>By guest blogger Linda Baum
Have you heard that FDA chief Tom Vilsack recently reversed his original stand and granted approval to Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa without restriction? Why should you care? Because this move will be devastating to the environment, organic farmers, and the public’s health. And sadly, the decision was supported by the President, a man who is pro-environment, in order to appear business-friendly. When it comes to GMO crops, both Mr. Vilsack and Mr. Obama should know better.
GMO crops are designed to be used with pesticides in ever increasing amounts and levels of toxicity. Runoff from farms pollutes land and waterways, a problem that is well-documented. While alfalfa is a crop grown mainly as livestock feed, if we are feeding pesticide-ridden food to livestock, we are ingesting it ourselves. And since GMO alfalfa easily cross-breeds with non-GMO types, growers of organic alfalfa are at risk of losing their organic certifications, and their livelihoods. Organic dairies, which rely on a steady supply of organic alfalfa, are also at risk. Organic meat and dairy products, which have long been the choice of health conscious shoppers, may become much more limited.
The production of GMO crops is not in the public’s interest. It seems the FDA has lost sight of its duty to protect the consumer and has instead catered to powerful special interests.