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    United We Stand

    January 31, 2011 •  no comments.

     •  Blog, News

    The following letter was written by a group of concerned parents, corporations, authors and consumers in reponse to the USDA ruling on January 27th to allow the unrestricted planting by the biotech industry of genetically engineered alfalfa, a crop used for livestock feed and given to dairy cows.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” ~Margaret Mead

    January 31, 2011

    We stand united in opposition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)
    decision to once again allow unlimited, nationwide commercial planting of
    Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa, despite the
    many risks to organic and conventional farmers.

    Last spring more than 200,000 people submitted comments to the USDA highly
    critical of the substance and conclusions of its draft EIS on GE Alfalfa. Instead of
    responding to these comments and concerns, including expert comments from
    farmers, scientists, academics, conservationists, and food safety and consumer
    advocates, the USDA has chosen instead to listen to a handful of agricultural
    biotechnology companies.

    USDA’s decision to allow unlimited, nationwide commercial planting of
    Monsanto’s GE Roundup Ready alfalfa without any restrictions flies in the face of
    the interests of conventional and organic farmers, preservation of the
    environment, and consumer choice. USDA has become a rogue agency in its
    regulation of biotech crops and its decision to appease the few companies who
    seek to benefit from this technology comes despite increasing evidence that GE
    alfalfa will threaten the rights of American farmers and consumers, as well as
    damage the environment.

    The Center for Food Safety will be suing on this decision.

    In the coming months, we will be seeing USDA proposals to allow unrestricted
    plantings of GE sugar beets, and GE corn and soy crops designed to resist toxic
    pesticides, such as 2-4D and Dicamba, highly toxic pesticides that pose a
    serious threat to our health and the environment. To win these critical and difficult
    battles, the entire organic community, and our allies in the conventional food and
    farming community, will have to work together.

    Now is the time to unite in action. We need to work together to restore sanity to
    our food system, stop the deregulation of GE crops and join together against the
    forces that are seeking to silence hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    As we move forward, we are united in opposing genetically engineered
    organisms in food production and believe that pressure to stop the proliferation of
    this contaminating technology must be focused on the White House and
    Congress. The companies responsible for this situation are the biotech
    companies whose GE technology causes genetic drift and environmental
    hazards that are not contained as the deregulation of genetically engineered
    alfalfa goes forward. The organic community stands together with consumer,
    farmer, environmental and business interests to ensure practices that are
    protective of health and the environment.

    We urge you to join us today.

    Sign up to receive action alerts by clicking here.

    Consider making a donation to the legal effort ahead here.

    Let the White House know that you do not support the deregulation of GE alfalfa by clicking here.

    Sincerely,
    Christine Bushway, Organic Trade Association
    Jay Feldman, Beyond Pesticides
    Michael Funk, United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI)
    Elizabeth Henderson, NOFA Interstate Council
    Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm
    Liana Hoodes, National Organic Coalition
    Kristina Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance
    Faye Jones, Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service
    Robby Kenner, Robert Kenner Films
    Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety
    Russell Libby, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA)
    Ed Maltby, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA)
    Robyn O’Brien, AllergyKids Foundation
    Keith Olcott, Equal Exchange
    Maria Rodale, Rodale Inc.
    Eric Schlosser, Author
    Robynn Schrader, National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA)
    George Siemon, Organic Valley
    Michael Sligh, Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)
    Megan Westgate, Non-GMO Project
    Maureen Wilmot, Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
    Enid Wonnacott, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)

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