URGENT Action Needed!!

My grandma just sent me an urgent message about an upcoming decision from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on deregulating genetically engineered alfalfa, a clover-like forage crop.  As humans don’t normally consume alfalfa, it may seem like an unimportant issue for us.  However, when you consider the food chain it is easy to see just how urgent this matter is.  Alfalfa is a primary food source for organic and non-GE dairy cows, beef cattle and honey bees.  If contaminated alfalfa is consumed by livestock, eventually we are consuming it, too.

Seven years ago Monsanto, a controversial company that supplies seeds and crop protection programs to farmers, requested that the USDA deregulate GE alfalfa, which means that this crop could be planted anywhere. In a few days, the USDA will announce its decision whether to fully deregulate GE alfalfa or conditionally deregulate it by placing certain rules on growing GE alfalfa that would restrict  contamination of non-GE crops (including organic).

For Homemade Mothers like me who are wary of GE crops, the second “coexistence” option is the better choice because genetically engineered alfalfa has the potential to contaminate organic and non-GE alfalfa.  Although the USDA’s decision will be specific to GE alfalfa, it will be a precedent-setting decision for how other genetically engineered foods will be regulated in the future.

Now is the time for you to speak up!  Take three minutes to contact your congressperson and make your voice heard. Here is the letter I emailed to my congressman. Feel free to copy and paste this letter into a message to your representative.  Click here to find out who your representative is and how to contact him/her.

Hi Rep Davis,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is about to announce its decision on deregulating genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa.  Alfalfa is the main food for dairy cows, beef cattle and honey bees.

I believe organic and non-GE farmers have a right to grow foods without fear of contamination from genetically engineered crops, and as a consumer I want want the choice to buy organic and non-GE products.

Please contact House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to express support for USDA Secretary Vilsack’s COEXISTENCE plan.  This issue is important to me and my family.


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8 Comments for this entry

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…you spend so much time on food issues. What about issues that directly impact our society, such as abortion and stem cell research? I understand that you are a "homemade mother" but these issues should definitely hit home, and require much more attention than your "urgent" genetically engineered alfalfa.

  2. Anonymous says:

    WOW! Maybe I'll leave a negative comment and do it anonymously. If you feel so strongly about abortion issues why don't you start your own blog. Or better yet, why don't you leave your name so everyone can attack you when you talk about your views on something? Maureen likes to talk about food. What's the big deal? I think it's excellent, M. Do what you passionately believe.

  3. Allison says:

    I was saddened to read this post, especially after having read The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, and seeing how Monsanto caused some farmers to lose their livelihood with all the regulations NON-GE corn came with. This is concerning, and I will definitely take action. Thank you for posting this! It is appreciated!

  4. Sarah says:

    I love your blog, Maureen! Keep up the good work!

  5. HomemadeMother says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Anonymous #1 and Anonymous #2. I certainly welcome any topics for discussion.

    Anonymous #1, I sincerely appreciate your devotion to your chosen causes, and I hope you appreciate the passion I have for protecting our planet and keeping my family safe and healthy.

    There are lots of important social issues these days – abortion/stem cell research, protection of our environment, legalization of gay marriage, gun rights, freedom of speech, etc – and any one of these topics would make for a very interesting blog. I choose to write about subjects that a) I know about and b) I am interested in learning more about. If I wrote about *everything* this blog would lose focus and impact. I want to keep the emphasis on healthy families, healthy homes, and a healthy planet.

    Also, the concept of Homemade Mothering is not about excluding people or their ideas. This blog is for everyone looking for a community of shared values where the focus is about keeping life simple and healthy. I want all my readers to feel welcome here, so for now I choose to keep my opinions on polarizing issues to myself. If I ever feel moved to write about any particular subject, I certainly will.

    Again, thanks so much for your comments!! Hope everyone out in the blogosphere has a wonderful weekend!!!

  6. Kristy K. says:

    Maureen, I enjoy reading your blog and it's content and I appreciate that you DO stick to a similarly-themed and focused group of topics. I have a shared passion for many of your blog postings (as you well know!) and am glad to read them often! I think you are doing a great job with your blog and hope you continue as you see fit! xoxo K

  7. HomemadeMother says:

    Thanks, Kristy! I really appreciate your nice words. This blog is a lot of fun to write.

    Also, I wanted to note that I recognize that "genetically engineered alfalfa" is not the most urgent matter facing our society these days. I used the word "urgent" because the USDA will be making their decision very, very soon and it is up to us to make our voices heard very, very soon.

    I'd also like to make clear that I understand that everyone has a different idea of what is the most urgent issue today – finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, feeding hungry children in Bangladesh, eradicating illiteracy in America, ending abortion – there are plenty virtuous causes important to plenty of different people.

  8. Guy says:

    Thanks for this post. The problem with conditionally regulating GE alfalpha is the danger of cross-contamination with non-GE alfalfa and the potential to dilute and/or alter the original genes. If that's not scary enough, Monsanto has sued farmers when their own genetically modified seeds cross contaminated neighboring farmers fields!

    GE alflafa should be banned entirely unless proven to be safe, which has not happened and probably never will.

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