(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Why America’s Cows Need Your Voice at the USDA by Feb 16 To Stop GMO Alfalfa !
High quality, high protein Alfalfa is one of the primary food sources for dairy cows, especially in winter, with cows eating about 50 lbs or more of dry feed per day, or about 3% of their body weight of around 1500 lbs. In return for munching all that feed, and drinking lots of water, (25 to 50 gallons) a dairy cow can produce anywhere from 5 to 8 gallons of milk per day, depending where she is in her lactation cycle, about 56 lbs a day, or over 2,300 gallons a year or 19,825 lbs per year. (A cow’s production is typically measured in hundredweights, or units of a hundred lbs of milk, about 12.5 gallons.)
Organic dairy farming has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, with the number of organic dairy farms increasing by 79% from 2002 to 2007. Ag land used for organic production on those dairy farms increased by 83% over the same time. Organic milk and cheese is becoming more and more popular, especially for people and children with allergies and auto immune conditions who can’t tolerate regular milk. The 3 states with the highest number of dairy farms are Wisconsin, New York, and Vermont. The price of milk production per hundredweight for those three states for organic dairies was about $29, $32, and $34 dollars cwt for the year 2009. Prices, alas, for organic milk haven’t been keeping up, neither has it been for conventional milk in the past year, and dairy farms are losing money. http://www.cattlenetwork.com/D…
Now, Monsanto threatens to put the nail in the coffin, by deliberately contaminating their feed supply with GMO Alfalfa, destroying the ability of organic dairy farmers to provide non GMO food for their herds.
Late last year, the USDA released a court-ordered Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Monsanto’s new genetically engineered Round-up Ready Alfalfa. A federal lawsuit, led by the Center for Food Safety and joined by The Cornucopia Institute and other plaintiffs, was won in 2007 compelling the USDA to conduct their first-ever environmental impact statement on a genetically engineered (GE) crop, alfalfa.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the USDA’s assessment approves of releasing a new genetically modified crop into the environment, despite the known risks this version of alfalfa poses to organic livestock agriculture.
Public comments are being accepted until February 16. Please let the USDA hear your voice. A broad coalition, composed of both organic and conventional farmers, is opposing Monsanto’s RR Alfalfa and the USDA particularly needs to hear from those involved with organic agriculture.
What’s different about organic farms?
A specific set of farming practices makes milk and other foods eligible for “certified organic” status. On organic dairies, cows must receive feed that was grown without the use of pesticides, commercial fertilizers or genetically-modified ingredients. They are not treated with supplemental hormones and are not given certain medications to treat illness. If they are given medication, then they must permanently leave the milking herd. They also must have access to the pasture.
Many of the same practices are utilized by conventional dairy farmers, as all farmers make the welfare of their animals and environmental stewardship top priorities.
But if Monsanto has its way, all Alfalfa grown in the United States, and eventually the world, WILL BE Genetically Modified to resist herbicides, being “Roundup Ready.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R… Why should you care ? Because Alfalfa is a huge crop, ranked 4th in production, and it is pollinated by bees. Did anyone ask the bees if they wished to eat this ? And this would force every alfalfa planting in the nation to eventually be cross contaminated against the will of of the consumer, the organic farmers, and anyone else who doesn’t want to be forced to consume genetically modified products nor force animals to eat massive quantities of them.
People in other countries, such as Japan, have had the freedom to Just Say NO to genetically modified foods for themselves- should not the American Dairy Farmer, not to mention the horse farmers/keepers, have the same right to protect their animals and their health and livelihood from Genetically Modified Forced Feeding ?
Here are some of the bad things about GMO Alfalfa, from the above link at cornucopia.org. Remember, once you turn those genes loose into the general environment, you can’t undo the genie and get them back out. And these GMO seeds are patented by Monsanto, so if they catch you growing what they think they have the proprietary rights to, they can sue you for stealing their genes, even if the pollen just blew in with some honeybees. It has happened already with other crops.
• first perennial GMO crop. Open pollinated by bees. contamination could spread for miles.
• wild GMO alfalfa spreading and contaminating regular plants. yes, I’ve seen lots of wild legumes here in CA.
• USDA tells people who don’t want this, just plant YOUR stuff at a different time, it’s your responsibility to avoid cross contamination. You have got to be out of your cotton pickin’ minds.
• ninety percent of all alfalfa seed comes from a few geographic areas in the US, in the Pacific NW and Canada, yet these zones are not protected from GMO.
• risk to $25 Billion dollar industry. and USDA claims production shift to larger farms isn’t “significant.” there will be loss of export markets as foreign countries say NO to our yucky new GMO FrankenFalfa.
IS EVERYONE IN WASHINGTON, DC, A CROOK THESE DAYS?
• In a few years, there is so much contamination, Monsanto pushes out other seed producers, uses lawyers to impoverish farmers, and now has a monopoly. This pattern has been demonstrated again and again with Monsanto and other crops, here and in other countries.
How Does this bad science (monodiversity) and government creating a product NOBODY WANTS, NOT help ruin American agriculture? Should the Obama administration be known for kissing Organic Dairy Products buh- bye ? Hey, Mrs. Michele, weren’t you just on the news yesterday with that concern for the kids and the healthy eating habits and exercise routine to prevent childhood obesity? Would you care to tell the Moms of America, No More Organic Milk for You and Yours ?
SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE USDA BY FEBRUARY 16. Why should an American cow have to eat 50 lbs of this GMO crap a day ?
Comments can be filed online at: http://www.regulations.gov/sea…
Written and mailed comments (please send two copies) should be sent to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044,
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Please state at the top of your written or electronic comments that they refer to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044.
If you would like more information, you can review the draft EIS here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biot…
Remember when Democrats used to be the “good guys” that tried standing up for the small business owners and the little people? What happened ? How would you like your cat drinking GMO enhanced milk ?