Monsanto's win is our LOSS.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? On January 27th the USDA ruled that Monsanto's genetically modified Round-Up Ready alfalfa seeds may be planted across America. This has been approved with no tracking, no notification system, and no responsibility on the part of Monsanto for any business that is lost as a result of the genetic contamination that is certain to result.
If this ruling stands, we can kiss truly healthy, natural, clean and organic foods goodbye. The USDA’s decision to allow unrestricted planting of GM alfalfa is not likely to be an isolated case. The FDA is currently considering approval of GM salmon, and its decision is expected soon.
As provided in an article by Marion Nestle:
biotech has spent more than half a billion dollars ($547 million) lobbying Congress since 1999. Their lobby expenditures more than doubled during that time. In 2009 alone they spent $71 million. Last year they had more than 100 lobbying firms working for them, as well as their own in-house lobbyists.
Alfalfa growers do not need or want GM alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. The introduction of Monsanto’s GE herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic.
Alfalfa is used as pasture and high-protein feed and is the main forage crop for dairy cows and one of the principle foods for beef cows, especially grass-fed cattle. It is also used as pasture and high-protein feed for lambs and pigs and is used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. Alfalfa is a perennial, easily lasting five years once planted. And it's bee-pollinated, which means each year, every non-GE alfalfa plant within five miles of every GE alfalfa plant will likely be contaminated by GE genes. If introduced, GE alfalfa would ruin export markets for alfalfa products and threaten the future of organic food and farming in the North America.
The Center for Food Safety is planning on taking this issue back to court, where it has a good track record in recent years against Monsanto. Unfortunately, Tom Vilsack, our Agriculture Secretary, used to fly around in a Monsanto corporate jet while governor of Iowa. During that same period he was also named "Governor of the Year" by the Biotechnology Industry Council.
Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director for the Center for Food Safety stated last week: “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 farmers and consumers, as well as damage the environment.”
Monsanto's win is a huge loss to American's, not only because our food supply will be at risk, but selling our food overseas will be a problem - as many countries have banned genetically modified food from touching their soil, protecting the health of their people. Let's hope the Center for Food Safety has strong and obvious backing of Americans when it stands up for our rights, back in court. We can help provide this needed support by taking action:
Take Action click here. If you can do anything, at least let President Obama know you care. President Obama is the last line of defense and has the power to stop this approval.