USDA GRANTS 'UNREGULATED' STATUS TO GMO BEET

LANDMARK LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST USDA

 
USDA has approved unlimited use of Monsanto's sugar beet genetically engineered to withstand heavy application of Monsanto's own brand of herbicide the Roundup.

Sugar beets are pollinated by wind, and biotech crops pollen will inevitably spread and contaminate conventional sugar beets, as well as closely related table beets and chard.

That will destroy the livelihood of organic farmers, who depend on their GMO-free status, contaminate biodiversity of old seed lines and open farmers to potential litigation by Monsanto lawyers for "patent infringement".
 
Thankfully not all is lost.

A coalition of organic seed providers, seed-diversity activists and green groups are suing the USDA, urging it to revoke the "unregulated" status it awarded Monsanto's latest seed of destruction (use a link below to read the group's press release and the complaint).

There is a precedent: a federal judge in 2007 issued a nationwide ban against the planting of the "Roundup Ready" alfalfa, again hastily approved by USDA.
 
GMO are created by either shooting DNA through the cell walls of an organism with a gene gun or using a bacterium that causes tumors in plants to transfer genes from unrelated species to gain unnatural traits (like surviving a specific brand of herbicide).

Worse of all, the resulting plant still reproduces, i.e. cannot be contained with certainty and will spread, introducing its messed-up patented genes into previously GM-free crops.

Are GMO safe?

The trouble is nobody can guarantee for sure, and there is no way to track its consumption, as the industry was successful in resisting GMO labeling in the U.S.

It's worth noting that DDT and Agent Orange were considered safe for years, and Monsanto, specifically, was the biggest producer of Agent Orange in the 60s and 70s.

Not safe anymore.
 
The Big Food industry now urges farmers to grow GMO beet.

The logic may be: if consumers are stuffing themselves with junk food, they are not concerned neither about their health, nor about anything else. Corn, soy and canola in most of conventional food in the U.S. is GMO already: nothing that happens to you healthwise can be tied to them, and they are comparatively cheap thanks to millions in annual government subsidies.
 
The whole idea of GMO goes against common sense.

It breeds herbicide-resistant "super weeds" that mutate to withstand the chemicals, requiring heavier application of herbicides later.

Contrary to biotech industry's claims, herbicide use increased manifold in the U.S. since GM crops were introduced (read the figures in the press release below).

It deprives farmers of choice what to grow in GMO-saturated areas, and makes a mockery of the attempts to preserve the environment and biodiversity of plants that took thousands of years to evolve.

Its "safety" from the point of science and progress makes as much sense as "safely" clearing a rain forest, or building "safe" coal plants that exude carbon dioxide and mercury (the former may warm the planet to a tipping point, the latter winds up in tuna thousands miles away, turning up later in NYC sushi bars).
 
Read the press release:
http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2008/farmers-consumer-advocates-conservationists-challenge-federal-approval-of-genetically-engineered-beets.html
FAQ about GMO food:
http://www.thetruthaboutgmos.com/gmo-faqs.html
ENN article "Seed-Savers and Greens Unite to Challenge Monsanto's Latest Cash Cow":
http://www.enn.com/agriculture/article/29950
 
You can lend your support by going to www.earthjustice.org and clicking on the "how to help" link.
Avoid GMO food, support local and organic farmers - it's heaps better for the environment!
 

thanx again to our foreign correspondent  dimitry... xo