The organic community worldwide must be rejoicing with organic food brand Nutiva® pledging $25,000 in support of the Center for Food Safety's effort to halt Monsanto's spring planting of GMO alfalfa crops.
Last month the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the deregulation of Monsanto's genetically engineered, Roundup-Ready alfalfa. According to the New York Times, this “would authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of genetically modified alfalfa,” a decision profoundly disappointing to the organic community and one that promises an epic battle to determine the future of organic foods in North America.
The Threat of GMO crops
The Center for Food Safety (CFS), is pursuing all legal remedies to oppose this decision. CFS, a nonprofit organization, representing 180,000 members across the nation, is focused on curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and promoting organic agriculture.
CFS Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell said, “CFS's legal team is the organic community's last line of defense against this GMO threat to farmers and consumer choice.” Nutiva has pledged $25,000 to CFS to support its legal work.
In reaction to USDA’s announced deregulation Nutiva® founder and CEO, John W. Roulac said, “Nutiva is concerned about the impact that genetically modified organisms are having on our natural world and human health. Since its inception in 1999, Nutiva has exclusively sourced non-GMO ingredients.”
According to Roulac, the impending massive spring 2011 planting of Monsanto GMO alfalfa seed could contaminate vast acres of organic food production. “Now is the time for every corporation that has profited from the organic movement to unite and stop Monsanto.”
Can Organics Coexist with GMO Alfalfa?
In the view of CFS, if the biotech industry achieves market dominance in numerous crops, the majority of organic foods will be genetically contaminated with foreign genetic material through pollen drift and accidental co-mingling.
Said David Lively, a board member of the Organic Seed Alliance, “The reality is simple: When farmers lose the genetic purity of their seed, they lose their freedom to operate free of GE contamination.”
A genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified organism (GMO) is created in a laboratory process whereby DNA genes of one species, which may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, or animals, are artificially inserted into genes of an unrelated plant or animal. In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated, “. . . studies indicate serious health risks associated with GMO food.” These risks include the chance of infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” In conclusion they reported, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”
About the Center for Food Safety
CFS is a national, nonprofit membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.
The Center for Food Safety currently represents more than 180,000 members across the US.
Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and donating 1% of sales to sustainable-agriculture groups.
Founded in 1999, Nutiva is the world's best-selling brand of nutritious organic hemp, coconut and chia superfoods. Its products are offered nationwide, as well as in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, at more than 10,000 natural-food retailers.