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!

TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT,
CONGRESS, AND THE USDA

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.

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

  1. Star says:

    grrrr.. grrrr… GRRRRRRR

       0 likes

  2. Don says:

    Monsanto and big corp’s have owned our government for years. Especially Monsanto. When you send your letter to them ask them where Monsanto is sending them on vacation. I’m from Iowa Vilsack used to be our governor. What a disapointment he is when he set foot in washington. He wasn’t a very good governor either. The animals won’t eat GMO foods if they have a choice, knowing that they are smarter than our politians.

       0 likes

  3. diana says:

    We need to do more than write to congresspeople. They just say,” I’m sorry i disagree with you.” I believe it’s time to stage demonstrations across the country.

       0 likes

  4. diana says:

    How do you get an injunction against the USDA or FDA, for that matter? Something has to stop these horrible governmental organizations from destroying the planet and the health of those who live on the planet. Maybe other countries should get involved and hold the USDA and FDA accountable.

       0 likes

  5. l. Sharp says:

    That’s IT!!!

    It’s time to IMPEACH, SUE, CONVICT, and put these Monsanto puppets in JAIL!!!

       0 likes

  6. Colleen says:

    Please, no GMO alfalfa. We want healthy natural grown foods Thank you.

       0 likes

  7. Kim says:

    The American people are entitled to choose which foods they want to eat. By eliminating organic crops, the country will be denied the most healthy, natural option.
    The consequences for continually consuming genetically modified products, based on scientific evidence, include drastically adjusting the ecosystems of America.
    The weeds become resistance to Roundup, forcing farmers to take extra efforts to control them.
    The organisms who eat the crops, including our livestock and us, must evolve to tolerate any potential side effects of the GM crops.
    Overall, the scientific community can not find substantiating evidence that GM crops are harmful to our health, so more varieties of GM crops will be creating until we see strong proof of negative reactions.

    I choose non-GM crop products. I want to read more scientific studies on the effects of GM crops in livestock and humans. I want to be able to choose between organic and genetically modified products in the future.

       0 likes

  8. Anna Bukrabova says:

    This is such a reckless action against the nature and all of us . Stop playing God!

       0 likes

  9. Bonnie says:

    I just finished reading/watching about Monsanto’s bioengineering of seeds and also the global geoengineering (chemtrails vs contrails) of weather to combat global warming with the unintended (intended??) increased aluminum etc in the soils, plants, water, people. Monsanto is counteracting the chemicals being placed into our environment which is why the organics are going away. Maybe also why the crackdown on organics and raw foods? The toxic pollutant levels are getting too high?

       0 likes

  10. Patricia Frederick says:

    What has happened to this country? The President, the majority of the Supreme Court, and too many members of Congress are wholly owned by multinational corporations like Monsanto! We, the People seem not to matter, as long as the rich get richer and Wall Street and the corporations call the shots.

    As a 16th-generation New England Yankee, I want to be proud of my country. But this isn’t the United States I can believe in any more! This is a country whose government will permit unbridled capitalism to exhaust its natural resources, and poison its environment and its people for the sake of MONEY! Genetically modified crops are just one more example of how deeply complicit our government has become in the GREED and dishonesty that will surely lead to the destruction of our nation and its people.

       0 likes

  11. Sara says:

    Please stop poisoning us already! THANK YOU!

       0 likes

  12. Monica Evans says:

    Deregulation of Roundup Ready (registered trademark) Alfalfa means that the USDA is granting approval of an unregulated, nationwide experiment on the entire citizenry of this county with no contols. Such action is unconscionable.

       0 likes

  13. Vivian Orgel says:

    Because of GMO’s we are already seeing negatively altered memory and health conditions. In 5-10 years we will see more animals, plants and humans with more or different diseases, and in some cases go instinct. Oprah, Bill Gates, and others who have influence should be brought into this campaign to make complaint be heard and measured. Each of us have to contact newspapers and use the social media to shout out loud, or the future will be bleak for so many. Vivian

       0 likes

  14. Bobby Rodrigo says:

    This decision by the USDA in this instance needs to be reconsidered and changed immediately.

       0 likes

  15. Gaylene Kuintzle says:

    Where is our freedom to choose? GM crops cross polinate other crops and alfalfa is eaten by animals that we get food from. We need protection from big agribusiness. They don’t need your protection.

       0 likes

  16. Dawn Cartwright says:

    Please stop all GMOs!! Thank you!!!

       0 likes

  17. BimBam says:

    It is written in the latter days men would be become utterly corrupted. We see this with politicians, and our so-called “rulers” and “leaders”.

