A short time ago the US Department of Agriculture
This comes as no surprise to the organic community but what is most distressing is that FGI will be allowed to conduct commercial planting of this new GE crop without any federal requirements to prevent the contamination of non GE alfalfa fields. The impact of this ruling is far reaching to organic farmers across the board. The legislated organic standards prohibit any presence of GE material in organic crops. This makes perfect sense since consumers who demand organic produce have a right to be protected against GE contamination. But yet, federal authorities continue to allow GE crops to proliferate unchecked. It's a serious issue and not just for organic farmers. In a prior article, I discussed the potential health implications of unregulated GE crops. In that article which you can view here: http://blog.fashionandearth.com/2010/05/21/whats-the-scoop-on-gm-crops/ I discuss the finding by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) that cross pollination between GE and non-GE crops is occurring. This finding opens up the very real possibility that our consumable crops are also being contaminated by pharmaceutical based DNA. What does that mean? For the past decade, big pharmaceutical companies have been genetically modifying plant crops to produce drugs. But as stated earlier, there are no regulations to protect against the possible contamination of non-GE crops by nearby GE crops. Let me provide a superb example outlined by UCS. Let's say a big pharma is growing corn with the ability to produce a drug such as a growth hormone. The pollen from this GE crop is carried through the air pollinating nearby non-GE corn destined for human consumption. The farmer of the non-GE corn harvests his seeds some of which are now genetically modified. These seeds are sold to a farmer who then grows the corn for human consumption not knowing that some of the corn is actually GE corn. Some of this GE corn might have the genetic sequence for growth hormone production or might actually have growth hormone in the corn kernels. The consumer then purchases this corn and is unwittingly contaminating themselves and their family with a pharmaceutical drug. This is a very real possibility but yet there are zero regulations in place to protect against this type of contamination. Monsanto has a market cap of 40 billion and did 10.5 billion in sales in fiscal year 2010. They are big, they are powerful and they have used their power very aggressively against anti-GMO activists. But the bottom line is organic produce has grown from 1 billion in 1990 to approximately 23 billion today. Individuals such as you and I have spoken loud and clear. We want organic produce. But the disconcerting issue is that if Monsanto continues to get its way, organic production may become compromised. If we want to protect our right to choose, we must stand up and be heard. We must say no to the unchecked proliferation of GE crops. Will you make your voice heard? If you want to join the growing movement against Monsanto and GE crops then go take a look at the Organic Consumers Association campaign here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/. They are looking for volunteers to help spread the word to legislators that we want the right to choose and that ability to choose must start with proper labeling of produce. After all, if foods do not have to be labelled as GE, how can you choose to say no to GE foods?