the irresistible fleet of bicycles

the battle over alfalfa continues

Leave a comment

Below is what the Cornucopia Institute has to say.  Read more in the NYTIMES and the Des Moines Register
USDA to Fully Deregulate Monsanto’s Genetically Engineer Alfalfa —-Gene Contamination of Feed, Milk, Meat and Other Products to Follow

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack this afternoon announced 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.

USDA could have maintained regulatory status over the perennial crop that is so important as forage for the livestock industry.   Or they could have chosen a limited regulation strategy with bans on the planting of GE alfalfa seeds in seed growing regions to attempt to limit the contamination of alfalfa seed stock by foreign DNA from Monsanto’s crop.  (alfalfa is pollinated by bees and other insects and has a pollination radius of five miles).  Instead, the agency, under heavy pressure from the biotech sector, chose total deregulation.  Over 250,000 public comments were received during the FEIS process, with the vast majority opposing deregulation.

Vilsack did announce that the USDA WOULD establish a second germ plasm/seed center for alfalfa in the state of Idaho to try, and the operative word is “try,” to maintain GE-free strains of alfalfa.  They currently operate such a facility in Prosser, WA.  He said the FEIS process brought home two key points to USDA:  choice and trust.

The Center for Food Safety, with The Cornucopia Institute and others, has been embroiled in a court case fighting the release of GE-alfalfa.  The case has been on hold while the USDA completed its court-ordered EIS.  Opponents of GE-alfalfa are evaluating their choices and likely will resume their legal battle.

The Cornucopia Institute

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s