The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is quickly gearing up to approve the use of Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) Roundup Ready™ Alfalfa. While it often goes under the radar, alfalfa is the fourth-largest crop in America, planted on over 21 million acres. It’s a primary feed for organic dairy cows and it’s also used in raising other livestock and by vegetable farmers.
For years on our hotline, we’ve heard from family farmers concerned that GE crops will contaminate their own fields with effects on their crops and seed supplies. USDA has not sufficiently showed that these GE crops can coexist side by side with conventional crops without contamination and causing serious economic harm to farmers.
What can you do? Call and email President Obama and USDA. Our partners at the Organic Farming Research Foundation have put together sample talking points for you to use:
Here are sample talking points to use on your call/email:
- My name is ___________, a farmer/resident in _____ (state).
- Please do not to allow the commercial release of GE alfalfa.
- Widespread planting of GE crops increases contamination risks to non-GE fields, which threatens the livelihood of organic and other farmers who choose not to use GE technologies.
- Before any release can happen, there must be independent scientific evaluation of public health, environmental, and economic consequences of that release, ongoing government oversight and protection, and a plan for compensation of those harmed by accidental contamination.
- Sincerely, YOUR NAME
Contact President Obama:
Phone: (202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461
Phone: (301) 851-2300
Want more information on how GE crops are regulated? Take a look at this Ask Farm Aid column from 2009.