USDA Completely Deregulates Genetically Engineered Alfalfa—It is Time to Demand Congressional Hearings! (Action Alert)

February 1, 2011
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GE AlfalfaLet’s really put the pressure on! Let the USDA and your senators and representative know there’s a steep political price for this decision, which if left unchanged, will have devastating consequences for organic agriculture.

On January 27, the US Department of Agriculture reached a decision on genetically engineered Roundup Ready® alfalfa, having reached the end of the review period for the environmental impact statement (EIS). Out of the three possible options—regulation, partial deregulation, and complete deregulation—the USDA chose the worst possible option: full non-regulated status.

This was unexpected news, as the USDA had been hinting that it would partially deregulate. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack previously suggested that the agency would “pursue compromise.”

There is evidence that the USDA was subjected to intense lobbying by Monsanto at the last minute, and possible collusion with Monsanto by the White House. According to Food Safety News, “Sources familiar with the negotiations at the USDA…believe the White House asked Vilsack to drop proposed regulations so the Administration would appear more friendly to business.”

Deregulation is dangerous. Without regulation, GM alfalfa will encroach on non-GM alfalfa, irretrievably contaminating it. There have already been over 200 episodes of transgenic contamination, costing farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales. If genetically engineered crops spread, the word “organic” will be virtually meaningless, affecting crops, the cattle who eat the alfalfa, and consumers who eat both.

Moreover, Roundup Ready® alfalfa will substantially increase herbicide use. The USDA’s own data shows that just 7% of alfalfa acres are currently treated with herbicides. USDA’s projections in the EIS show that substantial adoption of Roundup Ready®increases in herbicide use of up to 23 million pounds per year. alfalfa would trigger

Where do we go from here? We have to take our stand right here, with GMO alfalfa, because it cannot be contained. It will contaminate other crops. We believe a multi-pronged approach has the best chance of overturning this disastrous decision:

  • The Center for Food Safety has announced it will file a lawsuit against the USDA over the decision, and ANH-USA will try to become a co-plaintiff in that suit.
  • We need to blanket Congress with protests, asking senators and representatives and oversight committees to review the deregulation decision. We want to mount a massive grassroots campaign to show Congress that there is a steep political price to be paid for supporting genetically engineered organisms, especially alfalfa which cannot be contained. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have issued a statement condemning the USDA decision, so we are not alone in our desire to see this reversed.
  • And we need to put pressure on the USDA and the Obama administration. They need to understand how angry American citizens are, and why we feel so betrayed. It is time for crony capitalism to end.

In 1781, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

Our Action Alert will take you to a letter you can send to the decision-makers: your president, your senators, your representative, and the USDA. Please take what we’ve written and add your own thoughts. Pour out your thoughts and make your voice heard. Show them we will not allow the government to poison us and our children with frankenfoods. Please contact them today!


Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.

We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the USDA, etc.

113 Responses to “USDA Completely Deregulates Genetically Engineered Alfalfa—It is Time to Demand Congressional Hearings! (Action Alert)”

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  3. US Veteran says:

    Lots of talk, but no action. It may already be too late. So GO FOR IT NOW!!!


  4. America is a war zone – every day Americans must navigate a deadly minefield of booby traps apparently placed by the enemy within the gate, an enemy that has seized America’s control hierarchy at every level, an enemy that has warped the minds of men, an enemy that intends to destroy, murder and plunder the Earth’s inhabitants.

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  5. JR THOMPSON says:



  6. Bill Lucas says:

    The FDA allows known carcinogens in our food so who thinks they are really helping with our food supply. These people are trying to make us sicker so that BIG PHARMA will get more money to give to the politicians to get reelected. Yes scrap the FDA and start over with a much smaller ORGANIC organization to monitor the food supply.


  7. Billie Coco says:

    In the nane of humanity, this is utterly disgusting. Monsanto and all the like have gotten away with this behavior way to long. Is there any integrity left? Is there any compassion for all the fallen because of these horrific selfserving corrupt acts? To me, this is another form of genocide and betrayal by the government to the people. DISGUSTING AND WE MUST STAND UP.


