Let’s Keep America’s Food Crops Safe

Just Say NO To GMO

Until now, gardeners almost anywhere could safely grow organic food for their family. This year, several seed companies offered Roundup-resistant GMO seed corn for backyard food growers. Suddenly home gardeners have to worry that wind-blown pollen from a neighbor’s veggie patch could contaminate their organic corn, turning it into GMO corn. Worst of all, without a lab test, there is no way to tell.

Is this a fantasy? Not to farmers in the US, Canada, Mexico and around the world whose corn, soy, and canola crops were similarly contaminated. Home gardeners don’t have to worry (probably) about being successfully sued by Monsanto for inadvertent “theft” of patented technology, as farmers have. But we do know that the GMO genes can be transferred from food crops to related weeds and grasses. What recourse do we have to make sure that our own backyards don’t host GMO cross-over plants?

Monsanto’s Queasy Rider

If Monsanto succeeds in getting a rider attached to the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill, we may have less than none. The Monsanto Rider exempts GMO crops from federal law, allowing experimental GMO crops to be grown even if federal courts have ordered that an Environmental Impact Statement must be completed first.

Recent court cases have supported the rights of farmers to grow non-GMO crops and the rights of all of us to be free to chose to eat non-GMO foods. Because GMO cross-contamination interferes with these rights, Monsanto has lost some important cases worldwide. In order to keep their profits high, Monsanto hopes to put its corporate rights above the law.

Secrets And Lies

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are holding closed-door sessions on the Ag bill, which the public is not allowed to review in any way. They’ll try to push for a vote in December, and once the bill is on the floor, no amendments are permitted, so it’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

Please contact your congressfolks and senators and let them know how you feel about this rider and its consequences. As a nation and as human beings, we are teetering on a very slippery slope in this GMO mess. Passage of this “blind bill” is a momentous decision and its outcomes will affect everyone of us forever.

Why An Organic Boycott?

In the meantime, we can also vote with our wallets by refusing to buy organic and “natural” foods from companies whose parent corporations contributed to the disgusting campaign against California’s Prop 37, The Right To Know Proposition. It’s easy enough for most of us not to buy these parent corporations’ mainstream products like Coke or Frosted Flakes; we already don’t. We’ll have a lot more impact if we also refuse to buy products from Alexia (Con-Agra), Morningstar Farms (Kellogg’s), Odwalla (Coca-Cola), Ben & Jerry’s (Unilever), and Muir Glen (General Mills). Yes, you can finish what’s in the pantry, but if we want to make a difference, we need to boycott where it hurts.

Here’s a link to a list of organic and “natural” foods whose owner companies support Monsanto’s attempt to put GMO crops beyond the law:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26621.cfm

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