USDA Says Yes to GE Round Up Ready Alfalfa; What do you Say?
FROM THE USDA FINAL EIS REPORT
ON RR ALFALFA
"USDA maintains that biotechnology
holds great promise for agriculture
here in the United States, and around the world.
There’s absolutely no doubt of the safety
of the many products USDA’s regulatory system has approved.
The examination of these issues through the EIS process,
however, highlighted some of the challenges USDA faces
in the area of biotechnology regulation
as it aims to meet the expectations
of its diverse stakeholders."
Coexistence of GE alfalfa is not possible without wrecking the conventional alfalfa and seed industry and causing further monopoly.
Up to half of USA seed production comes from alfalfa second growth, such as I grow.
GE alfalfa will add costs to all producers and consumers. The benefit goes to the monopoly patent holder as we get further and further contaminated.
Genetically engineered effects are very difficult to back out of a perennial crop such as alfalfa and must not be allowed.
I have worked on this issue for five years. I was at the USDA-APHIS meeting in Colorado in October 2007, representing the 100,000s of growers against the contaminating trends of Monsanto’s GE alfalfa.
I was raised on a western South Dakota farm, have a science education and raise alfalfa hay and grass for dairy buyers and other buyers.
I sell alfalfa seed from my second-growth alfalfa and our operation also supports honey bee production which is also adversely affected by GE alfalfa.
- Chuck Noble
Coexistence or 'no' existence for new high-yielding crops?
By Sara Wyant
Kirschenmann says organic producers need the certainty that their crops can be grown without harm or "contamination" from biotech varieties. He shared a personal example from growing organic canola on his North Dakota farm.
"At first, we worked it out with our neighbors who wanted to plant Roundup Ready canola and we all followed recommendations to have a two-mile buffer between the two operations. But then the number of farmers planting Roundup Ready canola increased so much that it was virtually impossible to keep our crop from being contaminated."
Kirschenmann is not confident that USDA's current options proposed for deregulation RRA will work.
"I want to be open to the possibility, but they haven't come up with a plan that's convincing," he says. Absent any solution from USDA, Kirshenmann says the only alternative is to seek judicial action.
ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICES
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602
R. Andre Bell (301) 734-3853
USDA Holds Stakeholder Meeting on Genetically Engineered Alfalfa and Coexistence
On the heels of issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Roundup Ready Alfalfa, Secretary Vilsack invited stakeholders to a meeting at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Monday December 20, 2010. The meeting began a dialogue with a diverse group, representing different interests and viewpoints in the GE, organic, and non-GE agriculture sectors, as well as consumer interests, regarding possible approaches to alfalfa production coexistence that are reasonable and practical.
THIS PLANT YOUR DREAM BLOG
WAS UPLOADED HERE
ON JANUARY 4, 2011
the same day as President Barack Obama
signed into law the
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
On this day, I was clearing things
on a shelf here
at the Enchanted Garden Intentional Community Growing Grounds
and weeding a spot in our front garden for
Job's Tears, The Seeds of Life Fulfillment.
In the story of Job, all is lost
and then comes back.
Sow in tears. Reap in Joy,
a song says.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the availability of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) that evaluates the potential environmental effects of deregulating alfalfa genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which is known commercially as Roundup. This GE alfalfa is commonly referred to as Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa.
“Our goal with the EIS, first and foremost, is to recognize and consider the many concerns that we have heard from all segments of agriculture,” said Secretary Vilsack. “We are equally committed to finding solutions that support not only the developers and users of biotechnology products, but growers who rely on purity in the non-genetically engineered seed supply.”
--Sec of Ag Tom Villsack
December 30, 2010
Vilsack said that USDA will use this opportunity to begin a conversation on how to move forward and find strategies for strengthening coexistence. “We will partner with all those who want to roll up their sleeves and work with us and each other to find common sense solutions to today’s challenges. And we will do so openly and transparently.”
The farmer grinned as he told the visitor, “Watch this!” He called his pigs, which ran frantically towards him to be fed. But when he scooped out corn and threw it on the ground, the pigs sniffed it and then looked up at the farmer with confused expectation. The farmer then scooped corn from another bin and flung it near the pigs, which ran over and quickly devoured it.
The farmer said, “The first corn is genetically engineered. They won’t touch it.”