  8. ecoalex says:

    As an eco farmer that grows alfalfa as a protein source for poultry ,hogs,and informed on the effects of rr soy,corn on lab animals,there is an epidemic coming due to the damaged genetic proteins from the gmo seed making process, and the resulting crops.Monsanto knows there is plenty of evidence that shows that when enough gmo proteins are ingested toxins form in the intestines of mammals and death,disease,infertility results.Sadly Obama forced Sec Vilsack to allow full registration of rr alfalfa.Obama is a product of the Illinois delegation some bad actors in this cabal are Monsanto,Entergy,and others that place profits over people’s health.


  9. Elisabeth Nickles says:

    I am so disappointed in my government


  10. Karen H. in NYC says:

    WE MUST FIGHT THIS IN OUR NUMBERS. We must raise a THUNDER OF PROTEST. We must act — loudly, strongly, soon. We must put unrelenting pressure on our representatives until they REVERSE THIS AWFUL DECISION.

    The time has come for those who care to MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

    Apparently, the time for mainstream moderation is over. It is time for moderate-tempered people to demonstrate that they care a lot. It is time for them — for us — to ACT.

    “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
    “United we stand. Divided, we fall.”

    I propose a MARCH ON WASHINGTON in April 2011. How about:

    Sunday, April 3, 2011
    Saturday, April 9, 2011
    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Dates to be aware of in April 2011:
    Monday April, 18 – many public schools’ weeklong holiday starts
    Monday, April 18 @ sunset – Passover starts
    Friday, April 22 – Earth Day, Good Friday
    Sunday, April 24 – Easter

    To be continued…


    • Nancy says:

      I agree. Something needs to be done. I’m so sick of our Government officials sleeping with big corporations. Let’s organize a march!!!


  11. siga says:

    we want healty food for our family.


  12. Karen H. says:

    I am outraged to the boiling point.

    The time has come for us to gather and MARCH ON WASHINGTON. I propose April 2011. See possible dates below.

    WE MUST FIGHT THIS IN OUR NUMBERS. We must raise a THUNDER OF PROTEST. We must act — loudly, strongly, soon. We must put unrelenting pressure on our representatives until THEY REVERSE THIS AWFUL DECISION.

    What organizations will take the lead? Please post here or somewhere easily findable online.

    Possible dates, I think, are:
    Sunday, April 3, 2011
    Saturday, April 9, 2011
    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Key dates to be aware of in April 2011:
    Monday April, 18 – many public schools’ weeklong holiday starts
    Monday, April 18 @ sunset – Passover starts
    Friday, April 22 – Earth Day & coincidentally Palm Sunday
    Sunday, April 24 – Easter

    I will check back here for responses.


  13. CJ Carl says:

    It would seem to me that this type of manipulation by business and government would be unconstitutional. Not that they really care, but I would think that the proven process of contamination that is standard with this kind of process would be a legal point that creates a situation in which the people are being forced, against their will, to consume food which has not been proven healthy and with many cases showing that it isn’t.


  14. Irena Franchi says:

    We want clean food.


  15. H G TALBO says:

    Deregulation of Wall St. led our country to near Depression status in 2008–an election year.
    Deregulation by USDA of genetically engineered alfalfa and giving Monsanto free reign will lead to the destruction of the safety net of our country’s agricultural and organic food chain by 2012–an election year. Conduct hearings now!! Deregulation to favor corporations is telling Americans that our lives are insignificant__ BETTER DEAD THAN FED, ala USDA deregulation.
    Please conduct hearings and have our farmers testify on the importance of REGULATING
    alfalfa crops and our agricultural lifeline. Deregulation is a form of Lawlessness!
    HONOR your Oath of Office__”… promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,….” we, the people!!


  16. Irena Franchi says:

    We want real food.


  17. Teresa says:

    I’m ready for a bonafide march on Washington–let’s get one organized, so the lofty unreachable powers-that-be can actually see the numbers of us who demand our health! We are truly a massive group, and a strong showing would be hard to ignore. I’m tired of writing, calling, and still being ignored. As a veteran of 60s and 70s war protests and civil rights demonstrations, I am not intimidated by the corporate/government machine. Mobilize a march event, and I will be there offering my voice and strength of conviction. I have a right to safely choose my food, and I demand no less!


