Organics are under attack again. Earlier this year, we let you know about Monsanto's efforts to market and sell its genetically modified (GMO) Roundup Ready (TM) alfalfa. The USDA has given initial signs that it is preparing to grant Monsanto approval to distribute its seed, even knowing that it is almost certain the crop's modified genes will contaminate non-GMO -- including organic -- alfalfa.
Fortunately, the possibility of the USDA giving Monsanto the green light has caught the attention of two leading members of Congress -- Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter DeFazio. They have written a "Dear Colleague" letter, addressed to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, asking him to maintain the ban on GMO alfalfa in order to protect farmers, the environment, and the organic industry.
If your members of Congress have not done so already, they have until June 16 to sign the letter and join their colleagues in asking Secretary Vilsack to maintain the ban on Monsanto's GMO alfalfa.
During the Bush administration, Monsanto illegally won USDA approval for its GMO alfalfa by convincing regulators to bypass a mandatory environmental review. In response to a lawsuit by consumer groups, the courts then stepped in and banned GMO alfalfa until the USDA followed the law.
During the USDA's public comment period on Monsanto's alfalfa application in March, CREDO Action members submitted over 77,000 comments asking the USDA to protect the organic sector by keeping the GMO seed off the market. Now, we need to generate the same kind of overwhelming response to members of Congress so they will tell Secretary Vilsack to protect organics and farmers instead of Monsanto's profits.
Sign the petition to your senators and representative today, urging them to sign on to the Leahy - DeFazio letter asking Secretary Vilsack to reject Monsanto's application to market and sell GMO alfalfa.