Industrial Ag Once Again Demanding a Free Pass to Crap in Your Backyard
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"The implications of moving forward in that direction are huge," said Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president of food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization. "Long term we are looking at upending the U.S. regulatory process, which has implications for investment and research."
"[U]pending the U.S. regulatory process," huh? Interesting phrase, given that when it comes to transgenic crops, there essentially isn't a regulatory process. What this industry rep is saying, in essence, is that industry needs a permanent green light to thrive -- the health of the environment and the right of organic growers be damned.
Never one to remain silent when the interests of industrial agriculture are in question, the Farm Bureau has weighed in on alfalfa, too. Joining forces with a few other Big Ag groups, the Farm Bureau issued a letter to USDA chief Tom Vilsack bitterly deploring the idea of even considering curbs on GM alfalfa.
Of course, back here on Planet Earth, I can think of no compelling reason to allow the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa at all. If it's anything like Roundup Ready corn, soy, and cotton, Monsanto's alfalfa seed won't increase yields but will vastly up the application of pesticides (contrary to what its billion-dollar marketing campaigns say). The USDA should go beyond restrictions and ban it outright.
In both the case of the Chesapeake Bay watershed's vast chicken factories and that of GM alfalfa, industrial agriculture is admitting that it needs to trash its neighbors and the surrounding landscape to thrive. It wants us to believe that there are no alternatives if we want to feed ourselves plentifully. That's a hollow claim.
Get off your ass alert: Food & Water Watch has a petition urging President Obama and Secretary Vilsack to ban GM alfalfa outright.