  18. Dean M says:

    “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” Claire Wolfe-

    That time is FAST approaching-just look at Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen-we can’t be much behind the curve….


  19. Linda says:



  20. Linda says:

    Why do we keep writing? They do not care! They will not hear! Perhaps millions of people need to sit on each of the doorsteps of FDA/EPA/USDA/White house! That’s what they did in Egypt. Look at the publicity that it got and the reward that was finally given. Their president will step down soon! They couldn’t wipe millions of people OFF of their doorsteps. They HAD to address the issue. Their one voice was loud and clear ~ resign! Ours should be loud and clear too. One voice – SAY NO TO MONSANTO!! NO GMO ALFALFA!! OR ANYTHING ELSE GMO!!! It must stop!!!!


  21. diane ensign says:

    PLEASE WRITE a personal letter (polite) to your rep’s asking they overturn this. thanks


  22. Michael G says:

    Several reports have claimed that the White House had a hand in allowing GE alfalfa to be grown with NO regulation, to allow the Obama administration to appear more friendly to big business. Well, from here he already looks friendly enough!

    It is outrageous that politics would trump science on this issue: the very health of our food supply!
    Science has proven that genetically modified grain causes detrimental development in young animals who are fed these frankenfood grains. And the primary purpose of GE is to allow Monsanto to sell millions more pounds of it’s dubious herbicide: Round-Up. Round-Up is persistent, despite company propaganda to the contrary, in the form of Round-Up resistant “superweeds” that are worse than the weeds they replace.

    Anyone who thinks this is a good idea is either a Monsanto employee, or completely uninformed. Either way, you’re dancing with the devil!


  23. Don says:

    Big ag and biotech have finally maneuvered government to the point that if one agency won’t get ‘er done, just put the pressure on another until somebody passes a favorable regulation. If the USDA won’t follow through, the FDA will make a run at it. Perhaps the EPA will give it a try… then Congress. This will go on until the desired result is obtained. We are like the Dutch boy and the leaky dike.


  24. Shirley Caputo says:

    Monsanto is very evil – always out for a profit at our expense and the future generation. We need to fight this.


  25. Tom says:

    And what are we gonna do about it? The Democrats are as bad as the Rethuglicans when it comes to this. We have become a nation of helpless people driven by fear. Where are the protests? Where are they? The people of Egypt have more balls than we do. The Feds have us right where they want us. Corporate power+fear=fascism. Sieg Heil man.


  26. Lee Cheney says:

    As a patient with a form of cancer related to certain genetic mutations, I am greatly concerned about the introduction of unregulated generically engineered products into our food supply. I am especially worried for my daughter, who is already at risk because of our family genetic issues. The FDA is abdicating its responsibility to keep consumers informed and safe. I feel that the FDA generally does a good job of regulating drugs and putting the interests of consumers above the interests of the drug companies (with some exceptions), but it is hard to understand the “hands off” attitude toward generically engineered foods, vitamins and supplements, and other such items that are clearly within the responsibility of the FDA.


  27. alfiya says:

    DOES IT DEMOCRACY? Hey Americans you are claiming your government screaming all over the world about democracy have any right to do SO? They dont care what we say, what we think, WHO THEY ARE TO LET THEM DESTROY THE NATURE??????????????? OH my soul is crying my heart is burns!!! Count how many things already done wronhg by them, they have access to the white house to sign law for themse;ves we are NOT. Why? Because they are holding all resources and rich enough to pay this clawns -government members??/ For me personally it would be enough to have last pieces of the right food, but what about your CHILDREN GUYS? Go to the street. march towards white house please and ask to take away from FDA all right to control food. IT IS NOT THEIR BUSINESS LET THEM BE RESPONSOBLE ENOUGH ABOUT POISONEOUS DRUGS


  28. Sam Morse says:

    We paid for the bail out and now they are trying to poison us!
    These companies should be “buy-cotted!”


