Prevent Organic Seed Contamination: Comment on ‘Coexistence’ by March 4

Reader Contribution by Jennifer Kongs
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The USDA has published a request for comments on how to handle agricultural “coexistence,” which refers to simultaneous plantings of organic, conventional and genetically modified (GM) seed on neighboring farms throughout the U.S. For organic and conventional farmers who do not plant GM seed, the future of agricultural coexistence is incredibly and increasingly important, as it has become clear that coexistence without contamination is not possible. Comments on the proposal are due by Tuesday, Mar. 4, to the USDA. If you would like to have your voice heard, be sure to submit comments online before the end of the period this week.

The Cornucopia Institute has released an Action Alert to Protect Organic/Non-GMO Farmers and the Purity of Our Food Supply, calling for the USDA to implement mandatory GMO contamination prevention measures and to ensure shared responsibility for the unwanted spread of GM products. The action alert outlines the questions the USDA is seeking guidance and responses on during this comment period.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association has several resources on the subject, including a handbook entitled, “Protecting Organic Seed Integrity: The Organic Farmer’s Handbook to GE Avoidance and Testing.” This guidebook was written to help growers and seed breeders learn how to protect their crops, as well as how to test and monitor for contamination.

Be sure and submit your opinion and comments to the USDA by Tuesday, March 4! 

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