United We Stand
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
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.
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)