  29. Allison says:

    Here is the letter I sent:

    In 1781, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” I am beyond outraged, beyond furious, with the USDA’s decision to deregulate Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa. You know the facts already. Alfalfa crops don’t need much herbicide, genetically-modified crops will definitely contaminate natural crops when released into open fields, this will be irreversible, it will cause great harm to the organic farming industry, it will wipe out consumers’ access to organic foods, and it will lead to the unnecessary use of vastly more poison in our fields. All of this, so that one company, Monsanto — a company that’s already doing just fine and needs no help at all in order to turn a huge profit — can make even more money. I am so fed up with governmental agencies like the USDA and the FDA using their immense power to cause harm to American citizens and our environment because of obvious corruption. And it’s the American people who are paying to keep these organizations going, we are paying their salaries and their expenses with our tax-payer money, all so that they can turn around and damage us! I am shaking right now I’m so furious. Please do all you can to reverse this outrageous decision by the irresponsible members of the USDA — a complete sham of a regulatory agency! And I hold President Obama responsible as well, for encouraging the USDA to arrive at this decision, just so that it will appear he’s friendly to business. Thank you for selling us out, Mr. President. I doubt that you care, but I will not vote for any politician who stabs me in the back like this.


  30. guy says:

    I believe that any letter I send to a Congressman, Senator or bureaurat will carry more weight if I include citations. I would much appreciate your giving citations (in the letter or on your website where I can find them) for the claims you make in your letters.


  31. Irene Soloway says:

    The nations greatest wealth Healthy People . Monsanto with the help of the USDA a nation in Health Poor. All that is needed for the forces of evil to take over is for all good people to
    due nothing


    • mary dicerni says:

      I agree. We need to speak up more often about everything, and it is becoming so prevalent you could spend the day doing just that.. We complain about doctors, food, services etc.. to each other but no one takes a stand towards doing something. I we could form groups for each item we are unsatisfied with, we may be heard. The good people need to move forward and speak a bit louder.


  32. Lana says:

    One of the worst thing is the cross-pollination of GM plants and non-modified ones. Because GM organisms are usually defective in reproduction, pollination of normal plants with GM pollen will result in sterility of our non-modified plant. So, very soon Monsanto will kill the population of normal plants !!!


  33. Norman McEachron says:

    To President Barack Obama:

    I am appalled at your decision to remove genetically engineered alfalfa from regulation and permit its unrestricted use in the USA. This decision directly attacks my right to have non-GE foods, since the nation’s crops will be irreparably contaminated. Just as seriously, it shows you have a cynical disregard for public health and the future of this planet that is worse than your Republican opponents. They at least state where their loyalties lie. You have misrepresented and lied about yours. I am resigning from the Democratic Party because of your decision. Please remove my e-mail address from Organizing for America and every other Democratic organization’s mailing list. I will contribute nothing further to your campaign or the campaign of any Democrat who supports you. The planet will suffer grievously from your decision, and I can only hope that the planet and its defenders return that “favor” with massive negative consequences for you and your supporters.



    • Amber Bergstein says:

      Resign from the democratic party…we don’t care!!! I don’t agree with this GE crap either as I’m a holistic health practitioner, but being a Republican will make you care EVEN LESS about health, enviornmental issues so on. The reality is we can blame Obama for everything, but it’s Congress that votes on this crap. The Republicans would like to see the FDA, and the USDA completely shut down, so who is gonna watch out for you food then?! When you have such a limited view on things, you can’t possibly make informed decisions. Research a little bit before you make ridiculous accusations against our President.


    • mary dicerni says:

      I agree, and am not eating any corn, or canola, but we need to call each company whose products we use, and ask if there are any GMO items in it ??? The grocery stores should have a list of companies they deal with, and give us the phone numbers, and the phone calls might upset them enough to listen..
      They are hidden in our foods, and packages., even with no corn or canola or alfalfa parts. Can we survive any more poisons or toxins in our diet ?


  34. Fredy says:

    Please stop the politics of the big and wealthy, think about the regular human beings who form this country and have to leave with the decisions of very few, which are mostly driven by $$$. Numerous scientific studies show how detrimental to the human health GMOs are, including cancer, auto imune diseases, etc. Since it is proven in the scientific literature, how can some highly appointed representatives take such iresponsible actions for the sake of the almighty dollar and show total disregard for the concerns of many who will have to leave with the distructive consequences. I have a question for those in power to make decisions:” would you or your loved ones be consuming something known to be harmfull to your health, that might cause premature death and suffering? Pleas look beyound the $$s and see the big picture. Your decisions can negatively impact millions including your children, think about their future, they will not have the choices we still enjoying for at least now. Lobbyists like the ones from Monsanto are pushing their own agenda and don’t have the best interest for the consumer. I came from a country filled with corruption and I see lobbying being very similar in its auctions. Hope some of the people in charge have the ethics, morality and integrity to make the right decisions for the good of many and preserve this great country.
    God bless.


