Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oregon Farm Bureau makes astonishing admission

Did that headline grab your attention? Well what I noticed this morning got mine. A seemingly small point, perhaps even a good one on the surface, but when I realized what it meant I was astonished.  What am I talking about?

This morning I was browsing some gmo - anti-gmo stuff and decided to reread the Oregon Farm Bureau Fact Sheet on GMO science (click to read it yourself) . Part of their justification for co-existence is  this paragraph:

The National Organic Standards were carefully crafted as process-based standards to protect farmers. The unintentional presence of biotech material through commingling or crosspollination does not cause a farmer to lose organic certification if they are following their stewardship plan. In fact, USDA has confirmed that:
While the National Organic Program Regulation (7 CFR Part 205 et seq.) excludes the use of products resulting from genetic modifications, USDA-AMS does not consider inadvertent trace presence in itself to be a violation. NOP regulations do not require withdrawal of crops or land in the case of inadvertent GE contamination, but some producers have reportedly done so voluntarily
They are saying that organic certified farms are not at risk from GMOs because unintended contamination will not cause loss of crop value nor loss of certification. The farmer can continue business as usual as long as he didnt intend to incorporate GMO seeds. 

Ok, so that's good right? Well not so fast. What they are really saying is this: (my paraphrase)

Even though cross contamination has happened, and is known to happen, the "organic" crop has not decreased in value

Add in the last sentence above :

NOP regulations do not require withdrawal of crops or land in the case of inadvertent GE contamination, but some producers have reportedly done so voluntarily

What I realized is this :
  1. There is no doubt about cross contamination, it happens regularly enough to be dealt with in the official policies.
  2. This contamination of GMO to organic does not decrease the value of the organic crop
    1. For this to be true, the organic crop must still be sold as organic to get the higher value
    2. To make this possible the crop must not be identified to the public as contaminated
  3. The regulation allows this to continue, not based on amount of crop contaminated as much as intent.  there is no mention in the policy about how much has been contaminated. I hope the actual rules do, but I am unsure.
What is the bottom line and astounding revelation? That GMO FOODS ARE NO LONGER GUARANTEED TO BE GMO FREE! at least not in the state of oregon. If an organic farm is unintentionally contaminated by a neighboring GMO farm, the crop is harvested as usual, labeled organic, and sold at top value. (according to the government regulations).  This, is disturbing!

Instead of confining GMO contamination, the Farm Bureau sides with biotech to ensure that GMO is allowed to spread while the very definition of organic changes. Now the Organic Label doesnt mean "the absence of GMO ingredients" but rather "the absence of intentional GMO ingredients". This is a significant change. The battle is shifting from organic farms worried about loosing their certification through contamination to the public being fooled by the hidden change in meaning of the organic label . The public now pays the price for bio tech contamination. 

This also serves as proof that co-existence within a general area of reasonable size is simply impossible.  The allowance of unintentional GMO contamination into organic produce is evidence of this. Why lower the standard of the organic label if GMO crops can be contained? 

If this sort of hidden policy is allowed to continue  it is inevitable that within a few years, when all organic is contaminated to some degree, the organic label itself will be meaningless.  At some point people will realize this, and hte value or organic farming disappears as people look for the next healthy alternative.  This shift from dedicated customers from organic to some other solution , then destroys the value of organic crops. In truth, this small change in policy to protect organic farms ultimately destroys them completely.  So in the end both organic farms are destroyed and the public was secretly exposed to the big GMO science experiment without their knowledge or consent. Actually this exposure was through deceit because the public believes that organic means non-gmo. Purposefully changing this definition to deceive the public is plain wrong. 

I  do not take a stance on whether the people in charge of such things are evildoers with a selfish purpose of financial greed, or if they are just ignorantly following orders. I this not our place to judge the intent of others  But either way, this sort of nonsense has to stop. 

Choose your reason for supporting your local anti-gmo initiative (ours is GMO Free Jackson County ) from a long list of reasons:

  1. Health issues associated with GMOs by several tests
  2. Lack of official long term testing safety on any GMO foods
  3. GMO farming's extensive use of poisons
  4. Biotech firms attacking innocent small farms that get contaminated
  5. Rising unexplained health issues plaguing nations that consume GMO foods
  6. Loss of hardiness in GMO crops in times of drought, or extreme weather
  7. Loss of soil fertility due to gmo chemical intensive farming practices
  8. emergence of super weeds due to gmo allowed application levels of  herbicide
  9. emergence of super bugs due to gmo toxin adaptabiliy of insects
  10. disappearance of the bees possibly related to excessive use of chemicals on gmo crops
  11. farms being consolidated into large industrial operations under the biotech approach jeopardizing the stability of our food system
  12. increasing cost to farmers through increasing levels of  inputs to continue chemical biotech farming
  13. increasing reliance on petro chemical and other sources for producing food, further destabilizing our food supply.
  14. protection of the natural seed genetics from irreversible contamination
  15. protection for organic farmers and their livelihood
  16. "save the whales"  becomes "save the corn" today as natural corn goes extinct
  17. Common Sense
  18. add your own reason here

1 comment:

  1. I'm beginning to wonder if organic farming is not a method of farming that OFB wants to protect - perhaps not enough money in it. I'm hoping that the policy will see some change now that GMO wheat in NE Oregon is threatening the entire export market for Oregon wheat - and other states as well.