The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new rules, which will cut the time needed to approve biotech crops in half. What now takes an average of three years, will be cut to about 13 months for new versions of already existing crop technologies.
Monsanto (the world leader in genetically modified [GM] seeds) and other biotech companies creating genetically modified crops will get speedier regulatory reviews of their genetically engineered food products.
According to Bloombergi, “The Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based non-profit group that has successfully challenged approvals of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar-beet and alfalfa crops, said the rule change is aimed at preventing opponents of modified crops from voicing criticism of the agency’s methods.
In preparing for a garden, I need a 7-foot fence to keep the deer out. Otherwise, I’d be offering the critters a free salad bar.
“They are trying to work the system so they can dismiss public comments more quickly and easily in order to speed things up,” Bill Freese, a policy analyst at the group, said in a telephone interview.
“It’s a rubber-stamp system. A real regulatory system will occasionally reject something.”
Emily Main, with Rodale News, points out the USDA doesn’t reject much of anything when it comes to biotech companies.
“Last year, the public left more than 250,000 (mostly negative) comments related to genetically modified alfalfa, or hay, yet the agency approved the crop anyway. This past January, Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn, the first genetically modified crop intended for direct human consumption (most crops are fed to animals or used in processed foods) was approved, in spite of 45,000 comments opposed to it and just 23 in favor.”
Main points out that currently, the USDA is considering 22 applications for genetically modified crops, including a variety of soy bred by Monsanto to have such high levels of omega-3 fatty acids doctors don’t think it’s safe to eat. Presently 93 percent of our soy crops are GMOs.
Well, that could be because not only has Monsanto has 35 former employees now in federal positions and it spends millions each year in lobbying the federal government. Monsanto spent $2 million lobbying the federal government in the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone.
You Vote With Your Dollar
There are two things uyou can do to ensure your family eats GMO-free food.
1. Always Buy ORGANIC.
If we refuse to purchase GMO food, there will be a demand for organic. Just as we have seen organic produce increase, because of past demand, we will see more organic produce available if we refuse to purchase GMO produce.
2. Grow Your Own Produce.
It’s still early in the year. Find a space in your yard for a veggie garden. If you don’t have a yard, do you have a deck or patio? Think about gardening in pots.
Click Here to read more about the new rules and why GMOs are harmful.