GMO ALFALFA – THE NEXT AG DISASTER?
The US Department of Agriculture is now pushing for the approval of genetically modified alfalfa, despite that GMO crop being banned previously by several federal courts. This GMO alfalfa fight is very significant because alfalfa is the 4th most prevalent crop in the US and a major source of dairy feed and hay. The attempt to create new Roundup-Ready alfalfa follows in the tracks of the other GM staples – corn, cotton, soy, canola, and sugar beets – all with disastrous health and ecological consequences.
FALSE PROMISES AND MISFORMATION ON GM CROPS
One of the false promises of genetically engineering is that it would eventually reduce herbicide use. Nothing could be further from the truth and the whole push to create Roundup-Ready seeds was largely to increase sales of that herbicide. Not surprisingly, a 2009 study showed that 13 years of planting Roundup Ready crops has led to a 383 million pound, yes million pound herbicide increase in the US. Rachel Carson could turn over in her grave.
ALFALFA PLANTING BANNED
Back in 2007, a federal court ruled that Roundup Ready alfalfa could not be planted because of the risks of contamination of surrounding plants. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals twice affirmed the decision. The issue is likely to go to the Supreme Court. Alfalfa is open pollinated by bees, which can cross-pollinate over miles. Thus contamination is inevitable.
EVIDENCE OF DAMAGE
There is ample evidence that GMO foods of all kinds cause significant harm to animals and human beings. Even consuming meat and dairy from animals that have been fed GMO crops is risky. For example, though GMO crops are banned in Europe, the feed is imported. In Italy a study of 60 samples of 12 different milk brands showed 1 25% presence of GM corn traces in 12% of GM soy.
There is no policy for product regulation, only production. Thus a farm’s processing may be certified organic but with no actual testing of the unintended presence of GM traces in the final food product. The introduction of GMO alfalfa will very significantly add to this problem. As usual, the GMO industry, backed by our government, is disseminating entirely false information that minimizes what are huge risks.
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