Ethan A. Huff
May 30, 2012
A little more than a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made the disastrous decision to deregulate Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready alfalfa, even though the agency’s sham of an environmental impact report failed to prove that GM alfalfa is at all safe or necessary. It has now come to light that Monsanto released GM alfalfa into the wild years before it was initially deregulated in 2005 — and the USDA was apparently fully aware of this, but did nothing about it.
Reporting for Activist Post, Cassandra Anderson and Anthony Gucciardi explain that a letter to the USDA dated April 5, 2007, from Cal/West Seeds, a California-based seed company, shows that Monsanto’s GM alfalfa had been in cultivation years before the first deregulation of the crop in 2005. That letter reveals that Monsanto’s GM traits were already turning up in conventional alfalfa seed in 2005, which means GM traits were in use at least two years before that in 2003.
“We first discovered the unintended presence of the Roundup Ready gene in our conventional alfalfa seed in 2005,” says the letter. “It was identified in one of our foundation seed production lots grown in California. We tested the foundation seed lot prior to shipping it to a producer who intended to plant it for organic seed production.
The letter goes on to explain that several other foundation seed lot samples in both California and Washington State also tested positive for the GM alfalfa trait CP4EPSPS. And because at least one of those tested samples was from seeds produced in 2003, it is clear that Monsanto’s GM alfalfa had been planted and spreading its toxic traits long before the USDA gave it the green light to do so.
You can view snippets from the Cal/West Seeds letter here:
USDA’s ‘Final Environmental Impact Statement’ for GM alfalfa references Cal/West letter, proving agency knew about Monsanto’s illegal activity
In the USDA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement dated December 2010, the agency references the Cal/West letter, acknowledging full awareness of the fact that Monsanto’s GM alfalfa had already begun spreading its traits to non-GMO alfalfa as far back as 2003. Not only does this prove the agency knew about the scandal all along, but it also shows that the USDA deregulated GM alfalfa with full awareness of its environmental dangers and contamination issues.
Why GMO perennials must be banned in order to save the food supply from destruction
Monsanto’s GM alfalfa is the first perennial GMO to be deregulated in the U.S. Unlike annual crops, perennial crops like alfalfa continue to grow year after year, and are highly pervasive throughout the environment. Because of this, GM alfalfa will eventually contaminate the entire food chain, if it has not already.
The organic food supply is also at serious risk, as alfalfa is a common feed crop for organic cows and other livestock. If GM alfalfa traits spread, as was already occurring nearly a decade ago, then organic meat, milk and other animal-based products will become widely contaminated with GM traits.
The only way to protect the food supply against total destruction is to initiate a complete ban on all GM crops, beginning first with perennial crops. And the best way the public can help achieve this at this point, aside from literally destroying GM crop fields by hand, is to support local and national GMO labeling laws:
Be sure to check out this short video segment prepared by NaturalSociety that explains the GM alfalfa issue further:
Sources for this article include:
This article was posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 3:05 am