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Judge Conti of San Francisco just sided with USDA's approval of Roundup-ready (GMO) alfalfa in a case filed by the Center for Food Safety.
As to concerns over cross-pollination, San Francisco Chronicle says Conti ruled that USDA isn't required to "'account for the effects of cross-pollination on other commercial crops.'" He said USDA's analysis found contamination possible but not likely. Concerns about pesticides, Conti said, were the EPA's, not his or the USDA's.
But Albert Straus, a California organic dairy farmer, along with many others, opposes this ruling, says Food Democracy Now, explaining that alfalfa is pollinated by bees that travel for miles and is impossible to protect from cross-pollination by GMO crops. These heavily sprayed crops may also threaten bees' survival.
Since alfalfa is essential feed for dairy cows, its contamination threatens the entire organic food chain.
CFS will appeal this latest decision. Tell Obama and USDA to Reverse Approval of GMO Alfalfa!
We, the undersigned, strongly oppose your initial approval of GMO, Roundup-Ready alfalfa and your continued efforts to oppose farmer and consumer concerns over contamination of organic and conventionally grown crops.
As Whole Foods was quoted as saying, "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well."
Of further serious concern is the effect of GE Alfalfa (and other GMO crops) on honey bees. "Alfalfa is a perennial crop that is open-pollinated by bees and other insects â€“ with a pollination radius as large as 5 miles" (Cornucopia Institute).
According to the Centre for Research on Globalization, "The genetic modification of the plant leads to the concurrent genetic modification of the flower pollen. When the flower pollen becomes genetically modified or sterile, the bees will potentially go malnourished and die of illness due to the lack of nutrients and the interruption of the digestive capacity of what they feed on through the summer and over the winter hibernation process."
With this and other policies we know to be wreaking havoc with our environment, causing Roundup-resistant super weeds, leading to USDA's attempt to now allow using a stronger, Agent-Orange-like pesticide (2,4-D), it is past time to start reversing any ruling that could possibly finish off what might be salvaged from this increasing ecological threat.
Consumers have made it repeatedly clear that they buy organic foods mostly to avoid eating those that have been genetically modified, and since our government repeatedly resists requests for labeling of GMO foods, consumers will now be faced with paying high prices for organic foods that may still likely be contaminated.
This ruling is the straw that has broken the camel's back!
Please be clear that the majority of the public does not want organic and conventional agriculture contaminated by GE Alfalfa and other GMO crops!
We demand USDA reverse its approval of GE alfalfa and stop using taxpayer money to resist action taken to protect consumers and conventional and organic farmers from Monsanto's and Dow's greed and destruction.
Thank you for your attention to this very urgent matter.