Monday, January 16, 2012

So.. What DOES the USDA do anyway?

Ran across this blog post about the release of GM alfalfa (the genetically modified version of this very important feed crop).  And in short, it is just upsetting.

To summarize....

A collection of farmers brought action to the court asking for protection from the loss of their organic crops due to natural spread of GMO genes through natural pollination, and protection against Monsanto then suing them for violating the Monsanto patents in having GMO crops they didn't pay for.  Sound reasonable right? Well, the judge rules that in fact the USDA does NOT need to take any steps to protect natural crops from the spread of GMO crops.  In essence he is saying that the USDA has no obligation to protect organic (natural) life from lab produced  life. The farmers have therefore NO recourse to protect their organic crops, and the public has no right to non-GMO food.   What IS protected is Monsanto's right to sue any farm that has pollination spread GMO genes to a organic crop.  Monsanto is protected, but the organic farmer is not. In fact, it appears to be the responsibility of the farmer to somehow magically prevent unwanted GMO pollen from entering his land.

So... what does the USDA do again?

Here is the link

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