Please everyone, take this notice seriously and do what you can to act to keep this latest - and possibly most serious - threat to our food supply only a bad dream. As Aletha points out, alfalfa is a perennial - it keeps coming back. Anyone who lives near where alfalfa is grown knows that it self-seeds and spreads rapidly. If at some point people wake up to the threat of genetically engineered plants to bees and other insects as well as to human beings, it will be very hard to eradicate genetically modified alfalfa once it spreads.
The USDA is close to approving Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa for non-regulated status. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement reportedly says that there are not enough consumers interested in organic food sources for the USDA to block the approval of GE alfalfa.
Because of the natural pollination process, GE alfalfa would inevitably contaminate organically grown alfalfa, as has happened with corn. About 75% of the corn grown in the U.S. today is genetically modified (which means it cannot reproduce; we are dependent upon seed makers to provide this "dead" seed). Crops as distant as 20 miles have been contaminated by GE corn, rendering those crops also dead and unable to reproduce. It is reasonable to expect that a similar contamination would occur with alfalfa. Aside from the negative dependency on seed producers and the potential health effects of GE foods themselves, this would render the raising of organic meat and milk almost impossible!
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation website, http://www.westonaprice.org/, GE alfalfa would be the first perennial crop to be approved for genetic modification and release. GE-contaminated plants could be scattered along the roadsides and in fields, living and producing more GE-contaminated pollen for years. Additionally, it is anticipated that GE alfalfa would significantly increase pesticide use, harming both human health and the environment. The USDA concludes that GE alfalfa will cause production to shift to larger farms (that can afford built-in isolation distances) and conventional growers who are not threatened by GE contamination, but that these economic shifts are not significant.
There is one week left in the 60 day comment period, which ends February 16th. If having real, living food available is important to you, please consider taking a few moments to fill out the comment form - http://www.regulations.gov/
If you would like to learn more, the following website has helpful information: The Center for Food Safety's fact sheet on GE alfalfa here: http://www.
Aletha Claussen-Schulz, J.D., Ph.D.
Passionate STAY-At-Home MAMA
my blog: http://dreamtimeyears.