It’s not just pigs that swear off genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In South Africa, Strilli Oppenheimer’s chickens won’t eat genetically modified (GM) corn. Most buffalo in Haryana, India, refuse cottonseed cakes if made from GM cotton plants. Geese migrating through Illinois only munched sections of the soybean field that was non-GMO. When given a choice, elk, deer, raccoons, and rats all avoided GMOs. And even during the coldest days of Iowa winter, squirrels, which regularly devour natural corn, refused to touch the GM variety.
One skeptical farmer who read about the squirrels wanted to see for himself if it was true. He bought a bag full of GM corn ears, and another of non-GM, and left them in his garage till winter. But by the time he fetched the bags, mice had done the experiment for him. They broke into the natural corn bag and finished it; the GM cobs were untouched.
Doctors prescribe no GMOs
No one knows why the animals refuse GMOs, but according to a 2009 statement by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), when lab animals do eat GM feed, it’s not pretty. “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” says the AAEM policy paper, which specifically cited infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system, among the impacts of eating GMOs. “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects,” they wrote. “There is causation…”
Although we humans don’t have a natural sense to stay away from GM foods, AAEM’s position indicates that we should take a lesson from the animals. This renowned medical organization, which first recognized such dangers as food allergies, chemical sensitivity, and Gulf War Syndrome, called on all physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients.¹ They also called for a moratorium on GMOs, long-term independent studies, and labeling.
Former AAEM President Dr. Jennifer Armstrong says, “Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions.” Renowned biologist Dr. Pushpa M. Bhargava and many others believe that GMOs may be a major contributor to the deteriorating health in America since GM foods were introduced in 1996.
GMOs on your plate
There are eight GM food crops: soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and a little bit of zucchini and yellow squash. The two primary reasons why plants are engineered are to allow them to either drink poison, or produce poison.
Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural spray can be harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in Washington and Vancouver, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms.¹⁰, ¹¹ The same symptoms are now reported by thousands of farm workers from handling Bt cotton throughout India.¹²
GMOs provoke immune reactions
GMO safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai says changes in immune status are “a consistent feature of all the [animal] studies.”¹³ From Monsanto’s own research to government funded trials, rodents fed Bt corn had significant immune reactions.¹⁴, ¹⁵
Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”
GM soy, corn, and papaya contain new proteins with allergenic properties.¹⁶ In addition, GM soy has up to seven times more of a known soy allergen.¹⁷ Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.
Animals dying in large numbers
In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin…most probably Bt-toxin.”¹⁸ In one small study, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died; those fed natural plants remained healthy.
In an Andhra Pradesh village, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, 13 buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All died within three days.¹⁹ Bt corn is also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.²⁰
) to learn how to avoid GMOs. Even a small percentage of people choosing non-GMO brands could force the food industry to remove all GM ingredients. By doing so, you are not only being careful about your own health, you are being compassionate to the environment and future generations—since GMOs wreak long-term havoc in our ecosystem as well.
Going through some clean up.
Found the name and email for Steve Plumb
who told me he was active in th
Common Ground Country Fair in Maine.
I met Steve and his daughter in a mystical
moment in an elevator at the San Diego Convention Center
in Spring 2010.
It was the last day of the AAAS national Meeting.
The Triple A S as it is called is the lead science organization
for the US.
A highlight that day was planting seeds to bridge a gap
in understanding between GMO and Organic Lovers.
It was a life shifting day.
I planted in the same pot seeds with Dr. Robert Fraley,
the scientist who created Round Up. He is the a lead
scientists for Monsanto Corporation.
I also planted seeds in the same beet pot with
a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Another seed went in from a youth organization
of a peaceful rally that was objecting to the presence
of Monsanto speaking at the conference.
Steve Plumb was the final seed I planted in the pot.
I not get a sense that too many of the attendees
leaned toward the organic side. I imagine
the nature of the Shift that is happening now
will impact this.
AG SEC TOM VILLSACK
It is important to note that the unofficial if not official
position of the USDA is now that GE and Non- GE farming
This is a statement that came out and was underscored
December 30 by Secretary Tom Villsack.
An enormous Campaign to Educate Washington on
Real food Safety is needed.
The GE Issue needs to be vetted by real science.
It history, how it got started in the first place needs to be vetted.
The enormous repulsion of GE Ag in Europe and in third world
countries who have been the test cases for this Ag needs to be
fully heard and disclosed.
