Saturday, March 05, 2011

Obama is supporting more GM foodstuffs in America. Stop him! --FOOD AND WATER WATCH FOLKS

Americans, especially American farmers, need to stand up and stop the GM manipulat of GE in the area of alfalfa.

Join the action campaign on GE alfalfa and GE salmon today. Click on this link. –KAS

p.s. Also join and support FOOD AND WATER WATCH FOLKS after reading info below.

GE Alfalfa

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack did the deed and gave the official nod to the “unrestricted commercial cultivation” of genetically modified alfalfa. Surprised? We shouldn’t be. Vilsack once attributed his seemingly centrist views of agriculture to his love for both of his “sons”: big agribusiness and small farms. “I have two sons and I love them both,” he said. Maybe so. But it’s pretty obvious which one is the golden child: Big Ag.

Please join us in asking President Obama to step in and overturn this approval. If you care about the integrity of the food you eat, take immediate action to reverse this approval.

This green light means that producers of GE alfalfa will be ready to plant their crops as soon as this spring. According to the New York Times, Vilsack said that the government was obligated to approve GE alfalfa since the USDA’s environmental impact statement says it’s safe to grow. The department did consider the impacts that GE alfalfa could have on organic and non-GE crops; but then it once again caved to pressure from big agribusiness to approve it in time for the planting season.

A recently as December, Vilsack looked as though he was leaning toward a strategy that he called alfalfa production “coexistence,” a plan that made both big ag and food policy advocates cringe. But, instead of refocusing the USDA’s efforts to craft an alternate compromise or to take enough time to fully understand if such coexistence was even possible,Vilsack chose the worst possible option when he approved unrestricted use of GE alfalfa.

The New York Times reported that, along with the approval of GE alfalfa, Vilsack promised to “conduct research” and “promote dialogue” to ensure coexistence between GE, non-GE and organic crops. This promise — outlined briefly in a fact sheet available on USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) site — established some critical goals for his coexistence plan, including the reestablishment of two USDA advisory committees and an effort to more closely analyze things like seed quality and grower choice. It also included a plan to conduct research concerning genetic integrity; and alfalfa seed production and preservation.

All of these ideas could be incorporated into a feasibility/risk assessment of GE alfalfa, but the ideal time to conduct that research and reestablish those committees would be BEFORE one introduces an X factor like GE alfalfa into the situation with no restrictions.

Meanwhile, this herbicide-tolerant crop threatens the livelihoods of organic farmers due to widespread GE contamination. Organic farmers take great commercial risks to ensure their product is 100 percent free of hormones, antibiotics and genetic modifications. Since the pollen from GE seeds, like all other seeds, can spread with the wind, this compromises the standards that organic farmers work to protect and can void the value of their product.

Vilsack said, “We think the decision reached today is a reflection of our commitment to choice and trust.” Choice and trust for whom? Growers of conventional or organic crops have now been stripped of their choice. They even run the risk of being sued by companies like Monsanto for seed piracy or patent infringement if GE seeds from nearby farms infect their crops. As for trust, the agency’s failure to consider the far-reaching effects of GE alfalfa on farmers and consumers reverberates more strongly than their rhetoric.

Since Vilsack completely abandoned his efforts to compromise — however misguided they were — by approving GE alfalfa without restrictions, his real message is now quite clear. We now know which son of agriculture is truly his favorite: the one that went to business school.

Please join us in asking President Obama to step in and overturn this approval. If you care about the integrity of the food you eat, take immediate action to reverse this approval.

Spread the word with our printable flyer to tell President Obama, “Reverse USDA.”
Learn More

Consolidation and Intellectual Property Rights in the Seed Industry

The Bad Seeds: The Broken Promises of Agriculture Biotechnology

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Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Dear Kevin,

Floods. Droughts. Unseasonable weather. As if farmers didn't have enough to worry about, soon they'll be adding Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa to their list. A few short weeks ago, the USDA gave Monsanto’s GE alfalfa the green light for planting this spring with no real assessment of the threat this new plant might pose. Once this crop is planted, farmers across the country could face widespread contamination of their crops.

From battling global warming to protecting our air and water, you've helped push for science-based policy that takes all the facts into consideration. Now, the USDA is rushing approval on crops without analyzing all the facts. It's a huge mistake, and it puts our environment at risk.

Our friends at Food and Water Watch are fighting back against this hasty approval of Monsanto's GE alfalfa, but they need your help convincing President Obama to reverse this decision. Check out their email below and demand that President Obama put a stop to GE alfalfa contamination before it starts!

–Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters

10:13 AM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Dear friend,

Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Has Been Approved, But President Obama Can Have the Final Say

Demand President Obama Stop GE Alfalfa!

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has approved Monsanto's genetically engineered alfalfa for widespread planting this spring. This is outrageous and wrong, and it will hurt organic farmers.

Demand that President Obama reverse this disastrous approval.

The USDA decision to allow GE alfalfa to be planted unleashes another unnecessary genetically engineered crop into our environment and puts organic farmers at risk of widespread GE contamination. The agency did no real assessment of the harm that GE alfalfa could do, and caved to pressure from big agribusiness to approve this genetically engineered crop before the spring planting season.

President Obama is the last line of defense, and can stop the widespread planting of Monsanto's GE alfalfa. Take action now to demand President Obama stop this disastrous approval.

Thanks for taking action,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch

10:13 AM  

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