USDA is once again trying to blame organic and non-GE farmers for being victims of GE contamination. Tell USDA that “co-existence” isn’t protection; it is forced GE contamination.
Right now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened a comment period on the so called “co-existence” of organic, conventional and genetically engineered crops, but the problem is that misses the point. It calls for “farmer education” to prevent GE contamination rather than the need for USDA to establish-mandatory GE contamination prevention measures. As usual, the agency’s proposal reads like it was written by the biotech industry. Despite acknowledging the very real threat to organic and non-GE farmers of contamination by genetically engineered crops, USDA’s recommendations would make a bad situation even worse.
USDA’s so-called “co-existence” plan fails to offer any protection for organic farmers and would institutionalize transgenic contamination in crops across the U.S. If implemented, the proposal would require the victims of contamination to buy insurance or pay into a fund to compensate themselves for unwanted contamination, lost markets and other damages. This is simply unacceptable.
It is high time that USDA address the root causes of contamination by stopping gene flow and putting the burden for preventing contamination squarely on Monsanto and the other biotech companies. An immediate moratorium on the planting of any new GE crops must be established until tried and true mandatory contamination prevention measures are in place to protect organic and non-GE farmers.