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USDA Declares that American Consumers Don’t Care About Genetic Modified Crops

February 3, 2010

E.J. Manning

Most consumers don’t consider alfalfa when drinking organic milk and eating organic foodstuffs. Organic alfalfa is a cornerstone of organic farming, both as animal feed and a nitrogen-fixing soil enhancer for organic farming. The sanctity of the organic food supply is in danger according to those in the organic and natural food industry.

Organic Standards require that livestock feed for animals used for meat, milk, eggs, and other animal products is 100 percent organic.  Protecting organic alfalfa, the main source of feed for the organic dairy industry, is crucial to the health of that important sector of U.S. agriculture. You don’t have to be a “greenie” to understand the safety and nutrition of the nation’s food supply.

In 2006, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for an illegal approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa. USDA neglected to conduct an environmental impact statement before deregulating the crop.  An environmental impact statement is a detailed analysis of the potential significant impacts of a federal decision.

The federal courts banned genetically-engineered alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed the impact, which was recently released in December 2009. The USDA intends to give Monsanto full authority to profit without protections for farmers, the organic industry, consumers or the environment. Why? The USDA claims that there is no evidence that consumers care about genetically-engineered contamination of organic products.

A 60-day comment period is now open through February 16, 2010.  Since a genetically-engineered crop has never been analyzed before, this decision is likely to have a major impact on the future including the legality of altering the food supply because of what we know as legal precedence.

Submit comments via the Center for Food Safety Action Center.  To write an original response, you can also submit your comments directly to the USDA or write:

Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

In your letter comments, you can let the USDA know that you care about genetically engineered contamination of organic crops and food. Americans have a right to eat and enjoy the benefits of organic food.

Other writing points:

Tell USDA that you will reject genetically-engineered and contaminated alfalfa and alfalfa-derived foods

If genetically-engineered alfalfa is deregulated, widespread contamination of non-GM and organic alfalfa is inevitable.

Organic alfalfa is a critical component for organic farming and feed.

Remind USDA it’s their job to protect Organic farmers, a safe organic industry and consumer interests.

Request that the USDA should extend the comment period.

You still have time to make a difference for the health of millions of Americans that care. The American population has a right to decent food, including organic standards that promote health and good nutrition.

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