Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kathleen Merrigan On Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

Have you been paying attention?  A lot is going on in the agriculture sector these days, and one of the hottest topics is genetic engineering.

Recently, the USDA deregulated genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa and sugar beets.  Many people ar excited about this, and many people (mostly the louder and more public ones) are upset.  The list of concerns is long and constant: will GE crops threaten other strains?  Is there too much corporate influence in these decisions?  Are GE foods affecting our health (or other animals')?  Do they really result in less pesticide use?  What about herbicide-tolerant weeds?

We plan to begin posting on this blog soon with factsheets about these hot-topic issues.  They will attempt to collect pro and con arguments, provide summaries, facts, and questions, and will do so as an unbiased source of information.

I encourage you to see this 2 minute video by Deputy Ag. Secretary Merrigan if you are in the industry.  In it she calls for nominations to the USDA's Biotechnology Advisory Committee, a new group to discuss policy around GE crops.

If you are concerned, please consider who you would like representing you in this discussion.  If you are in support, same thing.

Meanwhile, look for profiles and interviews later this week with Ken Warren, director of The Land Institute, and Doug Heath, tomato breeder for Monsanto.

Take care!



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