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Genetically Modified Crops Get Boost Over Organics With Recent USDA Rulings

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


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Web Note: It is a ridiculous assertion to say that there is no debate over the health hazards of GMOs; when in fact mounting scientific evidence indicates that GMOs harm animal and human health and damage soil fertility.

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At the supermarket, most shoppers are oblivious to a battle raging within U.S. agriculture and the Obama administration’s role in it. Two thriving but opposing sectors — organics and genetically engineered crops — have been warring on the farm, in the courts and in Washington.

Organic growers say that, without safeguards, their foods will be contaminated by genetically modified crops growing nearby. The genetic engineering industry argues that its way of farming is safe and should not be restricted in order to protect organic competitors.

Into that conflict comes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who for two years has been promising something revolutionary: finding a way for organic farms to coexist alongside the modified plants.

But in recent weeks, the administration has announced a trio of decisions that have clouded the future of organics and boosted the position of genetically engineered (GE) crops. Vilsack approved genetically modified alfalfa and a modified corn to be made into ethanol, and he gave limited approval to GE sugar beets.