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Michael Pollan and Others Sign Organic Unity Statement Against Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa

Irrigation in an alfalfa field

Heavy hitters in the food movement signed a unity statement in favor of fighting the USDA’s recent approval of GE alfalfa.

Here is the statement, in full:

In response to the USDA’s full deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, the following statement was released by more than 20 groups and individuals in the organic community:

WE STAND UNITED IN OPPOSITION TO GE ALFALFA

We stand united in opposition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to once again allow unlimited, nationwide commercial planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa, despite the many risks to organic and conventional farmers.

Last spring more than 200,000 people submitted comments to the USDA highly critical of the substance and conclusions of its draft EIS on GE Alfalfa. Instead of responding to these comments and concerns, including expert comments from farmers, scientists, academics, conservationists, and food safety and consumer advocates, the USDA has chosen instead to listen to a handful of agricultural biotechnology companies.

USDA’s decision to allow unlimited, nationwide commercial planting of
Monsanto’s GE Roundup Ready alfalfa without any restrictions flies in the face of the interests of conventional and organic farmers, preservation of the environment, and consumer choice. USDA has become a rogue agency in its regulation of biotech crops and its decision to appease the few companies who seek to benefit from this technology comes despite increasing evidence that GE alfalfa will threaten the rights of American farmers and consumers, as well as damage the environment.

The Center for Food Safety will be suing on this decision.

In the coming months, we will be seeing USDA proposals to allow unrestricted plantings of GE sugar beets, and GE corn and soy crops designed to resist toxic pesticides, such as 2-4D and Dicamba, highly toxic pesticides that pose a serious threat to our health and the environment. To win these critical and difficult battles, the entire organic community, and our allies in the conventional food and farming community, will have to work together.

Now is the time to unite in action. We need to work together to restore sanity to our food system, stop the deregulation of GE crops and join together against the forces that are seeking to silence hundreds of thousands of Americans.

As we move forward, we are united in opposing genetically engineered organisms in food production and believe that pressure to stop the proliferation of this contaminating technology must be focused on the White House and Congress. The companies responsible for this situation are the biotech companies whose GE technology causes genetic drift and environmental hazards that are not contained as the deregulation of genetically engineered alfalfa goes forward. The organic community stands together with consumer, farmer, environmental and business interests to ensure practices that are protective of health and the environment.

We urge you to join us today.

Sign up to receive action alerts:
http://cfs.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/Register

Consider making a donation to the legal effort ahead:
https://secure3.convio.net/cfs/site/Donation2?1311.donation=form1&df_id=1311&JServSessionIdr004=vqetvh6lh5.app306a

Let the White House know that you do not support the deregulation of GE alfalfa:
http://ota.capwiz.com/ota/issues/alert/?alertid=24747501

Sincerely,

Christine Bushway, Organic Trade Association
Jay Feldman, Beyond Pesticides
Michael Funk, United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI)
Elizabeth Henderson, NOFA Interstate Council
Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm
Liana Hoodes, National Organic Coalition
Kristina Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance
Faye Jones, Miwest Organic Sustainable Education Service
Robby Kenner, Robert Kenner Films
Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety
Russell Libby, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA)
Ed Maltby, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA)
Robyn O’Brien, Allergy Kids
Keith Olcott, Equal Exchange
Michael Pollan, Author
Maria Rodale, Rodale Inc.
Eric Schlosser, Author
Robynn Schrader, National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA)
Corinne Shindelar, Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA)
George Siemon, Organic Valley
Michael Sligh, Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)
Megan Westgate, Non-GMO Project
Maureen Wilmot, Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
Enid Wonnacott, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by tea_time

6 comments
  1. Deborah Koons Garcia

    Looking for help closing the barn door? A bit late. Where were these people last week? Mostly approving co-existence. Some of these people will have to decide which is more important, hobnobbing with the powers that be or saving organics. Oh yes, love the wonderbread ad on your site. Wheat is next.

    1. Becky Striepe

      Yeah, those Wonderbread ads are annoying. Unfortunately, I have little control over what ads our network serves. If you know of any responsible companies that would like to sponsor the site, I’d love to chat with them!

  2. Karl Haro von Mogel

    “Looking for help closing the barn door? A bit late. Where were these people last week? Mostly approving co-existence. Some of these people will have to decide which is more important, hobnobbing with the powers that be or saving organics.”

    The coexistence issue has really got some people in the organic community riled up. Ronnie Cummins and others are branding anyone in the non-GE community that suggests that GE and non-GE forms of agriculture have to get along as traitors to the cause. (Deborah Koons Garcia appears to have taken a cue from Cummins)

    But the reality is that farmers have as much of a right to grow a GE crop as another farmer has to grow a non-GE crop. One right is not superior to the other. Therefore, each of these sectors of agriculture need to figure out how to get along.

    So anyone in either camp that favors coexistence is actually on the right track.

  3. steve.rathe

    I have raised Alfalfa and have used G.M.O seed. It is just as nutritional as non G.M.O If feeding the world is our #1 priority we need science to succeed. As an American Farmer I’ve fed alot of hungry people. Many more than Michael Poullan. Get the facts! We would have millions starving if we reject good science in agriculture. Maybe Michael schould find a way to exploit someone other than the American farmer who have done an excellent job of producing a safe and affordable supply of plentiful food.

    1. hye prange

      you need to get a clue. we have no idea how GMOs will affect the body b/c the corporations providing the GMO seeds control and limit the scientific studies.

      Fact is, animals will not eat GMOs when given the choice of natural crop and GMO crop are placed beside them. Just like I wont.

      This stuff is going to kill us. in the long run.

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