       0 likes

  18. HH says:

    “You will reap what you Sow”
    This is happening, slowly but surely, in all industrialized nations. GM organisms are part of the ‘bigger picture’ to make you sicker, make pharma richer, make people dependent on BigAgra firms who control government pawns who in turn control local law ready to raid your business if you dare do something that threatens their money pile (raw milk anyone?) GM animals are already in the food chain (here and Europe), GM plants (corn, soy) are already in your processed foods. Go Raw? Support your local farmers markets and farms, buy from them not the stores…rally to the streets, grow your own gardens, raise your own chickens and goats, can your own foods, save the bees and the birds. Pandora has left the box, and you must prepare for the ultimate challenge – your life (under your control or theirs). Be Ready…

       0 likes

  19. Paula Hood says:

    Deregulating GE crops is NOT what consumers want. Time and again, it has been shown that consumers want regulation and labeling of GE food products. They want more regulation, not less! The current decision shows that the USDA is catering to the corporate interests that stand to profit from this decision, and is not representing what consumers want. This is irresponsible as it not only puts organic food crops at risk of contamination, but it also erodes the publics’ trust that the USDA is acting in their best interest. The decision does not adhere to science and evidence, but is instead a reflection of corporate ties.

       0 likes

  20. Marlena says:

    Absolutely disgusting what they did approving this. I am shocked!. How can we reverse this atrocity against our health and our earth?

       0 likes

  21. Anna Duderstadt says:

    What about the research that is showing the distruction to the land itself? Giant patches of barren ground in the middle of the GMO fields? Who will keep the organic alfalfa pure? It is starting to seem that the only way any government will listen is to hit the streets and rumble.

       0 likes

  22. AnnaFiona says:

    I can’t thank you enough for your coverage on this issue. It is hard to convey my utter frustration and anger with our government over what they have done to our food system over the last 30years. It has been perverted in to something unrecognizable, wholly unsustainable, unhealthy and unfathomably cruel to animals. I am organic vegan/raw and I have to really go out of way to stay “clean” (back garden & local farms-CSA), it is not easy and it is something that the majority of Americans either do not know about, do not have the time or inclination to deal with or some simply do not care. And since Monsanto sits on many of the advisory boards within the USDA, they have free reign to push their agenda and our government is all too happy to comply. It is hard to know what can be done with executive branch agencies that regularly act with impunity, such as the USDA and DOI. They just do not care what citizens think. I would expect it from chem. co. but it is particularly enraging when you need protection from your own government! Sorry for the rant but it is mind bending that they can alter, in some cases even poison, such fundamental life given entitlements & necessities like air, water and food, and we have to just hope that occasionally preservation wins over profit, it just does not seem right. I know it is not. Thank you again, please do not give up.

       0 likes

  23. Brenda James says:

    You poison our food and expect us to be quiet. We do not want this, we want clean, healthy food. If you cannot do the job of protecting us from these poisons then we need SOMEONE who can. I really don’t know how you can sleep at night or look at yourself in the mirror knowing the harm that you are doing to the men, women and children of this country!

       0 likes

  24. Mara Williams says:

    We have a right to clean and healthy food which you are now destroying with GMO Alfalfa! this will make any animal that eats this poison as sick as it will make us to eat the meat. Please stop trying to poison us and allow clean and healthy food to exist.

       0 likes

  25. Laura Walters says:

    Silent Spring…. Stand up to Monsanto. This is an asault on nature and alll living things, including your loved ones.

       0 likes

  26. Shar Fortunak says:

    All people need wholesome, healthy food that is not GE.

       0 likes

  27. Julie Morrison says:

    You’re there to protect us – not the companies.

       0 likes

  28. So Allen says:

    We deserve wholesome, unadulterated food.

       0 likes

  29. george purvis says:

    Stop ! Stop this GMO deregulation you fools !

       0 likes

  30. Charlotte says:

    This removes choice…. something a democratic society and our constitution upholds…. I want choice and I do not want to eat genetically engineered food. You must protect me.

       0 likes

  31. gina marinelli says:

    STOP THE MadNESS!!!!!!!!!!! NOW!

       0 likes

  32. Wendy Martin says:

    GMO foods must NOT be allowed to run rampant in our world, contaminating our organic fruits and vegetables for human and animal comsumption. This latest de-regulation of GMO alfalfa by the USDA and Congress is only the tip of the huge corrupt industry iceberg that is quickly taking over everything. Please stop Monsanto and Dupont’s efforts now and re-think GMO’s in our foodstuffs – they should at least be labeled as such so the consumer can recognize them and make their own educated choice.

       0 likes

  33. Sarah Capley says:

    As a citizen of the U.S. we ask that you keep our food supply safe to eat.

       0 likes

  34. Ronald says:

    No To GMO food. No to government tyranny that even tells us what foods we may eat.

       0 likes

  35. Sarah Capley says:

    Let us enjoy fresh, wholesome organic foods. No geneticlly modified food, please.
    This is what we the people of the U.S.A. are entitled to.

       0 likes

  36. IT IS ABHORRENT TO ME THAT ALFALFA WITH ROUND UP GENES IN EVERY CELL WILL INTENTIONALLY BE GROWN TO FEED TO LIVESTOCK THAT WILL IN TURN BE FED TO PEOPLE. YOU ARE ENFORCING ILLNESS UPON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SHAME, SHAME.

