Our Pal Monsanto Poised to Poison Organic Milk –

sorta. What they’re really about to do is get permission from the USDA to market GE alfalfa that will contaminate organic alfalfa and thus create huge problems for organic dairy farmers. The full story and a petition/comment form asking the USDA to please apply its own standards (sigh) are here (among many other places).

My own – completely unsubstantiated – theory is that individual letters carry a tiny bit more weight than those aggregated by activist organizations, so I wrote directly to the relevant USDA comment page. My letter follows, in case you’re curious, though I’m not sure why I bothered to make any arguments. It’s highly unlikely anyone will actually read them. But somebody will note whether I’m for or against, and that’s why writing matters. Deadline for comments is 2/16.

The USDA’s comment page  doesn’t give you a whole lot of space to make your case.  No matter, under the circumstances.

(salutation is on the  form)

Short Version: GE contamination of feed crops is both anti-competitive and environmentally harmful.

Anti-competitive: Organic feed contaminated by GE traits cannot, by USDA’s own regulations, be used by organic dairies.

Result 1: organic dairies have to find alternative sources and pay more for the now-scarcer feed. Practical outcome: non-organic dairies are given a competitive advantage by the USDA.

Result 2: Organic alfalfa farms are effectively taxed for being organic. If their product is contaminated they suffer large losses that do not befall their competitors. (Not enough words permitted to discuss the inability of liability actions to even this playing field.) Practical outcome: failure of some organic farms, reduction of their farmland’s value and its probable sale at a bargain price to the neighboring GE using farms that caused the reduction in value. Double advantage to GE users.

Environmental damage:

1. Glyphosate resistant weeds are already a well documented problem; encouraging large-scale glyphosate use in comparatively uncontaminated ecosystems is likely to result in more of these weeds.

2. It is a given that some farmers will fail to comply with whatever safety practices are mandated. There is no practical way to avoid this, thus no efficacy – anywhere – for the safety practices. Unleashing “just a little” altered DNA is like being a little bit pregnant.

Damage to consumers:

Price of organic products goes up for no reason connected to weather, transportation costs or other reasonably expected hazards of farming. USDA is thus again advantaging non-organic entities.

For these reasons, I believe it is anticompetitive and environmentally harmful to grant unregulated status to Glyphosate-tolerant alfalfa and I hope such status will be denied.

Thank you

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3 Comments »

  • Anne Said,

    Yes. I wrote in. They never seem to stop, do they? I know we accused China of some bad melamine contamination, and of course it is wrong to put it in milk and baby food; but are our corporations much better? I think not.

    Glad to hear you wrote in, Anne. The more of us who do… well, maybe it’ll do some good. Not sure I’d put this in the same category as melamine in the milk, though. The people who did that couldn’t pretend to anyone, including themselves, that their actions were harmless. But my guess is that most defenders of GE’s and glyphosates have convinced themselves that they’re actually serving the greater good. Far as I’m concerned, that’s what makes them so much more dangerous than common criminals.

  • this is no surprise and i am really getting fed up with having to mistrust the food i am purchasing…i understand that awhile ago, horizon milk wasn’t really organic and that dean foods who owns them allowed some regular cows in with the ‘organic’ ones…i used to always buy horizon organic milk…now i am wondering if i should buy milk at all. my grandfather was a dairy farmer in randolph center vermont and it sickens me that times have changed so drastically in the last 40 years. i don’t live near farming communities so i cannot buy local. i hate monsanto. they have a huge plant in charleston wv close to us and they are always poisoning the people. we have a very high cancer rate…byw, was looking for your ‘hen pens’ as someone mentioned them in another blog…

  • Robin levin Said,

    Do not drink any body fluid from any cow’!!!!!!
    http://Www.not milk.com

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