Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stop GE Crop Field Trials

Stop GE Crop Field Trials

"USDA has once again failed to protect farmers and the food supply from GE crop contamination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced late last week that unapproved, genetically engineered (GE) wheat was found contaminating an Oregon farmer’s field. The GE wheat, known as Roundup Ready, was developed by the Monsanto Company to withstand direct application of Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide.

This incident underscores why stronger regulation is long overdue.

Congress needs to investigate how this occurred and determine the prevalence of contamination. Until then, USDA, at a minimum, should immediately place a moratorium on open-air field testing of genetically engineered crops.

As we’ve warned for over a decade, GE crops simply can’t be controlled once they’re released into the environment. The fact is that environmental contamination is inevitable when companies like Monsanto are allowed to experiment with nature and our food supply.

Sadly, this is not the first case of experimental GE crops escaping from field trials. Past transgenic contamination episodes involving GE corn and GE rice triggered over $1 billion in losses and economic hardship to farmers. Already Japan and South Korea have suspended imports of U.S. wheat because if this contamination.

USDA has a terrible track record overseeing these field trials. With your support, CFS has sued USDA over past field trial failures in Hawaii and Oregon—and won. We’ve even forced USDA to publicly admit new field trial contamination incidents, like this one, that they otherwise tried to keep secret.

Even the USDA’s own Inspector General issued a scathing report detailing numerous violations of agency rules in regulating genetically engineered crop field trials. USDA officials did not know the locations of many field trials it was charged with regulating, and did not conduct required inspections of others.

How many times does this have to happen before we finally put a stop to these risky GE field trials?

Tell Congress, President Obama and the USDA to stop all open-air field trials of GE crops!


Those weren't the only transgenic contamination episodes. They happen daily globally and some are deliberate and aren't perpetrated by farmers. Case in point:

The Great Contamination Of Mexican Maize

"Gene giants Monsanto, DuPont and Dow prepare the genetic extermination of maize, one of the world’s most important food crops, threatening global food security.

From ETC Group

November 15, 2012

Mexican peasant varieties of maize are at risk of extermination if GM corn is planted in more than 6 million acres of land in northern Mexico.

The following article is posted with permission from ETC Group.

Agribusiness giants Monsanto, DuPont and Dow are plotting the boldest coup of a global food crop in history. If their requests to allow a massive commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) maize are approved in the next two weeks by the government of outgoing president Felipe Calderón, this parting gift to the gene giants will amount to a knife in the heart of the center of origin and diversity for maize. The consequences will be grave – and global. With the approvals and December planting deadlines looming, social movements and civil society organizations have called for an end to all GM maize in Mexico. Mexico’s Union of Concerned Scientists (UCCS) has called on the Mexican government to stop the processing of any application for open-field release of GM maize in Mexico.[1] ETC Group joins these calls, and appeals to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – intergovernmental bodies mandated to support food security and biodiversity – to take immediate action.

Outrage and alarm rang out through Mexico when the world’s two largest commercial seed companies, Monsanto and DuPont (whose seed business is known as DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.), and Dow AgroSciences (the world’s 8th largest seed company) applied to the government for the planting of 2,500,000 hectares (more than 6 million acres) of transgenic maize in Mexico.[2] The land area is massive – about the size of El Salvador. Scientists have identified thousands of peasant varieties of maize, making Mexico the global repository of maize genetic diversity. If the agribusiness applications are approved, it will mark the world’s first commercial-scale planting of genetically modified varieties of a major food crop in its center of origin.

“If Mexico’s government allows this crime of historic significance to happen, GMOs will soon be in the food of the entire Mexican population, and genetic contamination of Mexican peasant varieties will be inevitable. We are talking about damaging more than 7,000 years of indigenous and peasant work that created maize – one of the world’s three most widely eaten crops,” said Verónica Villa from ETC’s Mexico office. “As if this weren’t bad enough, the companies want to plant Monsanto’s herbicide-tolerant maize [Mon603] on more than 1,400,000 hectares. This is the same type of GM maize that has been linked to cancer in rats according to a recently published peer-reviewed study.”[3]

The poor in Latin America, but also in Asia and Africa, will particularly feel the effects, where breeding from maize diversity supports their subsistence and helps them cope with impacts of climate chaos. Along with Mexico, southern African countries Lesotho, Zambia, and Malawi have the highest per capita maize consumption in the world."[4]

end of excerpt


How psychopathic do you have to be to plan the demise of an entire culture? Well, when profit is your only motive it's easy.

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