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The USDA has reviewed Monsanto’s brand of Roundup Ready
alfalfa and sugarbeets—genetically
engineered to withstand the harsh herbicide glyphosphate, a.k.a. Roundup—and
decided that genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa did not need to be regulated
at all, and that sugarbeets will be “partially deregulated”: USDA will let
farmers plant GE sugarbeets if they obey rules designed to prevent the plant’s
wind-blown pollen from reaching organic fields—though if the rules themselves
prove ineffective, organic sugarbeets will be contaminated.
Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugarbeets will spread, and will
easily contaminate non-GE crops, including organic crops—which will, of course,
render them non-organic. And the lack of regulation will increase herbicide use
of up to 23 million pounds per year.
We need to blanket Congress with protests, asking senators
and representatives and oversight committees to review the deregulation
decision. We need to show Congress that there is a steep political price to be
paid for supporting genetically engineered organisms, especially alfalfa and
sugarbeets. And we need to put pressure on the USDA and the Obama
administration. Tell them how angry you are, and ask them to step in.
Deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa and Sugarbeets
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]