Tell USDA you care about GE contamination!
If ever there was a time for us as organic consumers to stand up and be counted, it is now. We need to take action - before a February 16 deadline - and tell the USDA we do care that genetically engineered (GE) crops are contaminating organics.
In an environmental impact statement on GE alfalfa, USDA declares there is no evidence that organic consumers care about GE contamination. Surveys show, however, that 75% of consumers believe they're purchasing products without GE ingredients when they buy organic.
USDA admits that an economic analysis shows GE alfalfa will hurt the organic industry and small farmers - yet it fails to analyze or suggest any possible protections.
Alfalfa isn't a crop that people eat directly but if you eat yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream or beef - and if you believe that "we are what they (cows) eat" - then it's critically important.
This is a pivotal moment in the organic movement. This is the first time the USDA has done this type of analysis for any GE crop. The final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops. Currently, the USDA plans to allow GE alfalfa without any limitations or protections for farmers, consumers or the environment.
The GE alfalfa that USDA is planning to approve is Roundup Ready alfalfa, meaning it's genetically altered to survive being sprayed with the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). Studies have shown that glyphosate clearly is linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and that glyphosate damages and kills human cells even at diluted levels far below recommendations. Glyphosate also is used on GE soybeans and GE corn.
The USDA's failure to exclude GE crops from the first version of the organic rules in 1997 was one of the main reasons that 275,000 people filed public comments, the largest outpouring of public participation in the history of U.S. administrative procedure. Of those, an estimated 30,000 comments were from PCC shoppers.
Let's tell the USDA we still do care that organic foods are GE-free!
See talking points and clear instructions for how to submit comments »
Take action today to protect organic integrity! »
Trudy Bialic and Eli Penberthy
PCC Public Affairs
4201 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105