February 1st, 2011
Organic farmers, food companies and advocacy groups have united to oppose the federal government’s de-regulation of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa.
A new 20-group coalition announced Tuesday that it also would be opposing the regulatory release of other types of GE (also known as GM or genetically modified) crops expected in the coming months if the USDA approves the unrestricted planting of GE sugar beets, corn and soy crops.
These crops have been engineered predominantly by Monsanto to resist specific Monsanto-created pesticides, including the “Roundup Ready” alfalfa, which was approved for unrestricted planting by the USDA last week.
Organic farmers fear the spread of GE crops because they’re dependent on pesticides, which harm the soil and waterways, and because they can contaminate non=GE crops via cross-pollination. When GE crops invade organically raised fields, they destroy the purity of organic row crops and produce and can cost a farmer his organic certification.