       0 likes

    • Ex Pigfarmer says:

      Roundup is known to be a fungal enhancer, that is hw it works in the plant kingdom, by enabling fungus to overtakeeverything else, plants insects and mamals! Round up in the food causes 90% depopulation over three generations. by ruining the fuccundity of each generation untill sterrillity is achieved at the third generation in eutero. This is GENOCIDE, just as codex alementarius and the elimination of DHSEA is nutricutical murder… My pigs were sterrill after 3 years of soy and corn, I think we know what the roundup ready geene causes in mammals, sterrillity. NOW!! think SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMM. ARE YOU Ok with your children sterrilised by monsanto? How about by other genetic food, like meat?

         0 likes

  37. William Davis says:

    Monsanto and the other GE crop criminals should be nationalized and their thieving executives jailed. They have all been round-up ready for law enforcement for decades!!!

       0 likes

  38. Joy says:

    Thank you for keeeping a vigilant watch over the basterding attacks on our food supply. These are reprehensible measures the FDA is taking. They need to be disabled and banished as an organization that does more harm than good.

       0 likes

  39. Liane Casten says:

    There can be no greater wrong than to put profits over the health of a nation. Shame on the FDA and on Obama. We deserve healthy, unadulterated food and GM seeds are dangerous.

       0 likes

  40. Faith Daniel says:

    The link to send to my congressman isn’t working.

       0 likes

    • Fay Webb says:

      Faith, go to your congressman’s website and use the “Contact Me” link. To find the website, put his/her name in a search engine. I think the House websites are like this: http://www.house.gov/LastName, and the Senate’s are like this: LastName.senate.gov. Once you have their contact information, you can contact them whenever you want.

      Good luck.

         0 likes

  41. Pat says:

    I have today mailed a letter to President Obama complaining about this. I have asked him to require the USDA to reverse this decision and to get rid of USDA and FDA staff who are in bed with the companies they are supposed to be regulating.

       0 likes

  42. Stewart Rosenkrantz says:

    Let them know that we won’t be subjected to GMO food.

       0 likes

  43. Margaret Lamb says:

    Please, no GMO alfalfa. Think of the children. Thank you.

       0 likes

  44. Dear Sirs/Madame,

    YOu do not knwo what you do, you simply must take precautionw ith our food system There is no co existing for organic with thios technology. We will be doomed!
    The Precautionary Principle must be placed before corporate greed in at least this case!!!!

       0 likes

  45. Richard Holloway says:

    This action by the USDA is reckless, irresponsible and unwise. You should all loose your jobs as far as I am concerned you are simply not worthy of your station.

       0 likes

  46. Karen says:

    Big business does not care what happens to the people, healthwise, or their right to choose to eat organic.. I guess they think people are expendible and there are too many people in the world as it is, so what if lives are lost over eating genetically altered foods, they just don’t care!

       0 likes

  47. marilyn beidler says:

    We must reverse this decision. it must be unlawful.

    Marilyn Beidler

       0 likes

  48. Liz says:

    You wrote, “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.”

    If I remember correctly, Monsanto sued many farmers, claiming that those farmers ‘ stole’ their patented seed when indeed it was drift from GM fields or highway trucks that contaminated the farmers’ fields. Those farmers were sued for so much money that they had to sell their farms and are now bankrupt. I think that the farmers today should be able to sue Monsanto- not the other way around. I’m fed up with our government ( keep in mind it’s supposed to be the people’s government) working only in the interest of corporations and the Americans who tolerate this behavior.

       0 likes

  49. woody woodward says:

    It is unbelievable that the genetically engineered alfalfa has been approved for planting and consumption all over this country. No one knows what it will do and it will be to late if there are problems because it will be in the dna of all alfalfa plants. There will be no such thing as organic. I do not support doing this at all.

       0 likes

    • Yvonne says:

      I am shocked and horrified by this news. I have been buying organic for years now and that might not be worth it considering all crops will be contaminated. They are poisoning us and the planet. It’s probably time to have a community garden and grow my own food.

      They have really gone mad.

         0 likes

    • Louis Smith says:

      How many of you remember the TV commercial from the seventies “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”

      Remember it!

      Monsanto DOES NOT RULE ANYTHING!!!

         0 likes

    • Don says:

      The real horror is that that GM alfalfa will work its way up the food chain through livestock feed.

         0 likes

  50. valerie gilbert says:

    you are F’ing with our planet! it’s not yours to destroy in this manner. this is frankenscience, and you have NO idea of the ramifications of your precious Monsanto’s experimentation. All they care about is money, is that all you care about? If they have you convinced that this is great for all concerned (read: Monsanto and those who receive kickbacks from them) then you are drinking the kool-aid.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, listen to the people. The constituents. Monsanto has ruined farming in this country, and now they want to ruin natural biology and mother nature across the planet. We need ORGANIC, biodynamic food, soil and crops. This planet is POISONED with toxins and pesticides and chemicals!

    This is your planet too! Stop poisoning the people by approving this catastrophe.

       0 likes

    • ninasreality says:

      Should any of be surprised that the USDA would do something so abhorrent?
      Just look at all they have been doing to us for years and you can only come to one conclusion…
      That they are, without a doubt:
      U nilaterally
      S ystematically
      D estroying
      A ll of Us

         0 likes

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