The latest information related to the negative health impact
of GE foods that are becoming widespread in the US now
needs to be told.
Jeffrey Smith, who wrote "Seeds of Deception" needs to be
I want to thank the spirit of Steve Plumb,
who is involved with the Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardener's Association and its
Common Ground Country Fair for entering
my thoughts this early day of 2011.
We are now in a countdown to 2012.
A shift has happened.
Many things we have accepted are leaving the world.
One thing that needs to enter strongly
is a clear Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Food.
Hope you join us in the discussion and express your
May we each get the idea,
give birth to our own versions of the concept, and co-create
1000 years of peace. Keep The Beet Media Star,
the World;s First Talkng Beet Plant, asks you
thanks you for starring in her Rock Your Soul Opera
called, Beet Keepers, Return!
Washington can not believe its ears!!!
Sounds deafen Lobbyists who had spent billions and billions
imagining they could buy stables of men and women
they thought that they had voted into office.
This can never be the case in America the Beautiful!
Our legislators--all of them--are well intended
and know truly in their hearts
America The Beautiful.
The sight is amazing!
Our Honored President is inspired
by fresh and local organic foods that Our First Lady
serves him from the White House
organic garden. He declares to the Nation
he is a Beet Keeper in this
the Enchanted Garden Era.
1000 years of peace start now.
Nations around the world honor
our president who was given
a nobel peace prize.
Sustainability again rules the land.
It is one beet. Many Pulses
Soldiers come home.
We honor our returning veterans
and send them back to school
to relearn how to grow food in
their own backyards.
A new middle class in America
is reborn. Children receive all the
plant based education they need,
and exude virtue that inspires
grandma and grandpa.
Young folks adopt elders.
A happy day returns as
farmers wake up
as Senators and all elected
say, "Happiness is organic."
The later verses
of "America the beautiful" sing out
throughout the Land:
*O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain...
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
...beyond the years
...alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!
* POPULAR LINES
FROM The Song
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
IN THE ENCHANTED GARDEN ERA
HELPING THE WORLD TO GET BIOSMART
HELPING THE WORLD
GET BIO SMART
through using BioSmart
Sustainable Packaging and Serviceware.
Made From 100% Natural Sugar Cane.
Bagasse is a by-product of sugar cane
"My Enchanted Friend,
Heartfelt thanks for another “Enchanted” plant.
I love + bless it & you.
It graces my desk beautifully. Thank you!
I deeply appreciate you ‘seeding our dream’
to sell millions. I wish the same for you."
Mark Victor Hansen
THANKS TO MARK VICTOR HANSEN
FOR BRINGING THIS TO MY ATTENTION
THE CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE WASHINGTON ON REAL FOOD SAFETY
These are our aims:
1-To support mobilization of one Farmers’ Market in our local area, the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market in San Diego. To continue to work with local organic farmers and help them sell more of their produce.
2-To continue to develop a 1/3 acre parcel of land near San Diego State College named the Enchanted Garden Intentional Community Growing Grounds where those who live here and who live around the world may study our process of learning how to keep the beat with nature through learning to live together cooperatively as a household that seeks to live in harmony with the earth. The motto of the house will be Keep The Beet. Through growing a simple beet in a pot, we can regain our beat with nature. Not all in the house garden. Some like to prepare food. Others help with other jobs, or rent. The land, as of January 2010 is being refinanced. A Trust to hold the land is being explored. The Seed Dream would be to leave a museum and park for future generations to learn from this experiment in cooperative living that has been going on since the early 1970′s. The intent is that what we learn here can help others, and Washington, understand and adapt to some of the shifts being asked of all of us now.
3- To develop relationships with those who influence Washington and government. A vast coalition across all political, religious, and philosophical lines has now formed. Mainstream media needs to be reached through bloggers filling the gap where journalism once told all points of view. Elected leaders need to be encouraged to follow the principles expressed in the song “America The Beautiful.”
4- We see the world as we know it now coming to an end. A Shift has already happened. It is for each of us to adapt to the earth and relearn the laws of nature, rather than attempt to further adapt nature to our ways. The source of our economic and health crisis is that we have lost our beat with nature. We can regain the beet through becoming once again a nation of gardeners who live in a world of gardeners. One Pot+One person=You are a Gardener. Start to grow your own food now.