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Monsanto's Quiet Coup: Will Congress Limit Scope and Time for GMO Reviews?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our USDA Watch page.

After a series of court defeats over the past few years, Monsanto and friends are trying to use Congress to make an end-run around the courts and current law. Lawsuits brought by opponents of genetically engineered (GE) crops resulted in the temporary removal of two products - Roundup Ready Alfalfa and Roundup Ready Sugarbeets - from the market. If the biotechnology industry and the legislators they support have their way, future GE crops will not suffer the same fate.

Genetically engineered crops are plants that have had genes from other species inserted into their DNA. "Roundup Ready" crops like alfalfa and sugarbeets fall in a class of GE crops called "herbicide tolerant" crops, which are engineered to survive exposure to Monsanto’s bestselling herbicide Roundup. Farmers spray their entire fields with Roundup, killing only the weeds. Monsanto profits by selling both the seeds and increased quantities of Roundup herbicide.

The "Big 6" pesticide and genetic engineering corporations - BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Dow, Syngenta, and Monsanto - have made millions while providing everyone else with questionable benefits and enormous risks. The riskiness of genetically engineered crops comes in part from their ability to cross-pollinate crops in other fields, spreading their genes far and wide. Once a new genetically engineered crop is introduced, the genie is out of the bottle, and those genes are in our food supply for good. Therefore, it's in everyone's interest (except for the biotech companies that stand to profit) to thoroughly examine any new crop before allowing it on the market.


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