For those of you who read my blog post on GM alfalfa and Whole Foods, here is Whole Foods’ side of the story. Their official take is found on Whole Foods’ blog: USDA Disappoints: No Regulations on GE Alfalfa.
Whole Foods caved to the genetically modified crop giant, Monsanto.
“In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.” (Ronnie Cummins, January 27, 2011. Whole Foods Sells Out to Monsanto: The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?)
Why is this important?
Monsanto has turned seeds into a patented, genetically modified commodity (Round-Up Ready seeds), which are designed to work with Round-Up fertilizers, tailored to the plants’ genetic make up. The fact that they are patented means a farmer who does not grow Monsanto crops, but whose fields are found to have stray Monsanto plants, can be sued by the agribusiness giant.
Monsanto also requires that all farmers who use its products sign an agreement that they will not save seeds and grow plants from them the next year. What? Since when does agriculture work like this?
The company often bullies farmers into signing agreements and threatens then with lawsuits. So a farmer is forced to buy seeds every year from the agribusiness giant. This severely limits biodiversity in our nation’s food crops. According to one source, Monsanto products account for 90% of the U.S. soybean crop.
Monsanto is moving into international food markets, threatening to become a monopoly that controls the world’s seed supply.
Read more about the ills of Monsanto here.
So either we grow our own, the way we want it, or agribusiness and “organic” partners like Whole Foods will grow it for us, their way.
I’ve blogged a link to Whole Foods’ side of the story here.
Community Class: Urban Chicken Farming
Whole Foods Market – 7245 W. Lake Street, River Forest, IL
Wednesday, June 15, 7:00 p.m.
The word is out. Urbanites can get fresh eggs from their own back yard! Chat with the expert on Chicken Care – Jennifer Murtoff and meet one of her favorite feathered friends. This class will also address favorite cage free egg brands and offer egg-based recipes and snacks. Kids are welcome!
To sign-up, e-mail: email@example.com
I’ve been invited to speak at Whole Food Market in River Foods on June 15. The topic will be chickens; specifics to be determined. Keep an eye on the blog for more info.
I’m very excited about this partnership, which came out of my Cheney Mansion event earlier this month.