Friday, January 21, 2011

Take Action NOW: If approved, GMO alfalfa will fundamentally undermine the entire organic industry overnight.

Here is the letter Food Democracy Now are sending to President Obama and Secretary Vilsack, at the end of the letter there is a link you can clickso you can add your name, please take the time and add your name it is very important.

Dear Secretary Vilsack and President Obama,

I urge you to immediately reject the approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa. The U.S. Supreme Court has already acknowledged that the economic risks from genetic contamination, as well as the risk to the environment of gene flow, are real concerns. The USDA has a responsibility to protect farmers and consumers and should refuse the biotech industry’s demands for deregulation. More importantly, the Secretary of Agriculture and President of the United States have a sacred duty to protect biodiversity and seed integrity for future generations and our planet.

If approved, the contamination of organic and conventional alfalfa crops is scientifically certain to happen. Once contaminated, organic and conventional crops will lose their economic value and this threatens the livelihood of family farmers who have responded to market signals regarding the valid concerns of the negative health and environmental impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Already the CEO of the largest dairy cooperative has stated that approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa “threatens the very fabric of the organic industry.” Once undermined, consumers will lose faith in USDA approved organic products. As head of the federal agency in charge of protecting farmers, any decision to approve GMO alfalfa threatens to destroy the fastest growing and most profitable segment of agriculture today and thus runs counter to the mission of the agency you are sworn to uphold.

And while I appreciate your admission of the serious risks posed by GMO contamination to organic and conventional farmers, it is evident that the USDA’s proposed remedies are not adequate to protect America’s farmers or our nation’s citizens who choose to buy organic products. Approval of Monsanto's GMO alfalfa infringes upon the rights of Americans to make legitimate choices in the foods that they eat and feed their children daily and threatens the rapidly growing $26 billion organic market.

The basic right to consume food that is not contaminated and for farmer's fields to be safe from genetic contamination that ruins their economic livelihood is enshrined in the Constitution. It is time that federal officials at the USDA, White House and Congress move to protect this right, rather than to continue to trample upon it at the biotech industry’s bidding.

As such, I strongly urge you to reject the approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa.


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