On January 27, the US Department of Agriculture reached a decision on the utilization of genetically engineered (GM or GMOs) Roundup Ready® alfalfa in the U.S. Out of the three possible options–regulation, partial deregulation, and complete deregulation–the USDA chose the worst possible option: full non-regulated status.
What does this mean ? Deregulation is dangerous. Without regulation, GM alfalfa will spread to non-GM alfalfa crops, irretrievably contaminating it. GM alfalfa cannot be contained in the immediate crop area where it is grown. There are records of over 200 episodes of transgenic contamination, costing farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales. The wind or birds can carry seeds and plant parts to other crops. If genetically engineered crops spread, the word “organic” will be virtually be meaningless, affecting crops, the cattle who eat the alfalfa, and consumers who eat both.
Contamination of chemicals will eventually be wide-spread. 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 show that substantial adoption of Roundup Ready® will increase herbicide use up to 23 million pounds per year. This herbicide will negatively impact the environment, animals, bodies of water, water supply (that we drink) in general, land and DIRT used to grow our food, and all of US.
How does this relate to our Health ? There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that most, if not all chronic health conditions (including -the high rates of- obesity and depression) are related to 2 factors, stress and /or toxicity. This is part of the foundational work in Functional Medicine and Nutrition. Processed foods, foods grown in soil contaminated with chemicals, overuse of medications, impure water and air sources (to name a few), all add up to overwhelming amounts of toxins for our bodies to eliminate. Over a decade ago, this statement would have sounded like it came from an extremist. But now we know when we eat “cleaner foods”, when we assist the body to detox, when we resolve health conditions and eliminate medication use – we shift the body back to health.
1) The Center for Food Safety has announced it will file a lawsuit against the USDA over the decision, and The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA) will try to become a co-plaintiff in that suit.
2) We need to blanket Congress with protests, asking senators, representatives and committees to review the deregulation decision. A massive grassroots campaign will show Congress that there is a steep political price here for supporting genetically engineered organisms. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have issued a statement condemning the USDA decision. For more: http://www.prnewswire.com/ and open news release link on the home page.
3) Put pressure on the USDA and the Obama administration. They need to understand how concerned American citizens are, and why we feel betrayed. Please go to the link below to SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT, CONGRESS, AND THE USDA:
http://www.anh-usa.org, and click on this story which is under “Take Action” on the left side of the home page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. A suggested letter is already there, but feel free to add your own comments .