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Published on February 21st, 2011 | by Guest Contributor


Scientist urges USDA to rescind approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa

gmo free farmBy Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

A plant pathologist experienced in protecting against biological warfare recently warned the USDA of a new, self-replicating, micro-fungal virus-sized organism which may be causing spontaneous abortions in livestock, sudden death syndrome in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy, and wilt in Monsanto’s RR corn.

Dr. Don M. Huber, who coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens committee of the American Phytopathological Society, as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System, warned Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that this pathogen threatens the US food and feed supply and can lead to the collapse of the US corn and soy export markets.  Likewise, deregulation of GE alfalfa “could be a calamity,” he noted in his letter (reproduced in full below).

Blanket Approval

On January 27, Vilsack gave blanket approval to all genetically modified alfalfa. Following orders from President Obama, he also removed buffer zone requirements. This is seen as a deliberate move to contaminate natural crops and destroy the organic meat and dairy industry which relies on GM-free alfalfa. Such genetic contamination will give the biotech industry complete control over the nation’s fourth largest crop. It will also ease the transition to using GE-alfalfa as a biofuel.

“My letter to Secretary Vilsack was a request to allocate necessary resources to understand potential nutrient-disease interactions before making (in my opinion) an essentially irreversible decision on deregulation of RR alfalfa,” Huber told Food Freedom in an email.

But, he cautions:

“Although the organism has been associated with infertility and spontaneous abortions in animals, associations are not always evidence of cause in all cases and do not indicate what the predisposing conditions might be. These need to be established through thorough investigation which requires a commitment of resources.

“I hope that the Secretary will make such a commitment because many growers/producers are experiencing severe increases in disease of both crops and animals that are threatening their economic viability.”

On Feb. 16, Paul Tukey of SafeLawn telephoned Dr. Huber who told him, “I believe we’ve reached the tipping point toward a potential disaster with the safety of our food supply. The abuse, or call it over use if you will, of Roundup, is having profoundly bad consequences in the soil. We’ve seen that for years. The appearance of this new pathogen may be a signal that we’ve gone too far.”

Tukey also conveyed that while Huber admits that much further study is needed to definitively confirm the link between Round-Up and the pathogen, “In the meantime, he said, it’s grossly irresponsible of the government to allow Roundup Ready alfalfa, which would bring the widespread spraying of Roundup to millions of more acres and introduce far more Roundup into the food supply.”

-> Next Page: Spontaneous abortions and pathogens

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  • Tim Smith

    WHY/ Why are they ignoring all the reports of what this GMO stuff really does to everything?
    Just take a look at Monsanto’s track record over the years and you decide
    It ain’t pretty

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  • Michael R.

    While Monsanto’s business and agriculture practices are deserving of reproach and reform/regulation, it is their (and other agri-businesses) squashing of research on GMO effects that is most troubling

    The studies linking Roundup and GMOs with pathogenesis and other health dangers are still only correlations; no provable, causative link has so far been identified.

    But there is enough preliminary evidence, and public concern, to warrant further research.

    This is how Science in the service of Big Business hurts Science in general and pubic trust in Science. What could be good for humanity (increasing food yields, increasing resistance to disease/pests, drought, etc.) is being threatened by money-motivated political suppression of research.

    I am neither for nor against GMO’s. I am for good, independent science in the public interest. Where GMO are unnecessary (for public benefit), or threatren local agriculture, they should not be used.

    Where they are promising for human benefit (e.g., drought resistance and inoculation from diseases) they should be permitted — under regulations that insure/protect biological integrity of of natural ecosystems. At the very least, this mean requiring so-called buffer zones or genetic refuges. Scattering of GMO genes to wild populations must be continuously monitored

    Only independent, authoritative science came separate the ‘chaff’ from the ‘wheat’ in the GMO controversy and duly serve the public interest.

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