posted By Bill Couzens Founder Less Cancer
Organic Panic: Obama Administration Green Lights Mutant Alfalfa
USDA Deregulation of Genetically Modified Hay Threatens Organic Foods, Critics Say
By DEVIN DWYER
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011
The nation’s organic farmers are sounding the alarm after an Obama administration decision they say could destroy their supply chains and drastically limit the choices and availability of some popular consumer foods.
The Department of Agriculture decided last week to allow the widespread, unregulated use of genetically modified alfalfa, commonly known as hay, which is the primary feed for dairy cows and beef cattle across the country.
Opponents argue that he mutant crops, engineered to survive being sprayed with insecticide, could escape from their fields and eventually cross-pollinate with and contaminate neighboring organic crops. That could mean less organic feed for the organic cows that produce a range of organic products.
“Consumers don’t eat [genetically modified] alfalfa, of course,” said Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which examines the U.S. farming and food industry. “But it’s the main feed for dairy cows. And organic milk, one of the most successful and popular organic foods, could be compromised if the organic cows eat non-organic feed.”
Some environmental experts are also concerned that broader planting of herbicide-resistant crops, which are then doused with powerful chemicals, could expedite the spread of “superweeds,” which are herbicide-resistant pests that force farmers to potentially use more toxic substances to root them out. ..See Link