Friday, January 28, 2011

USDA Approves Altered Alfalfa; Thanks for Nothing!

The USDA approved the use of genetically engineered alfalfa yesterday, a poor decision on so many levels.

In addition to the contamination threat to organic pastures—which alfalfa is an essential part—we will all be subject to more of Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide.

According to a New York Times article today:

“The genetically modified crop — developed by Monsanto and Forage Genetics, an alfalfa seed company that is owned by the Land O’Lakes farming and dairy cooperative — contains a gene that makes the plant resistant to the herbicide Roundup. That allows farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without hurting the crop.”
So we don’t hurt the crop (which was doing fine beforehand), but we poison our water supply and soil's health instead. Each time we take a drink of water or have a shower, we should realize there is an overwhelming possibility that it contains traces of pesticides.

And to think, this ruling may unnecessarily increase pesticide use, all to Monsanto’s delight.

From the Center for Food Safety:
"USDA’s assessment misrepresented conventional alfalfa as utilizing more herbicides than it does, which in turn provided a false rationale for introducing herbicide-promoting Roundup Ready alfalfa. In fact, USDA’s own data shows that just 7% of alfalfa hay acres are treated with herbicides. USDA’s projections in the FEIS [Final Environmental Impact Statement] show that substantial adoption of Roundup Ready alfalfa would trigger large increases in herbicide use of up to 23 million lbs. per year."
Have a nice weekend.

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