USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on 1/27/2011 that the agency will fully deregulate Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered alfalfa.
The choice was favored by the biotech industry and was one of 3 options in the USDA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement released in December 2010.
USDA could have maintained regulatory status over the perennial crop that is so important as forage for the livestock and dairy industries. They could also have chosen a limited regulation strategy with bans on the planting of GE alfalfa seeds in seed-growing regions to limit contamination of alfalfa seed stock by foreign DNA (alfalfa is pollinated by bees and other insects and has a pollination radius of 5 miles).
Instead, the agency, under heavy pressure from the biotech industry, chose total deregulation. Over 250,000 public comments were received during the FEIS process with the vast majority opposing deregulation.
Go here to urge President Obama to reverse USDA’s decision.
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And then, listen to The Monsanto Rag.