerative Agriculture 

Securing humane livestock standards in the organic standard: CFS litigation forced USDA to reinstate animal welfare protections for all organic livestock that the Trump administration had eliminated. As the new standards are finalized, CFS continues to push for stronger animal welfare protections and faster implementation of these rules that effect thousands of animals.

Secured funding for alternative farming practices that reduce carbon emissions from farms in California. CFS advocated for and helped secure $1.3 billion in funding for equitable and resilient food and farming system investments in California, including $75 million for Healthy Soils.

 

Videos and Reports!

CFS's science team continues to create groundbreaking reports on issues including factory farms, impacts of neonic pesticides on pollinators and the environment, Monarch butterflies, chemicals in food, regenerative farming, and much more!

CFS launched our Regenerating Paradise: Season 2 video series which showcases innovative farming initiatives in Hawaii, showing the rest of the country how regenerative and local food systems can simultaneously support the economy, strengthen cultural heritage, and improve the overall health of a community.

All of these victories and accomplishments would not be possible without your activism and support! Thank you for helping make all this progress and many victories possible. 

Onwards, together! 

Chip in to power our work! Together we can keep winning to protect people and the planet >> 

 

VICTORY REPORT 2020-2021

The Victory Report below outlines many of our major legal, policy, and grassroots successes in halting the spread of the genetic engineering of our foods, stopping the use and misuse of pesticides, protecting our pollinators and seed diversity, defending farmers and farm communities from corporate takeover and persecution, halting the unspeakable cruelty of animal factories, and addressing industrial agriculture's contribution to the climate crisis.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT >>