USDA Approves GM Alfalfa: What You Can Do

Irrigation in an alfalfa field

USDA approved Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa today.

The problem with GM alfalfa goes beyond the usual issues with GM crops. Since alfalfa cross-pollinates easily, this genetically engineered crop is guaranteed to contaminate organic crops. If you oppose GM alfalfa, you can send a letter to President Obama urging him to stop this approval.

Update: Our friends at Food & Water Watch just released a statement about this issue and the biotech industry’s influence in our government. Here it is, in full:

Once again, Biotech Lobby Tramples Rights of Farmers and Consumers

“We are extremely dismayed that the USDA has buckled under the pressure of biotech industry by deciding to allow the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa. Allowing GE alfalfa will have long-term, far reaching consequences on many aspects of agriculture, putting non-GE and organic seed supplies at risk of contamination by GE alfalfa. The USDA has given lip service to these concerns, but todayโ€™s decision by the agency demonstrates the financial influence that well-connected biotech lobbyists wield over our federal agencies and Congress.

“Today, in conjunction with the decision to allow unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa, the USDA has also announced a series of measures to try to understand the way that GE alfalfa could contaminate other crops. This is the first time the agency has acknowledged these issues, and unfortunately, these steps should have been taken before the agency decided to release this crop into the food supply, not after.

“The biotech lobby talks about a science-based approach, but they’ve conveniently neglected the science of nature — the threat of contamination of non-GE alfalfa fields and the proliferation of “superweeds” that will require even more toxic herbicides and chemicals to contain.”

A Food & Water Watch analysis released in November, 2010, found that food and agriculture biotechnology firms and trade associations have hired on as lobbyists at least 13 former members of Congress and over 300 former congressional and White House staffers through well-connected lobbying shops. To download the issue brief, click here:

This is a stark contrast to the government in Mexico, where officials just denied Monsanto’s request to expand its pilot project with genetically modified corn.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by tea_time

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4 thoughts on “USDA Approves GM Alfalfa: What You Can Do”

  1. The USDA has made it’s position crystal clear, while dangling their worthless USDA Organic Certification with more than 275 allowable synthetics in the process, production or final end “organic” product, why are we surprised at this betrayal? It is a major assault intended to destroy organics, the small farmer and real food availability

    There are 125,000 CAFO’s in the US, and all meat passes through, unless is grass fed and farmer direct. As bad as GMO Alfalfa, consider this.

    Distillers grains are a byproduct of whiskey and fuel ethanol production. They have a very long history of being fed to livestock; the first study in the United States about feeding distillers grains to cattle was published in 1907.

    The tremendous growth in fuel ethanol production has greatly increased the supply of distillers grains, resulting in increased interest in feeding them. Annual production of distillers grains (on a dry basis) was about 1 million tons in 1998, about 10 million tons in 2006, and is estimated to reach 16 million tons by 2010.”

    Sadly feedlot cattle are still being fed this slop. That’s 16 million tons of distiller waste being fed to beef and dairy cows in the US in 2010. Wrap your head around that fact!

    Nothing has changed about cows, they are still not biologically equipped to eat this waste slop. Remember, we already know that the majority of corn used in the US is GMO And of course GMO SOY is also a “co product” in distiller grains.

    How about voting with your dollars and stop swallowing their swill? We need to reject everything GMO, while we still have that option.

    Stay healthy!


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