Action Alert: The USDA Wants YOUR Input on GMOs and Farming!


The United States Department of Agriculture frequently opens up issues for public comment. Rarely, however, do many people speak up on any considerable scale. Now they are asking for your input on the issue of “coexistence” or the communication between the government and farmers. While not exactly the right issue, their request for your input is a great opportunity to let the USDA know what you think about GMO as it relates to farmers and contamination.

The Cornucopia Institute, an organization that supports “economic justice for the family-scale farming community—partnered with consumers—backing ecologically produced local, organic, and authentic food,” is campaigning for the general public to get involved in the USDA’s invitation for comments.

Last November, the USDA published their request for comments on how agricultural “coexistence” could be strengthened in the U.S. Specifically, they are looking for your answers to more than a dozen questions (which can be found here). But as the Cornucopia Institute points out, by focusing solely on coexistence, the USDA is “skirting the most important question at hand,” which they say is, “How can (GMO) contamination be prevented?”

A little odd, since the USDA already considers GMO contamination completely normal.

Communication between farmers will not stop GMO contamination. The makers of seeds containing GMO technology should be held responsible for the effects of these seeds and the federal government should set up the legal framework to regulate it. In a perfect world, GMOs would have to be banned altogether to prevent the inevitable contamination that stems from ‘coexistence’ between GMO and non-GMO crops.

To that end, we are joining with the Cornucopia Institute in asking for your help.

You can submit your own views to the USDA by using their online comment form, located here. While taking the time to read through their questions and formulating your own comments will have the most impact, the Cornucopia Institute has offered a language in a sample letter, found here.

The sample letter includes, among other things:

“The USDA seeks input on questions of education and outreach, but that is surely putting the cart before the horse.  You cannot educate when you do not have a clear message around the issues brought up in the AC21 document: (1) compensation, (2) stewardship, (3) education and outreach, (4) research and (5) seed quality. You must establish clear guidelines around these issues before you begin to “educate, collaborate, and conduct outreach.”  Voluntary solutions on these issues are insufficient; that is what we have today and it is clearly not working.”

As Anthony Gucciardi reported in a special message to newsletter subscribers recently, we hold the power to change the food system. But change will only come when we take advantage of this power. Now is your chance to tell the government how you feel about GMO contamination and the lack of regulation and accountability of seed producers.



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2 comments on “Action Alert: The USDA Wants YOUR Input on GMOs and Farming!
  1. RonMamita says:

    Letter to EU Chief of Science Says Biotech is Lying About GMOs

    Biotech is lying about gmo
    gmo Anne Owen eu 263×165 Letter to EU Chief of Science Says Biotech is Lying About GMOs

    A respected member of the scientific community has written an open letter to Professor Anne Glover, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the EU President. He states that there is abundant evidence that GMOs cause harm and that the claim of there being ‘no adverse evidence’ of GMO impacts on our health and environment is an out and out lie. After reading this letter by Dr. Brian John, I hope you are impassioned enough to write a similar one to your own representatives, if not to Anne herself. They can’t keep lying to us if our voices are joined together.

    The perfectly articulated letter is as follows:
    “To: Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the EC President, Office of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
    From: Dr Brian John, 14 February 2014

    Dear Professor Glover,
    Your claim that there is no evidence adverse GMO impacts is a lie

    I look on myself as a member of the global scientific community, with a background in environmental research and a long list of contacts in academia and within environmental, health, and consumer NGOs. Many of my colleagues are directly involved in research in the GM field, and between them they have contributed hundreds of articles to the peer-reviewed literature.

    In 2012 you wrote: “If we look at evidence from [more than] 15 years of growing and consuming GMO foods globally, then there is no substantiated case of any adverse impact on human health, animal health, or environmental health.”[1] This statement has been repeated (as you knew it would be) by many individuals and organizations interested in the promotion of GM crops and foods, but it is nonetheless a lie.

    In 2013 you wrote: “There is no evidence that GM technologies are any riskier than conventional breeding technologies and this has been confirmed by thousands of research projects. Food produced with GM technology is very common in other parts of the world, without any evidence that this has been harmful to the people that consumed it or to the environment at large.”[2] With all due respect, that is a repetition of the same lie.

    What literature do you read? And from whom do you obtain your scientific advice?

    I wish to place on record that there is abundant and unequivocal published evidence, within and outside the peer-reviewed literature, of real harm to living organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms arising from the growing of GMO crops and the consumption of GMO foodstuffs. This material is freely available to any scientist who chooses to examine it, and many of the key publications are found within a list recently compiled and published by GMO Free USA.[3] I am not impressed when somebody in your position purports to be unaware of this very large body of evidence.

    Of course, there are others lists of publications, some purporting to demonstrate harm associated with GMOs, and others purporting to show that they are safe. You refer to “thousands of research projects” and pretend that they all reach the same conclusion. That is of course nonsense. It is a sterile exercise to weigh up numbers and quality of papers for or against a proposition, and to claim that one set of papers is published in higher-ranking journals than another set. The point is that there is no consensus in the scientific community[4], and that it is absurd to retreat into a debate on what is “substantiated” and what is not. The fact of the matter is that there is a powerful case showing that GMOs are harmful, with the findings of many early papers substantiated and confirmed by subsequent research. To deny that case is to perpetrate a falsehood.

    Will you please now retract your 2012 statement and accept that there is abundant evidence showing adverse impacts (both direct and indirect) on human and animal health and on the environment arising from the growing and consumption of GMO products?

    And will you also issue an apology to those members of the research community whose publications (in peer-reviewed journals showing harm arising from the use of GMOs) you have so studiously ignored?

    I look forward to your positive response on this matter.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr. Brian John”

    Read more:


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