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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/15/11

Big Agra and big Pharma rule in Washington

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Author 56744
Message brigitte wallace
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President Obama and corrupt USDA approve their buddy Monsanto's alfafa GMO against the wishes of the majority of Americans, the pleas of farmers and the better judgement of scientists

President Obama has unbelievably chosen to approve two biotech crops, Monsanto's Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa and Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets. They will be planted as early as this spring, despite widespread acknowledgement that these crops are certain to contaminate both conventional and organic farmers' non-GMO crops. The deregulation of GMO Roundup Ready alfalfa could lead to the genetic contamination of all conventional and organic alfalfa within five years.

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(Image by Brigitte Wallace)   Details   DMCA
Our federal regulatory agencies and the White House have consistently sided with the vested financial interests of agricultural biotech corporations who are only interested in profit and gaining absolute control over seeds and crops and have shown a complete disregard for our nation's laws, sound scientific theory, the livelihoods of family farmers, and the health and well-being of our citizens and the environment.

Organic agriculture builds nutrients and controls pests through natural methods that are largely free. Organic farmers purchase few expensive soil enhancers and recycle many biological wastes. They can produce high yields that appear less affected by variable weather than those of industrial agriculture. Where organic farming is practiced, it is profitable. It regenerates soil and water resources. It can be adopted without requiring people to import fertilizers or pesticides or patented seed. Especially, it doesn't require farmers to don rubber suits and respirators to spray dangerous chemicals.

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Ninety-three percent of the alfalfa hay in the Us does not use any herbicides. Alfafa is a perennial legume that does not have to fight weeds as do corn, soybeans, cotton or canola. Ninety-three percent of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. does not use any herbicides. As a perennial legume, it does not suffer from the same weed pressures as other crops, such as corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. GMO alfalfa will only lead to an increase of glyphosate-resistant superweeds. The

USDA's Vilsack backed by Obama ruthlessly choose to ignore the basic biological principles of pollination and good agricultural practices. Industrial agriculture, far from being the salvation it promises, is actually undermining the resource base--healthy soil, clean water, and diversity of plants and animals--needed to sustain the world's growing human population in the long term.

This decision undermines opportunities for farmers in America, particularly in important export markets for conventional alfalfa and in the growing organic dairy industry. It also severely restricts the choice of farmers and 50 million U.S. consumers who every day exercise their right to consume food that is certified organic and free of GMOs, that are yet to be proven safe for human consumption and our common environment, because all previous studies have shown that they are not. Genetic food engineering is the most powerful and pernicious technology known to man and yet it is being released throughout our environment with contempt for the multiple ethical issues it raises and the irreversible harm it will bring to life on earth as we know it.

Hundreds of thousands of petitions were signed, scientists from all over the world warning of the end of free choice agriculture as we know it and the onset of serious irreversible negative health and sustainability consequences. To be sure, no one in Washington, the least Mr. President, gives a dam about the politely worded petitions.

Why then, when it is obviously not good for us, is it being approved? Well for Greed. It is good for Monsanto, and what is good for Monsanto is even better for the hundreds of politicians and government employees who are directly or indirectly on the big Pharma and big Agro (one of the same) payroll.

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The FDA and the USDA have become the legislative and executive branches of Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and the likes . When you look at all the Monsanto executives who have gone through the revolving door between private industry and government oversight, you uncover the truly disturbing picture of America today.

The FDA and the USDA are packed with pro-business, pro-corporation advocates who often have massive conflicts of interest when it comes to protecting the health of the public. As for Fish and Wildlife they are a bunch of yes-men for the cattle and animal farming industries and routinely kill tens of thousands of wild animals with the cruelest methods to satisfy the ranchers insatiable need for (public) land.

The revolving door between private industry and government oversight agencies is so well established these days, it has become business as usual to read about scandals, conflicts of interest and blatant pro-industry bias, even when it flies in the face of science or the law.

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I was born in Paris France in 1953, the daughter of a well respected song writer father and liberal snob mother. My uncontained rebellious sentiments toward a very critical upbringing and by extension my perception of a stifling French culture, (more...)
 
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