Genetically Modified Alfalfa An Invasive Species Comes to Your Farm Fields
Is GM alfalfa the new Cold War?
USDA urges peaceful coexistence.
The USDA seems to be paving the way for approval of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa with pleas for coexistence and cooperation. These will be needed. Organic alfalfa is the mainstay of organic animal feed. Organic standards exclude GM. But pollen from GM alfalfa transmits GM genes to organic alfalfa.
In releasing the Environmental Impact Statement on GM alfalfa, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack used Cold War rhetoric:
We have seen rapid adoption of biotechnology in agriculture, along with the rise of organic and non-genetically engineered sectors over the last several decades… While the growth in all these areas is great for agriculture, it has also led, at times, to conflict or, at best, an uneasy coexistence between the different ways of growing crops. We need to address these challenges and develop a sensible path forward for strengthening coexistence of all segments of agriculture in our country.
USDA is working hard on this one. It held a stakeholders meeting to discuss the issues. Secretary Vilsack also wrote an open letter to stakeholders pressing the need for coexistence:
The rapid adoption of GE crops has clashed with the rapid expansion of demand for organic and other non-GE products. This clash led to litigation and uncertainty. Such litigation will potentially lead to the courts deciding who gets to farm their way and who will be prevented from doing so.
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PAINTING BY FAITH NOLTON here AT SOUL GARDENS