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I appreciate that USDA, by considering conditional deregulation of GE alfalfa, is acknowledging both the importance of organic agriculture and the necessity to uphold the integrity of organics and ensure consumer trust and confidence in the USDA organic label. I believe in product diversity & sustainability, including regional and local food system development, support for small farms, and reform of subsidies. I support consumers' right to information so they can make informed food choices, including sufficient product labeling.
I have no desire to see GE alfalfa deregulated in any fashion. But given the choice between full deregulation and conditional deregulation, I support a conditional deregulation that supports co-existence, protects the integrity of and consumer trust in the organic seal, appropriately assign all costs of co-existence to patent holders, provides for mandatory labeling so that producers and consumers can make informed purchase decisions, and is fully transparent with respect to the current and future public health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GE.
I urge the USDA to conduct the necessary studies to truly understand the long-term impact of GE alfalfa and other GE crops on the environment and our health, as it will take years if not decades to truly understand its effects on us.
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