Concerns over change of tack by USDA on GM policy

USDA may ‘deviate’ on GM policy
BY JACQUI FATKA
28 Dec, 2010 08:53 AM via Stock and Land

THE U.S. Department of Agriculture is entering uncharted waters with its proposed conditional deregulation of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa…

After USDA issued its environmental impact statement on Roundup Ready alfalfa, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called for producers of GM, non-GM and organic crops to coexist and scheduled a stakeholder meeting for Dec. 20.

After the private meeting conducted by Vilsack and USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan, many industry players left concerned about the direction USDA is taking in implementing a court order while not once mentioning the health or safety aspects of Roundup Ready alfalfa during the more-than-three-hour meeting.

Rosemarie Watkins, director of international policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said there is a “very real concern about where the department may be going with this in regard to coexistence and, perhaps, favoring one method of farming. When you start throwing in all these other things, including consumer preferences, you’re really starting to deviate from what has been the mainstay of our biotech approval policy.”

…more at link

David Tribe

Written by David Tribe

David Tribe’s research career in academia and industry has covered molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbial evolution and biotechnology. He has over 60 publications and patents. Dr. Tribe's recent activities focus on agricultural policy and food risk management. He teaches graduate programs in food science and risk management as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne.

One comment

  1. All that’s required for the success of the organic movement is its ability to portray itself as adhering to the model of ‘Old McDonald’, who had a farm.

    Urbanites with a penchant for nursery rhymes will have been indoctrinated in this model since infancy. In light of that, it may be time to upgrade the Old McDonald story. Old McDonald’s farm would have migrant laborers in the fields, and wild-eyed activists in the streets…

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