Contamination of Nation’s Milk with GE Alfafa | Why GE Alfafa Would Mean the End of Pure Milk

These comments come from an agriculture economist: "The real concern I see for GMO alfalfa is that the nation’s milk supply will be produced with GMO alfalfa and all of the tons of forage consumed will have received glyphosate or Round Up. It will be virtually impossible to guarantee a mother that her baby is not receiving milk produced from GMO forage—nearly all of which was sprayed directly with Round Up before harvest. As with the case of GMO soybeans and corn, only the plants are sprayed with Round Up (prior to seed development), so the actual grain—the corn and soybean seeds, are not physically sprayed but are then utilized as feedstuffs. However, with alfalfa the whole plant is utilized for feedstuffs with the potential contaminants both genetically in the plant and also the potential residual effects of the glyphosate chemistry on the plant itself.

If GMO alfalfa is approved for widespread use, it will be impossible for a mother to provide GMO and Round UP-free milk for her baby.

This puts our nation’s milk supply at extreme risk for contamination!.

The following information comes from the Center for Food Safety:

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear its first-ever case involving the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from the harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case. In addition, CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s request, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, with public interest non-profits and small farmers facing a multi-national corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”

The federal district court required the Department of Agriculture to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assessing the impacts of the crop on the environment and on farmers; the first time the U.S. government had ever undertaken such analysis for any GE crop. The court permitted farmers that had already planted to continue, but halted any further planting pending the agency’s re-assessment. That the EIS was required is not in dispute; the legal issue is only the scope of relief while USDA analyzed the impacts of the crop for the first time.

“Although we believe a further hearing is unnecessary, we are confident we will again prevail, as the lower courts have already three times determined,” continued Kimbrell. “We hope that this grand stage will further educate the public, policymakers, and the media about the significant risks of genetically engineered crops and the vital need to protect farmers and the environment.”

Alfalfa is the fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S. and a key source of dairy forage. It is the first perennial crop to be genetically engineered. It is open-pollinated by bees, which can cross-pollinate at distances of several miles, spreading the patented, foreign DNA to conventional and organic crops. Such biological contamination threatens the livelihood of organic farmers and dairies, since the U.S. Organic standard prohibits genetic engineering, and most overseas governments also reject GE-contaminated crops.

“We trust the Supreme Court will uphold farmers’ right to choose their crop of choice and protect us from the constant fear of contamination from GE crops,” said Phil Geertson, an alfalfa farmer based in Idaho.    

The Center for Food Safety is national, non-profit organization that works to protect  the environment by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. On the web at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

 

See the Index for Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, and more articles on Food.