Recently, the USDA has quietly made a couple changes to the regulations regarding certain genetically modified crops, specifically GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa. This poses a very serious problem for organic farmers because of the issues surrounding cross pollination. These decisions may threaten the very existence of organic farming as a result.
Organic farmers depend on keeping their status, which is not possible if there is any sort of evidence of genetically modification in their product. It is even more important now than ever to support sustainable food sources.
What you can do:
- Continue to support organic and locally sourced ingredients. This is healthier for you, your family, and your community in the long run. The Weston A. Price Foundation is wonderful resource for local food sources.
- Support your choice of organizations that help maintain local and organic business models. Slow Food USA is one of my favorites and they have local chapters all over the United States. If you’re specifically looking for one that is organizing against genetically modified alfalfa, check out Center for Food Safety.
- Sign this petition being circulated by Organic Trade Association. Michelle Obama may be championing healthy eating by becoming a partner with Wal-Mart to encourage them to carry healthier foods, this does not address the struggle that many local and organic farms face in an age of agribusiness.
- Make your voice heard. Write to your state and federal representatives to voice your support for more protection against genetically modified crops. The truth is, we just don’t know how genetic modification of our food sources will affect us and our world. Plants resistant to specific herbicides will translate into weeds resistant to herbicides which will mean farmers will end up using higher and higher doses of chemicals to control pests. This ultimately means we as consumers will be exposed to higher and higher concentrations of said chemicals. We need long term research to be conducted and we need transparency so consumers can make knowledgeable decisions regarding the food they eat.