BREAKING NEWS: USDA Approves GE-Alfalfa, Decision Will Destroy the Organic Dairy and Meat Industries

Written by Max Goldberg on January 27, 2011. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

Source: USDA

When I tell people that President Obama and his team are adamantly against organic food, I always get a quizzical look.

Or, they give me a “really?  He is? I never knew that.”

Well, today’s ruling by the USDA is just another example of how this administration wants to do everything it can to placate Monsanto while simultaneously eliminating organics.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack (pictured) announced this afternoon that genetically-engineered alfalfa could be sold and grown without any type of restriction.

In a previous post, I went into the details of how this will destroy the organic dairy industry. It will also kill the organic meat industry. Cows and cattle eat organic alfalfa.

If you have little kids or are planning on having them, finding affordable organic milk in the coming years will be very difficult, if not impossible. Same with organic meat for meat eaters.

Why is this ruling not a surprise?

Secretary Vilsack was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Association and flew on Monsanto’s private jet when he was campaigning for governor. Monsanto is based in the Midwest and Obama cannot alienate a big corporate backer/supporter in his part of the country. Monsanto is a very, very, very powerful corporation that spends HUGE money lobbying in Washington.

And despite the hundreds of thousands of e-mail protests against this, we didn’t stand a chance.

In its decision, the USDA completely ignored:

– The desires of consumers who want the healthiest food available – organic food

– The implications for organic, family and conventional (non-GMO) farmers. Many of these farmers will be out of business soon.

– The scientific reality that super-weeds are becoming a real problem, which are caused by GMOs.

– The environmental impact of the tens of millions more pounds of pesticides that will be sprayed onto our farmland because of the approval of GE-alfalfa. This means more soil gets destroyed and more water gets polluted.

I couldn’t agree more with Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director for the Center for Food Safety, when he said that the “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 farmers and consumers, as well as damage the environment.”

It is becoming painfully clear that we are living in a country that does not want to allow its people to eat the most healthy, nutritious food possible — organic food.

Our government wants us to eat food that is sprayed with toxic chemicals and filled with synthetic growth hormones. In the process, it will make GMO-seed companies, such as Monsanto, very rich at the expense of the health of U.S. citizens.

So, what’s next? There will be immediate legal challenges to the USDA’s decision and hopefully we can get an immediate injunction or reversal at some future date. If not, the future of organics in the U.S. is going to look incredibly grim.

Two Other Important Factors to Consider:

1) This GE-alfalfa policy will become the standard for other crops where deregulation is being considered.

2) The ruling is sure to encourage the FDA to soon approve genetically-engineered salmon.

If you are an organic food lover, today is both a sad day and an important reminder that the people running our country truly do not care about our health.

Other Posts You May Enjoy

8 Comments

  1. sad news, yes. so what action can we take to affect change in a positive direction? any thoughts?

    Written by lisa on January 27, 2011 @ 10:56 pm
  2. Max~
    Thank you so much for staying on top of these issues and posting them here for us to read.
    I’m saddened that our country is ignoring the the requests of its people. As a Christian I pray daily for our president and leaders but also plan on being more aware of what’s going on so I can share this information as you do.

    Thanks again.

    Written by Mikki on January 28, 2011 @ 8:48 am
  3. Hi Lisa,

    Very sad news.

    1) We can continue to buy and support organic. Make a statement and vote with your dollars every single day. Refuse to buy conventional.

    2) Support organizations like The Center for Food Safety (www.truefoodnow.org). They will be suing the USDA over this ruling. They also are in constant litigation with Monsanto. They are our best ally.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 29, 2011 @ 11:20 am
  4. Hi Mikki,

    It is very important to me to keep people informed and thanks for your support.

    I hope people start to wake up and see that we need to put more pressure on our government to keep us healthy. We are obviously not putting enough pressure on them. 200,000 votes (emails) of protest wasn’t enough. We need tens of millions and then maybe they will listen.

    Thanks for your support.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 29, 2011 @ 11:29 am
  5. FYI – http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/23/wikileaks_cables_reveal_us_sought_to

    WikiLeaks Cables Reveal U.S. Sought to Retaliate Against Europe over Monsanto GM Crops
    Share4226
    Gmo-corn

    U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the Bush administration drew up ways to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use genetically modified seeds. In 2007, then-U.S. ambassador to France Craig Stapleton was concerned about France’s decision to ban cultivation of genetically modified corn produced by biotech giant Monsanto. He also warned that a new French environmental review standard could spread anti-biotech policy across Europe. We speak with Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology. [includes rush transcript]

    Written by wikimeinfo on February 2, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
  6. Oh my god I’m so upset. I started following the TrueFoodOrg, going to see what else I can do. This is ridiculous. Things need to change, I feel this year will be the catalyst. Hopefully.

    Written by reene on January 27, 2012 @ 11:12 am
  7. Hi Reene,

    Yes, it is very upsetting. That is why we need to get as many people involved and aware as to what is truly going on with our government’s lack of support for organic.

    Most people either don’t know or don’t want to pay too much attention to it. All of us need to get together in order to bring about change.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 29, 2012 @ 2:39 pm
  8. […] other things, Obama has essentially rubber-stamped every GMO that has been applied for, deregulated genetically-engineered alfalfa (which means that GE-alfalfa can be grown without restriction and will contaminate organic alfalfa, […]

Post a Comment