  35. David Parker says:

    This is immoral and evil. No corporation should be allowed to force its dangerous mutated crops upon the people of this country. These mutated crops have been shown to cause genetic and organ damage in the animals that eat them. Is that the plan for the U.S.? To make the people sick and dependent upon other corporations’ chemicals for survival? Corporate fascism marches on…


    • Donna says:

      Yep, that’s the plan!! And they (big corporations) are just getting started. Soon there will no more food except food with the GMO’s stamp on it. God help us!!


      • june says:

        Yes, as David stated it is immoral and evil which goes to show who is ruling this world Satan not God. However
        he will step in , in due time which is Fast approaching which is why all of the wacky weather, food riots etc going
        on all over the world. Until He does step in things will only continue to get worse which is why if all act now who
        are alarmed by what is going on will start making a good relationship with God before it is to late to do so!


        • JR THOMPSON says:

          I hate to disappoint you- unless you are a biblical fundamentalist and literalist, He/God is not about to step back into His Creation and save us from Monsanto et al,,
          He is no ‘celestial bellhop’ and we are not puppets on a string. We have free will, we sin, allow evil; there is accidental death and the killing of innocents.
          As believers
          , we find strength through the Holy Spirit and in God to transcend and survive these challenges. What happens is up to us.
          What happens to Monsanto and its devious ways towards profits is up to us. What happens to our food supply in the face of genetic engineering, is again, up to us; up to us to object in the most strenuous terms.
          What ARE they thinking? These altered foods will not be accepted for export – so aside from domestic corporate profits and assuring the political large$$e, made at the expense of our health, what is the motive?
          I must ask, Don’t these folks eat too – and won’t they too, have to eat American made G-E contaminated foods?
          Perhaps that is to be our ultimate American-Made offering. How clever!


    • Ziporah Merle says:

      It has become our responsibility to protect our environment; food supply, water, air from the machinations of big companies like Monsanto, Dow, etc. At least the internet makes this a bit easier, but we must keep doing our best! Let’s encourage one another. Many thanks


    • ltcmscusar says:

      1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

      This is the first tennent of the Georgia Guidstones, the monument of the New World Order.

      It is not far reaching that the entire Elitest Progressives to go this route.

      They are in leigue with the devil.


  36. Ron Nowicki says:

    I thought the USDA was supposed to protect us – the people – not the corporate criminal’s profits!


    • Tom says:

      Well, you thought wrong Ron. Just like the FDA is about protecting BigPharma profits, not teh people.


    • Charles Decelles says:

      Why’d you think that? The “regulators” have been captured by the “regulated.”


    • Beccadog says:

      Welcome to reality, Ron.

      What we are taught in school, does not apply to the dirty political scene nationwide. The US government is of, by and for the corporation. And, political party has no bearing here. While Republicans generally reap bigger money than Democrats, there’s enough evil to go around. There are very few honest politicans who do not accept contributions from corporations who feed at the public trough.

      In fact, I remember when the chemical industry suggested that their member organizations spread out into all the U.S.A. and spread their influence to every state. If I recall, Bill Moyers covered that segment on Now. Too bad the American people, as a whole, listen to GOP TV where news is neither fair nor balanced. This animal by another name is the FOX in the hen house.

      Monsanto has been at both the USDA and the FDA. They started out at the USDA during the Obama Administration and then moved to the USDA. But, the first President Bush and Dan Quayle appointed then lobbyist, Michael Taylor of Monsanto to the FDA. Twenty five years later, Michael Taylor did such a good job deceiving presidents and congress, farmers, university systems, legislators and such, that he was promoted to a vice president and Obama made him Food Czar. But, he was in a similar position with the Bush Administration previously.

      Politics knows no truthl, hears no evil, and gets paid off regularly by those with deep pockets.


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