By Michael Olson
Food Chain Radio
This Saturday at 9am Pacific, Michael Olson’s Food Chain Radio hosts Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute, for a conversation about GE alfalfa. Monsanto declined to participate. (Food Chain Radio #714)
The Obama administration has approved the release of genetically-engineered alfalfa, which, the Monsanto Corporation says, will allow farmers to grow more crops. And, as the expression goes, that ain’t hay!
But the release of GE alfalfa raises some very interesting questions for those who want to know What will become of organic meat and dairy foods?
Question 1: Is it safe to eat genetically-engineered life forms? Does a double-blind study exist that proves splicing genes from one species into genes of another species will produce food that is safe to eat? Who says GE foods are safe? Who says they are not safe? Does anyone have any proof of what they claim about GE food?
Question 2: What will happen to the current varieties of alfalfa growing throughout the United States? Alfalfa is a legume that pollinates via the wind and insects. For a glimpse of what may happen to existing varieties of alfalfa, we need only look north to the canola fields of Canada, which are now almost totally dominated by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genes. For an interesting account of this contamination, listen to Food Chain # 673: Percy vrs Monsanto.
Question 3: Should existing varieties of alfalfa become contaminated with the Monsanto Corporation’s wind-blown genes, as did the canola varieties of Canada, who will then own those varieties? Will the Monsanto Corporation point to the existence of its genes and say, as it said in the case of Monsanto vrs Percy Schmeiser, that the contaminated varieties now belong to Monsanto?
Question 4: Will organic meat and dairy survive the release of Monsanto’s roundup ready alfalfa? Should the GE alfalfa become dominant, as did the GE canola, the meat and dairy food chain will then become subservient to the gene. Organic foods, by law, are not allowed to have genetically-engineered ingredients, and thus when organic cows eat GE contaminated alfalfa, they will no longer be organic. Will government change the definition of organic to allow the industry to survive?