Big news of the year for those interested in keeping our organic food supply free of genetically modified (GM) contamination is the deregulation of GE alfalfa. Earlier in the year, the Organic Elite tried to work on a compromise with Monsanto and the USDA in regards to regulation of GM alfalfa. The Organic Elite includes but is not limited to Whole Foods, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farms. Whole Foods claims they had no choice but to agree to a coexistence with Monsanto on GE crops. They claim that total regulation was not an option. See link 2 below for more information.
The deregulation of GE alfalfa could have devastating consequences on all organic crops and animal feed. Alfalfa in the United States comprises 15% of all crops grown. Alfalfa is a primary food source for dairy cows and beef cattle. Alfalfa is an open-pollinated crop, which means bees, birds, and other insects freely pollinate it in an uncontrolled way. Its seeds and pollen can be spread far and wide all year long, which cause every future generation of alfalfa to have differing genetic traits. So once an alfalfa plant is cultivated, whether natural or GM, there really is no stopping either its spread or mutating effect on both nearby plants and future plantings of new alfalfa.
The long-term effect of growing GM alfalfa is the eventual contamination of all non-GM and organic varieties of just about all crop varieties with which it comes into contact. And once all those other crops are contaminated so will be the entire food supply for people and animals. Organic and non-GM crops will become extinct. So, can coexistence between GM and non-GM plants really exist? The saddest fact is that most of the alfalfa grown in the U.S. does not require pesticides or herbicides. So Monsanto will take a perfect crop and GM it. For what reason? Control? Power? Money? You decide.
To contact the USDA, firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the White House, call:
To contact Congress, visit:
See posting dated January 28, 2011 and titled Urgent Action Needed to Support Organics and Non-GE Crops