Monday, January 31, 2011

Concerns Regarding our Food Industry

Bear with me folks, this topic really ruffles my feathers.  I intend to keep this post simple as so many others have already written eloquently on the topic.  My goal here is to create awareness. Consider sharing this information with your friends ; it is our best line of defense.

As a conscious consumer  I was saddened by the recent decision by USDA Secretary Vilsack to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa.  What is the impact on our environment and the future of our organics?  There is a myriad of conflicting information but I've tried to gather a few of the basic facts to share with my friends, family, and online community. Bottom line, it is disheartening.

The Organic Trade Association just released this legislative alert, "On January 27, the Obama Administration made the damaging decision to approve the unrestricted cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. This means GE alfalfa can be planted without any federal requirements to prevent contamination of organic and non-GE crops. It also means that GE alfalfa does not have to be labeled, making it difficult for consumers to identify and avoid."

Monsanto, the corporation responsible for chemicals Agent Orange, Saccharin, DDT, and rbST (growth hormone for cows), is the creator of Round-Up Ready, genetically engineered alfalfa seed. With the deregulation of this seed, farmers who grow products without pesticides will eventually be crop affected by this seed; its only a matter of time and they have no protective means. There is almost no argument against the strong possibility that genetically modified alfalfa will cross-pollinate non-GM alfalfa.

As per the Organics Consumer Organization, "The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don't want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont - the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming. Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards."

Without getting into all of the hazard of GMO's and genetically engineered crops, as a mother, yoga teacher, and cancer survivor I feel compelled to write that I strongly believe that our food industry and the USDA has failed us.  Genetically engineered foods saturate our diet; even for the most well-intentioned consumers.  And the health hazards, which include cancer, are insurmountable and unmeasurable.

One of the best articles I read regarding the topic is by Denise, EatPlayLove blogger . Denise offers great advice as to what steps we can take as consumers as it seems like we have quite the fight on our hands.


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