[permaculture] The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Thu Jan 27 20:53:21 EST 2011

The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

     * By Ronnie Cummins
       Organic Consumers Association, Jan 27, 2011
       Straight to the Source

"The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other 
GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must."   -  Whole Foods Market, 
Jan. 21, 2011

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically 
Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic 
farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing 
betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by 
Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided 
it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies 
have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass 
commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup 
Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for 
"coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its 
customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support 
for organics and "seed purity," gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats 
to approve the "conditional deregulation" of Monsanto's genetically 
engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.  Beyond the regulatory 
euphemism of "conditional deregulation," this means that WFM and their 
colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a 
chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to 
spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to 
contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to 
massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil 
food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce 
Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly 
herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa 
across the U.S.

In exchange for allowing Monsanto's premeditated pollution of the 
alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants "compensation." In exchange for a new 
assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale 
Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers' and 
rural residents' risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech 
USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment 
for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil's crucial ability to provide 
nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases 
(recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil 
microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester 
climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of 
St. Louis to agree to pay "compensation" (i.e. hush money) to farmers 
"for any losses related to the contamination of his crop."

Read the rest here...

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