Wednesday, February 09, 2011

EnviroUSA: Agriculture: Alfalfa growers warn of Food and Drug Admin releasing genetically-modified seed

Food Democracy Now is a voice for conventional and organic farming without genetically-modied (GMO) seed.  The org was undone by a surprise regulatory move that imperils a new direction in family farming.  Signing the petition will add your voice to those of family farmers in the USA, trying to stop Big Agriculture transnational corporations like Monsanto

  Over the past 12 days, the Obama administration has unbelievably chosen to approve two biotech crops, Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa and Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets. Obama's recent approval of them will allow them to be planted as early as this spring, despite widespread acknowledgement that these crops are certain to contaminate both conventional and organic farmers non-GMO crops. Their approval only benefits one company — Monsanto.
These decisions are a devastating blow to our democracy and the basic rights of farmers to choose how they want to grow food on their land and the rights of consumers who increasingly choose organic and sustainably grown food for its positive health and environmental impacts. Please join us in telling President Obama that it's time to stand up to Monsanto and reject these GMO crops today!

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As members of the fastest growing and most profitable segment in agriculture today, we are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has refused to protect the livelihoods of conventional and organic family farmers from the loss of a main livestock forage.

According to university scientists, the deregulation of GMO Roundup Ready alfalfa could lead to the genetic contamination of all conventional and organic alfalfa within five years. As a result of this decision, organic and non-GMO farmers have lost another vital tool in their toolbox to expand into highly profitable domestic and foreign markets, eliminating important market opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers at a time when they can least afford it.

The approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is yet another example of the agricultural biotechnology industry forcing an entirely unnecessary product onto the market not for farmer benefit, but simply to improve their bottom-line.

As any farmer worth their salt will tell you, alfalfa - a perennial legume - does not suffer from the same weed pressures as other crops, such as corn, soybeans, cotton and canola and that is why ninety-three percent of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. does not use any herbicides. In addition, by approving GMO alfalfa, the Obama administration has further weakened production agriculture since the increased use of herbicides will only lead to an increase of glyphosate-resistant superweeds, which have been called “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” by Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts as reported in TheNew York Times on May 3, 2010.
Last year, when the National Academy of Sciences released the report, Toward Sustainable Agriculture Systems for the 21st Century, it concluded that in order to meet the urgent demands of U.S. agriculture with regard to climate change, energy and water shortages and a rising population, “national agricultural policies and research programs should look beyond focusing only on low costs and high production and adopt a holistic perspective to farming that encompasses multiple end goals.”

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