Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Help Say NO to Genetically Engineered Alfalfa!!!

I'm about to attempt to explain in the simplest terms a very serious issue that is up for debate right now with the USDA. Before I get into the basics, I would like to state that there are many sources in which I am going to link to at the bottom of this article if you would like a more in depth explanation. I am in no way trying to dumb down this situation, but rather just make it a bit more digestible to those of us that don't want to read through pages and pages of articles.

Background:

Seven years ago Monsanto (infamous makers of Round Up and many genetically modified seeds, that will grow even with the presence of the toxic Round Up) petitioned the USDA to deregulate Alfalfa allowing it to be planted anywhere. U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) on January 19, 2011 also requested that the USDA deregulate WITHOUT CONDITIONS genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. Letter written by Lucas, Chambliss, and Roberts I wish I knew how much money Monsanto has put into the back pockets of those three. I'm sure the numbers would astound all of us.

So what's the problem with Genetically Engineering Crops?

For me, the first major problem I have is the Genetic Engineering of crops/seeds. Monsanto has perfected the art of genetic engineering. Genetically engineering seeds to resist pesticides goes against ever fiber of my being. My opinion is to grow crops in a way that do not need Round Up or pesticides produced by Monsanto, therefore eliminating the need for GE seeds.

A little back story on GE or GMO's. When Monsanto genetically engineers it's seeds, they in turn force farmers into contracts to grow exclusively with their patented seeds. Take for example soy, 95% of soy crops grown in the USA are grown with GE seeds. It has even been reported and well known that due to variety of weather conditions, seeds can cross pollinate and the GE crops can invade and change neighboring organic or non-GE crops. It may even be the case that Monsanto can sue you, the farmer, if your crops are invaded by cross pollination from their patented seeds. Yes, they can. For more in depth information on Monsanto Vs. US Farmers, this is a great read.

Organics are one way to guarantee that the foods you are consuming do not come from laboratory created seeds. To earn the organic label, beyond meeting pesticide regulations and growing conditions, the seeds must not be genetically modified.

Another depressing reality of GE seeds. The crops over time deplete the soil of nutrients. The earth can handle and subsist many types of crops and seeds. When GE seeds become the lay of the land, it turns into a mono-culture. Mono-culture is terrible for harvesting year after year and also create the potential threat of a bug or fungus wiping out an entire species of plant. Over the history of human agriculture over 7,000 species of plants have been grown. Today we rely on about 15 plant species. Scared yet? More information on biodiversity and the history of mass production.

GE affects on humans is unknown. While I would love to believe that GE crops have no impact on our health, I believe we just don't know yet. Rise in autism, rise in food allergies, well there's also a rise in genetically altered crops, is there a link? World Health Organization 20 questions about Genetically Modified Foods.

Specifically why am I worried about deregulating GE Alfalfa?

One of the most common things cows eat is Alfalfa. If there are side effects on our DNA or systems due to genetically modified seeds and those same crops are fed to cows, it will substantially affect the Organic Dairy industry. Plus, genetically modified crops can lend themselves to the potential outbreak of "super weeds" which surprisingly enough need more and heavier doses of toxic pesticides. Isn't that a win-win for Monsanto, they own the seeds, they make the chemicals, one crop needs more chemicals. Goodbye organics, with deregulation of where and how this GE Alfalfa can be planted, ultimately organic crops will be overcome by the GE crops, it's just a matter of time. We need to take a stand!

Name, zipcode and email are all it takes!

More reads:
How to Genetically Modify a Seed, Step by Step (very informative info about Monsanto)


Watch (ALL can be found streaming on Netflix):
The Future of Food: before Food Inc. It's truly eye opening!
King Corn: a documentary about the corn industry in the USA
Food Inc: a look inside America's corporate controlled food industry


3 comments:

  1. thank you for this. Very timely, I finally just watched Food Inc. last night and although I thought I had educated myself on the food industry, the Monsanto connection was new to me.

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  2. I watched an EXCELLENT movie on netflix about this very subject (GE foods). It really made me wonder if all these kids who are popping up with allergies that we never saw when WE were kids, if it might be due to GE foods. It's not a stretch to consider it, really.

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!