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Admittedly, I am unsure about the whole GMO thing–GMOs being genetically modified organisms. On the one hand, much (but by no means all) of the food we eat can ultimately be traced to GMO seeds and crops. One the other, a significant minority share, including all organic food, is NOT traceable to GMO seeds/crops. Also, a growing number of non-organic farmers are trying to decrease the amount of GMO seeds they use. So I read with great interest an email from the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)s regarding some proposed Federal GMO rules. 

There is a phenomenon called “co-existence” where GMO remnants can blow onto the crops of an organic or otherwise non-GMO farmer–and that farmer has the burden of dealing with the aftereffects. Since their business in large part relies upon not having GMO crops, this is a major issue (and since I tend to prefer organics when possible, an issue for me as well. 

PASA says it better than I can…

 farm..we cannot accept the idea that organic and non-GMO farmers must bear all the risk of cross-contamination of their crops with GMO varieties, and the even greater threat of pesticide drift from one farm to another. It is simply not okay to absolve companies that produce GMO seeds and the accompanying proprietary chemicals of any responsibility under the guise of a “coexistence” euphemism!

You must submit your thoughts to the USDA on the issue of agricultural coexistence by next Tuesday, March 4 

Use these links (go in order)

  • NSAC Coexistence Info Page – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has provided critical background information and links to alerts from other organizations regarding this issue.
  • Federal Register Notice – The actual notice of request for public comment, starting in the third column of the first page. The USDA provides specific questions concerning which comments are invited, though comments may go beyond the specified questions.
  • Comment Submission Page – This is where comments must be submitted, beginning by hitting the “Comment Now” button.

 And don’t forget PASA:http://www.pasafarming.org

 I had better check my membership status….

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