Saturday, February 20, 2010

GE Alfalfa Threatens Organic Agriculture

Organic farmers and consumers of organic meat and dairy products need to make their voices heard with comments to the USDA about the proposed approval of genetically engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa. The USDA's draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) approves of releasing the new crop into the environment, despite known risks genetically modified alfalfa poses to organic livestock agriculture.

Alfalfa is a perennial plant and the fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S. It is a fundamental source of livestock forage and a relatively cheap source of protein for organic ruminants, as well as adding valuable nitrogen to the soil. Because bees can carry alfalfa pollen for up to 4-6 miles, potential contamination from a neighbor's field, even miles away, renders useless buffer strips and other devices typically employed with genetically engineered corn and soybean crops. These pesky bees just won't respect fence lines and 'no trespassing' signs!

Click here to view Cornucopia's action alert for more background and details on how to submit comments to the USDA on this important issue