Members of the sustainable food movement are furious and, frankly, we have a right to be. Last month’s decision by the USDA to fully deregulate GE alfalfa isn’t just a minor skirmish in a long and exhausting battle. It threatens the existence of organic farming and organic food, and flies in the face of USDA’s mandate from Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act to promote and preserve organic agriculture.
The biotech industry loves to talk about how safe and beneficial GE technology is, and regardless of where your opinion lands on those claims, the simple fact is this: GE is not allowed in USDA organic certification. Period. GE contamination of conventional and organic crops is not a myth. It’s a fact. Just look at the gene flow contamination of corn and soy. Deregulating yet another crop, particularly one that could have an enormous impact on organic dairy farming, undermines the future of organics. “Contamination of organic and traditional crops by recently deregulated, genetically modified alfalfa is inevitable,” the Associated Press reported Monday, citing mainstream agricultural experts.
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