Thursday, January 27, 2011

HAY! GETTIN' READY FOR THE ROUNDUP


The FDA is deregulating Monsanto's genetically engineered alfalfa (hay) to the horror of organic food growers and eaters, bee lovers, and climate watchers, but with the support, interestingly enough, of Whole Foods and Stoneyfield Yogurt.  Here are four informative articles.


From The Cornucopia Institute:  USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this afternoon that the agency will fully deregulate Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered alfalfa. The choice was favored by the biotech industry and one of three options identified in the USDA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) released last month. (read rest of article)


From The Wall Street Journal:  WASHINGTON—The Obama administration Thursday abandoned a proposal to restrict planting of genetically engineered alfalfa, the latest rule-making proposal shelved as part of the administration's review of "burdensome" regulation.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's decision not to regulate alfalfa genetically modified to survive applications of the Monsanto Co. herbicide Roundup is a victory for the big seed and agri-chemicals company and the American Farm Bureau Federation, which represents farmers, who had opposed the proposed curbs that were proposed about a month ago. (read rest of article)


From the Organic Consumers Assn:  In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods MarketOrganic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack. (read rest of article).


From the NY Times:  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday that he would authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of genetically modified alfalfa, setting aside a controversial compromise that had generated stiff opposition.
In making the decision, Mr. Vilsack pulled back from a novel proposal that would have restricted the growing of genetically engineered alfalfa to protect organic farmers from so-called biotech contamination. That proposal drew criticism at a recent Congressional hearing and in public forums where Mr. Vilsack outlined the option.
Mr. Vilsack said Thursday that his department would take other measures, like conducting research and promoting dialogue, to make sure that pure, nonengineered alfalfa seed would remain available. (read rest of article)

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