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Vigilante Consumers Unite Against Monsanto

2/8/2011 12:12:00 PM

Tags: Monsanto, Roundup Ready alfalfa, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Robynn Schrader, National Cooperative Grocers Association, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve reported on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s disturbing acquiescence to Monsanto; the agency announced that it would grant non-regulated status for alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s commercial herbicide known as Roundup, and defied a court order prohibiting planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets until a proper study of their environmental impact could be done.  This trend is disturbing, but there’s plenty we can do. Today in a great post on GristRobynn Shrader, chief executive of the National Cooperative Grocers Association, gave us “Four Things You Can Do to Defend Organic against the GMO Alfalfa Threat.” 

“Last month's decision by the USDA to fully deregulate GE alfalfa isn't just a minor skirmish in a long and exhausting battle,” Shrader writes. “It threatens the existence of organic farming and organic food, and flies in the face of USDA's mandate from Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act to promote and preserve organic agriculture.” Sustainable agriculture advocates including National Cooperative Grocers Association, Organic Valley, Stonyfield, and organic champion Maria Rodale are calling for organizations to "stand together in opposition to GE alfalfa," she adds. “The USDA's decision last week was a tremendous setback, but the fight is far from over.”

Here's what Shrader urges each of us to do today to take action on this issue:

  1. Let the White House know that organic food has a right to exist and thrive, and that you do not support the deregulation of GE alfalfa or any crop, by signing this petition.
  2. Support organizations like the Center for Food Safety (CFS) as they raise funds for legal action against the USDA's deregulation of GE alfalfa.
  3. Continue to support the farms and processors that bring us organics. Increasing our market power gives us greater impact in Washington and throughout the nation.
  4. Continue to demand that the USDA and Congress protect farmers and consumers from the risks of GE crops, products, and ingredients. Check out the seven-point plan National Organic Coalition created to provide clarity and focus for the organic movement on this issue.

Never underestimate the power of the vigilante consumer.

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2/28/2011 6:42:32 PM
MONSANTO is the new hybrid name for AMERICAN TERRORIST. These tr5errorists are being assisted by the government to kill people here and abroad in disguise as a legitimate business. They use politicians and legalese to get their laws passed so they can continue terrorizing our farmers, our population and other countries around the world. They are bullies that need to be put into a quiet room and stopped from their aggressive actions against humanity. PLANET KILLERS, CHILD POISONERS, BULLIES, but above all TERRORISTS. THAT is MONSANTO.

2/18/2011 8:10:56 AM
+1 to mthierauf. The USDA is yet another useless government entity serving as a jobs program for bureaucrats and a tax on us. They need to be disbanded along with so many other departments ...

2/17/2011 3:25:02 PM
mthierauf, I am actually a grad student in crop and soil sciences, and I have no association to Monsanto. Maybe they are fascists, I don't know. It is just frustrating that so many people don't have a clue what GMO crops are, and how different practices influence our environment. I am actually a sustainable gardener who is planting all heirloom varieties and not using any pesticides. My garden is about 1/10 of an acre. I resent your comment.

2/17/2011 2:45:10 PM
its very simple: USDA = FASCISM To NDF - you are obviously a paid shill from Monsanto and we all see right thru you. I would advise you to find a respectable line of work. Have your seen whats going on in Egypt?? Imagine a million man march on Monsanto, you may wanna build a moat with alligators at the Monsanto corporate offices, just sayin To everyone else - I HIGHLY recommend joining the nearest CSA/community garden OR starting a CSA/community garden. I did this with other like-minded individuals in an empty urban plot, empty plots should be easier to come by as communities are inundated with foreclosed houses/properties. The time has come to take back our food supply from fascist entities like Monsanto and the agri-business industrial complex!!

