Unbelievably, over the past 12 days the Obama administration has approved not
one, but two of Monsanto's Round Up Ready genetically modified (GMO) crops. On
Thursday January 27th, the USDA made the decision, under the directive of the
White House, to fully deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa, followed by the partial
deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets this past Friday, opening the door for
the planting of both of these GMO crops this spring.1
Together, these decisions send a clear signal that the Obama administration has abandoned all objectivity and scientific scrutiny when it comes to regulating biotech crops and has adopted a policy of rapid approval in order to overcome growing public outrage and concern about the harmful effects that Monsanto's monopoly power has on family farmers, American citizens, our common environment and our democracy.
We need to continue to stand up to this influence in the halls of power of the United States. If you haven't signed this letter telling Obama to rescind the decision for deregulation of GMO crops, now is the time. Tell President Obama it's time to put family farmers, our food security and America's citizens over Monsanto's bottom line.
In their first decision, the full deregulation of GMO alfalfa, the Obama administration and the USDA ignored more than 200,000 citizen comments against approval during the public comment period in the Spring of 2010, including more than 56,000 comments from Food Democracy Now! members. Recently, in the week prior to the USDA's approval, more than 100,000 Food Democracy Now! members demanded that President Obama and Secretary Vilsack reject Monsanto's GMO alfalfa, and more than 2,000 of you made calls directly to the White House on the day of the decision. Despite the strong objections of citizens and the warnings of scientists, the administration opted to "plow ahead" on the planting of GMO alfalfa.2
As many of you may be aware, the Obama decision on Monsanto's GMO alfalfa has caused some controversy within the organic and sustainable community. However, with last Friday's decision to partially deregulate GMO sugar beets, it has become clear that we must unite in the common purpose of defeating Monsanto and their continued efforts to take over our food supply.
Last week we sent out a letter drafted by dozens of farmers and activists at the EcoFarm conference, calling for unity and a reversal of the deregulation decision - more than 32,000 Food Democracy Now! members have signed it so far. If you've already signed it, there's no need to sign it again, but please forward to it to at least 3 of your friends and tell them it's serious -- and urgent.
Click on the link below to add your name to the letter.
While Obama was approving another biotech crop last Friday, we spoke to several farmers who were just returning from a farm trade show in Iowa where they said that seed dealers were urgently offering to sell them Monsanto's GMO alfalfa seed so they'll have it to begin planting in the spring.
This is alarming and these farmers know how desperate Monsanto is to get these seeds sold before a court injunction threatens to make that illegal. We need to act quickly and stop this immediately!
It is time that we made our voice heard loud and clear.
If you've already signed the letter, please forward it to at least 3 friends who care about organics and the integrity of the food they and their families eat. We need to let Obama and elected officials in Washington who are deaf to your concerns about safe, organic food hear loud and clear that you find this unacceptable.
As we've explained before, GMO Roundup Ready alfalfa is an entirely unnecessary crop since 93% of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. does not even use herbicides, and the introduction of GMO alfalfa could result in the genetic contamination of all U.S. alfalfa in less than 5 years, which greatly harms the economic livelihoods of conventional and organic farmers, while undermining the organic dairy industry and puts our environment at great risk.3
With the USDA's partial deregulation of Monsanto's GMO sugar beets, the Obama administration has made it clear that he does not care about the genetic contamination of other farmer's organic and conventional crops, nor our food supply.
While both GMO alfalfa and GMO sugar beets had been temporarily off the market due to the Center for Food Safety's successful victories in the courts, the Obama administration's decision to approve both crops in less than two weeks benefits only one company -- Monsanto.
As recently as this morning, mainstream reports are beginning to echo our concerns about contamination. Only hours ago, an Associated Press report led with the headline, "Experts: Contamination from GM alfalfa certain", which confirms what has already been admitted by the U.S. Supreme court, USDA and leading crop scientists.4
Unfortunately, while the Obama administration is putting corporate profits over the livelihoods of family farmers and the concerns of America's 50 million organic consumers, we all lose out.
It's time to present a united front against Monsanto and out of touch politicians. Please take a moment to join us in telling President Obama to reverse the approval for Monsanto's GMO alfalfa and GMO sugar beets. Your action today could help save organic integrity for future generations.
Thanks for taking action -- your support is greatly appreciated. We need your help to keep the pressure on! If you can, please consider chipping in as little as $10 to help us continue this fight.
We rely on folks like you to keep us going. Thanks again for your support.
Thank you for participating in food democracy -- your action today may help save the organic industry.
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
1."USDA issues partial deregulation for GM-sugar beets", Delta Farm Press, February 5, 2011
2. "White House pressured Vilsack to approve GMO alfalfa, media reports suggest", January 31, 2011
3. "Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Could Be Growing in U.S. Fields by Spring", December 20, 2010
4. "Experts: Contamination from GM alfalfa certain", Associated Press, February 7, 2011