Douglas R. Jones, Executive Director, Growers for Biotechnology, "Please take a minute to write! Your comments can make a difference in helping to keep a reliable supply of elemental phosphorus available to manufacture not only Roundup but many other essential products we need and use."What a great opportunity to stand up and tell Uncle Sam how we feel about America's need to eat gmo food. What better way is there to express the level of support Monsanto has?
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT SEEKING COMMENT ON MONSANTO'S REQUEST FOR NEW PHOSPHATE MINE Sep. 17, 2009 Critical Comment Period for Roundup Herbicide September 16, 2009 You can make a difference! As supporters of biotechnology it is important to know about a critical comment period for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, DEIS, prepared by the Bureau of Land Management, BLM. Monsanto's wholly-owned subsidiary, P4 Production LLC, is seeking a permit to open a new phosphate mine in Southeast Idaho, named the Blackfoot Bridge Mine. This mine will supply the phosphate ore needed to make elemental phosphorus, the key ingredient used to manufacture Roundup herbicide. The creation of Roundup herbicide and the genetic modifications to make plants tolerant to it were the keystone of the biotechnology revolution that has swept the world. Many other traits are now available to farmers and dozens more are in the research and development pipeline. Your comments in support of this project are important. Because commercially available phosphate sources in North America are very limited, the P4 plant in Soda Springs, Idaho is the only source of elemental phosphorus in the Western Hemisphere. The currently existing mine will soon be exhausted. If the new mine is not opened there will be no other source of elemental phosphorus for manufacturing in North America. Approximately one third of the production of elemental phosphorus is sold to other manufacturers. Elemental phosphorus is used to make a wide variety of products, many of which we all use or depend on every day. A short list of these diverse items includes: most toothpaste, fire retardant, non flammable aircraft hydraulic fluid, Miracle Grow for the flowers and garden, and tracer ammunition. Your comments are important because your lives and livelihoods depend on this project being approved. Even though approximately ninety percent of the land is privately owned and only ten percent is BLM managed, the environmental community has already asked for, and received, an extension on the public comment period. This will allow them to submit even more comments than they might have otherwise. In addition to this Monsanto mine the J. R. Simplot Company is also in the process of opening a new phosphate mine in the same part of Southeast Idaho to produce phosphate fertilizer for North America. Support for Monsanto will also help support Simplot in their efforts. Comments must be submitted by close of business October 31 to the BLM at: Blackfoot Bridge Project, ARCADIS 630 Plaza Drive Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 or, firstname.lastname@example.org Additional information on how to submit comments can be found at: [ 1. URL ] or by calling 208-608-8047. The summary of the DEIS can be found at: http://www.monsanto.com/pdf/sodasprings/deis_summary.pdf Please take a minute to write! Your comments can make a difference in helping to keep a reliable supply of elemental phosphorus available to manufacture not only Roundup but many other essential products we need and use. As a personal note from the author, I am an Idaho farmer and a past state legislator who is personally familiar with the mining activities in Southeastern Idaho. These are well managed, environmentally conscious, operations that are important not just to Idaho and the local communities but to people all over the world. I am writing to the BLM personally in support of this DEIS. I urge you to do the same! Douglas R. Jones, Executive Director, Growers for Biotechnology Boise, Idaho.From a strategic materials standpoint it is a pickle for Monsanto to be in, but how nice that the issue didn't glide by under the radar and deny so many grass roots voices the opportunity to participate. What a great opportunity to stand up!! Who could imagine that one little mine in Idaho could play a pivotal role in maintaining our Roundup Ready food supply? It sounds bleak for the gmo foods If Monsanto's wholly-owned subsidiary, P4 Production LLC, doesn't get to open a new phosphate mine. That is a very big deal, an Achilles heel of sorts for Monsanto, if the call to action represented the necessity fairly. Who would be in a better position to assess the impact than Monsanto's grassroots supporters? Giving credit where credit is due for this initiative, thanks go to the author Douglas R. Jones and fellow Directors at Growers for Biotechnology. No one could fail to be impressed at what reach a few down-home farmers can have when they tap into the spirit of grassroots activism and show us the power of individuals coming together. In February the Prairie Star reported the new Board Members at Growers for Biotechnology. What an impressive list of industry positions for such a small, grassroots band of Heartland farm folk.  A short, random list of shared representation includes, but not limited to, past president of the American Soybean Association, founding chairman of the American Oilseed Coalition, chairman of the Agricultural Affairs Committee in Idaho, chairman U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors, vice chairman, charter member of Oklahoma Genetics, Inc., vice president of Ag Services for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., etc, etc.  How apple pie is that? With a pinch of luck and comments to BLS, maybe we'll have a chance to see. 1. Link from Douglas R. Jones letter, moved to accommodate a neater text format. click here 2. The Prairie Star, Wednesday, February 25, 2009, New board members join Growers for Biotechnology click here 3. Growers for Biotechnology website - Board Member Biographies click here - Special thanks to the keen reporters at GM Watch who do such and amazing job of keeping pace with the news of the Biotech Brigade around the globe and around the clock. Their preface and Mine Report.
NOTE: Monsanto needs phosphate to make Roundup, and so wants a new phosphates mine in Idaho. Three of the company's phosphate mines have already been declared federal Superfund sites, while the fourth is currently in violation of the Clean Water Act. EPA officials say the mines are leaking selenium, cadmium, nickel and zinc into rivers that flow to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. That makes for opposition to the new mine, but Monsanto's friendly lobby group "Growers for Biotechnology" are ever ready to lend a hand.