2/17/2011 9:31:57 AM
Just a couple of comments: REN, Round-Up does not effect insects in the least. And, in the environment it is inactive, as it tightly binds to soil. Only what gets on the weeds is active. Michael, there is no residual effect of Round-Up, so successive crops are not effected. Non-RR crops are not effected because they are not sprayed. Brad, just for information sake, it is not a virus but a bacteria that is used to insert the gene. The bacteria already exists in nature, so it is nothing new. Also, they closely monitor what is inserted and where to make sure a GM crop does not have any additional modifications. LoveNDF, thanks for the name. BT crops such as BT corn and cotton do not harm near as many beneficial insects as do their counterpart insecticides, or the spraying of BT on organic crops. Over all much less is harmed. I agree that alfalfa needs less weed control than corn and soybean, but you still need to control the weeds in crop establishment in order to get a good stand. But you are right, RR alfalfa may not be needed. Also, farmers do not have to buy GM crops. If corn bore or corn rootworm are not in an area, they often won't get BT corn. And RR corn is often not planted because farmers will used herbicides with other modes of action in corn to counter the RR soybean in their rotation. Sometimes RR soybean is not panted. Farmers only pay for what increases net return. Also, Round-up resistance in weeds will not cause more tillage, just the use of other herbicides

2/17/2011 1:50:25 AM
@NDF I think you are grabbing at genetically modified strawz...for example, adding BT to corn may wipe out some destructive nematodes, but then other beneficial pollinators are damaged as well. Many articles are explaining the longer term consequences of using the likes of Roundup Ready crops, like herbicide resistant weeds that once again increase the need for tilling! Alfalfa crowds out weeds and does not even need RR types! Monsanto and the like are cornering the market on seeds, patenting seeds, forcing farmers to use them and the herbicides to go with it. Eventually, more herbicides will be needed. I think we need to get back to supporting good soil, and all the creatures connected to it. For a start, see Permaculture

2/16/2011 10:21:12 PM
the virus they use to modify the organism is part of the problem also the usda and monsanto have been exchanging officers for years the fox is guarding the chicken house they arent qualified to protect the public $$$$$$ rules in this game is a great place to learn more

2/16/2011 9:16:44 PM
Roundup ready crops? And any crops that are not "Roundup Ready"? What happens to them? Heres a good monopoly/idea. Make Your Crop able to survive the application of a pesticide that would kill off everything else, even years after the application! They would HAVE to go to you for a seed that could survive!

2/16/2011 12:47:14 PM
The problem isn't with the GMO crops. Many good things come from the changes in genetics BUT, and this is the big one, Monsanto is ONLY interested in selling more Roundup and Roundup Ready SEEDS. It's being applied by the millions of gallons world wide at present and it now filters into every corner of our environment. Insects are already mutating to resist it which will cause Monsanto to brew up a new killer. Humans don't adapt like insects and Monsanto will NOT tell you what their products will do to humans in the long run. What are your grandchildren going to die from? Bet it will stem from a Monsanto product.

2/16/2011 11:18:02 AM
GMO crops are actually a lot safer than crops developed through traditional breading. With GMO the regulations are very strict. When the insert a gene they know exactly what it does, that is in no way related to any human allergens, that it is non-toxic to humans,... Were as with traditional breading mutations to the DNA are completely random, potentially creating allergens, or carcinogens, but we don't really worry about that. A good book on this subject in favor of organics is "Tomorrows Table." The amount harmful (yes even organic) weed control that is replaced by Round-Up on Round-Up ready crops(which has a short half life, binds tightly to the soil in activating it, is non-toxic, and very environmentally friendly) is a huge benefit to our environment. For example, in a lot of organic systems, crops like corn and soybean have to be tilled multiple times, even as many as 7 times. Each of these tillages expose to the soil making runoff a much higher risk, and require diesel to run the tractor. If you want to protect the environment, I would strongly suggest supporting the GMO endeavors, as any GMO released is highly regulated and safe, and has to have a large benefit to cover the millions spent to get it past regulations.

2/16/2011 8:51:56 AM
The USDA is a fascist government institution whose top (and only) priority is to help Monsanto establish a monopoly over our food. Eventually people will realize that our government is not interested in helping the little people but by then it will be too late...

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