Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties

USDA’s GMO Creeping Bentgrass Scandal

Posted on April 7, 2017

By David Burress

The USDA has made a horrific decision to deregulate a variety of creeping bentgrass genetically modified to be immune to Monsanto’s Roundup (i.e. glyphosate, its active ingredient).

 

Now let us assume that Monsanto and the seed manufacturer are correct in their claims that:
1. environmental glyphosate is safe for humans (even though it isn’t), and 
2. the GMO proteins are safe for human consumption (even though that claim is controversial).


Nevertheless:
1. Bentgrass is an invasive weed. It likes to grow in wet ditches where only roundup would be certified for use, but roundup is ineffective. It is impossible to eradicate without using pesticides that are far more dangerous than glyphosate.
2. The GMO genes are easily communicated to several related grasses and crops. That means that (especially but not only in a Roundup-prevalent environment) those genes are going to spread all across the agricultural environment.
3. Crops infected with those genes cannot be sold as organic produce. They cannot be sold at all in Europe.
4. Because of USDA approval, farmers whose crops are infected will not be able to sue for damages.
5. Despite petitions from organic growers associations and some state departments of agriculture, the USDA refused to even go through the normal hearing process. 

 

There is a pattern here. The USDA has always had a soft spot for big money industrial agriculture, and also a chip on its shoulder towards organic farming. And it’s bound to get worse in the Trump era.

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