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NODPA E-NEWSLETTER | January 18, 2011

GE Alfalfa – What's the rush??
Preserve Organic Dairy: Call or email TODAY to ask
the President to stop a spring planting of GE Alfalfa

The Federation of Organic Dairy Farmers (FOOD Farmers) representing over 1400 organic dairy farmers across the country ask you to call email or fax the White House AND the USDA to ask that on January 24th the USDA:

  • Declare a Moratorium on the planting of GE Alfalfa to allow the implementation of public oversight of regulations to prevent and monitor contamination,
  • Ensure that forage has the same safeguards against contamination that seed production is given, and
  • Create a Contamination Compensation Fund funded by GMO patent holders, to provide immediate assistance to producers whose crops and land are contaminated by GMOs

Please call or email:
President Barack Obama
Comment line: (202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461

Email: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

And USDA/APHIS
Email: biotechquery@aphis.usda.gov
or call 1-301-851-2300 and record your comments

In your comments to the President and the USDA the following points can be made:

  1. Place a moratorium on planting of GE Alfalfa – planting GE alfalfa this spring, with no public oversight of regulations to prevent and monitor contamination, will favor one sector of agriculture business against other growing and profitable sectors. The USDA should recognize their responsibility to work with all of the agricultural economy, including, but not limited to, the $26.6 billion dollar a year organic industry, the ever expanding buy-local value-added market, producers marketing under the Integrated Pest Management and Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Free standards, and all those family farms that are diversifying their operations to grow high margin crops.
  2. Ensure that forage has the same safeguards against contamination that seed production is given – the risks are the same and for organic livestock, contamination of pasture and hay crops could be catastrophic
  3. Prior to planting and GE Alfalfa, create a Contamination Compensation Fund, funded by GMO patent holders, to provide immediate assistance to producers whose crops and land are contaminated by GMOs – the responsibility needs to be with the Biotech industry to prevent and compensate for losses because of contamination by GE alfalfa. It is not the producer's responsibility to buy insurance or the government to subsidize insurance.

As part of the ongoing discussions following the publication of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on GE Alfalfa we need to preserve the diversity and economic vibrancy of our agricultural economy and consumer choice. We need to have all stakeholders at the table during these discussions, especially organic dairy farmers whose family farms are at risk from contamination by this pervasive, perennial crop.

The National Organic Coalition has developed a 7 point plan as part of a constructive dialogue that needs to happen prior to any de-regulation of new genetically-engineered crops, or discussions of "Co-Existence" of GE and non-GE. For details:

http://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/GMO/
GMOContaminationPrevention.pdf

  1. 1. Establish a USDA Public Breeds Institute to ensure that the public has access to high quality non-GMO breeds and germplasm.
  2. Create a Contamination Compensation Fund [see NOC's Draft proposal by clicking here] , funded by GMO patent holders, to provide immediate assistance to persons contaminated by GMOs, from seed to table.
  3. Complete elimination of deregulated GM crop status, including prior deregulations, with on-going oversight and public evaluation of compliance and enforcement.
  4. Conduct comprehensive, independent, longitudinal studies on the health, environmental, and socio-economic impacts of GMOs, prior to GM crop approvals.
  5. Prohibit the growing of promiscuous GM crops that are likely to cause GMO contamination.
  6. Prevent food security risks associated with the concentration of our food system in the hands of a few companies.
  7. Institute an immediate labeling protocol for all GM crops, products, and ingredients.

For background on the GE Alfalfa issue, go to our website ...

News & Information

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NODPA NOTES

Pay Price Updates
Organic dairy will enter 2011 in a surprisingly strong position with sales increasing at a double digit pace over last year and supply tightening across the country. MORE >

Feed Price Updates
The organic grain market has been very stable compared to non-organic with a limited response to the increase in prices of non-organic corn and soybean ... MORE >

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