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16
Jul

USDA Requesting Public Comment on New Wave of GE Crop Releases

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2012) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that it will soon create a docket to receive public comment on twelve petitions for new genetically engineered (GE) plants. Nine of the petitions, which include a soybean variety engineered to tolerate 2,4-D and two other pesticides and the first ever genetically engineered apple, are being processed under USDA’s streamlined review procedures. USDA’s review of the three other petitions, including a separate soybean variety tolerant to 2,4-D and glufosinate, began under the previous procedures and those crops, having reached a further clearance stage, are approaching commercial release. Information on each of the twelve genetically engineered crops is available on the APHIS website and the agency stated that the public comment dockets will be opened in the very near future.

The introduction of crops tolerant of 2,4-D represents a dramatic escalation of the damage to human health and the environment caused by genetically engineered crops. 2,4-D is a highly toxic herbicide which has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, endocrine disruption, and kidney and liver damage in humans. Scientific studies have confirmed significantly elevated rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for farmers who use 2,4-D. The herbicide is also toxic to beneficial insects (such as bees), earthworms, birds, and fish. Increased applications of 2,4-D on corn and soybean fields are especially dangerous because the herbicide will be sprayed repeatedly during the growing season after weeds emerge and begin to compete with crops. With the herbicide’s pronounced tendency to volatilize and drift off-site, applying 2,4-D during periods when specialty crops are in neighboring fields will increase the incidence of damage to non-target crops. The Save Our Crops Coalition, a national organization representing more than 2,000 farm groups, including the Organic Valley Cooperative, Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association, and major food processors Seneca and Red Gold, submitted comments opposing Dow’s earlier petition to release 2,4-D-tolerant corn.

The New York Times reported that the apple under review has been genetically modified to delay the browning of its flesh after slicing. The genetically modified apples, which are being developed in both Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties, contain a synthetic gene that sharply reduces production of polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme responsible for the browning. The added gene sequence does not come from another species, but rather from sequences found in four of the apple’s own genes that govern production of polyphenol oxidase. Putting an extra copy of a gene into a plant can activate a self-defense mechanism known as RNA interference that shuts down both the extra copy and the endogenous gene. USDA review of the genetically modified apple petition will be crucial because commercial sale of the fruit will not require testing or approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Farmers do not have to remain stuck on a pesticide treadmill that demands ever greater amounts of synthetic inputs, including GE seeds, and rewards chemical suppliers at the expense of farm profitability and the environment. Organic agriculture is an ecologically-based management system that prioritizes cultural, biological, and mechanical production practices, and natural inputs. By strengthening on-farm resources, such as soil fertility, pasture and biodiversity, organic farmers can minimize and even avoid the production challenges that most genetically engineered organisms have been marketed as solving, though they have, in fact, exacerbated them.

Source: USDA press release

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

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61 Responses to “USDA Requesting Public Comment on New Wave of GE Crop Releases”

  1. 1
    Doug Saucedo Says:

    The precautionary principle is superior to the reactionary principle. This is philosophy is particular pertinent when the scenario is economically irreversible.

  2. 2
    Stacy Pellow Says:

    PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!
    I’ve already aquired so many allergies to GMO and pesticides. There will be nothing left for me to eat!

  3. 3
    Anne Couture Says:

    Mother nature makes the BEST tasting food. Please stop messing with her!

  4. 4
    Jessamy Martin Says:

    In no way should GMO crops be planted on US soil. Its nearly impossible to avoid them as it is. Even if I grow my own food for my family it risks contamination from the GMO crops.

  5. 5
    Wouter Olsthoorn Says:

    It’s a disgrace that there are even thought about feeding this to humans.
    Nuff said.

  6. 6
    kim francis Says:

    GE crops are very dangerous to human health. Why do we not deserve whole, healthy, non modidied foods? It is amazing to me that because of greed we are endagering the human race by poisoning them through the food supply. It is a shame and these companies are a disgrace to the United States.

  7. 7
    Valerie Blanchett Says:

    The less GMO, the better! Messing with our food and altering it is DANGEROUS! THIS IS NOT OK. It is certainly not ok to allow the public to eat food that may or may not be safe. LEAVE OUR FOOD ALONE!

  8. 8
    Beth Putnam Says:

    NO to GMO and pesticides!

  9. 9
    LINDA DIETZ Says:

    As a concerned eater of food grown in the U.S. and a U.S. citizen, I would like to see safety testing done on all pesticides used anywhere in the U.S. before approval for use. I want to know that the pesticides are harmless to humans, animals–even in the tiniest amounts–inert would be a good word.

    Right now we are living in a chemical soup of 80,000 + chemicals that have never been tested for human safety–not to mention the chemical mix of these things. Enough is enough. your families eat here too!!

  10. 10
    Pat Downs Says:

    Ban BST (like Europe already has) and do not allow GMO’s into the food chain. Monsanto has the blood of 250,000 Indian farmers on their hands. Keep them out of business with our government. We deserve better. Do you job!

  11. 11
    Deborah Holter- Hugle Says:

    I do not want GMO anything. I want food freedom, organic, biodaynamic, raw whole food. Please.

    Thank You
    Deb Holter

  12. 12
    Eric Sissoko-Karfa Says:

    I definitely want to know if and how anything I consume has been altered.

  13. 13
    M. Strader Says:

    Please stop allowing GMO products into our food supply. We have enough problems already.Organic and non GM seeds are best. Ever wonder why there are plant varieties called “Heirloom”? it is because the plant itself managed to survive without chemical/man’s intervention. Let it be!Thank you.

  14. 14
    Catherine T Kerrigan Says:

    No GE crop releases!! I do not ever want to eat or be exposed to GE apples or any other crop!

  15. 15
    Rameau Velez Says:

    Please go organic!!! We have no room for damaging pesticides or any toxic chemicals!! The world is already on the brink of collapse! Please listen to reason.

  16. 16
    chris riley Says:

    USDA should have several of its highest paid employees and several highest paid employees of the corporations genetically modifying perfectly good food eat this food for a six month period prior to trying to distribute it to general public. General public should have warning labels knowing its a GMO.

  17. 17
    Lynn Hall Says:

    Enough with the GM crops. We are meddling with our food supply and wreaking havoc with our health and the health our planet. Please stop before it’s too late! I avoid all GM foods, no matter the cost, or I do without. I do my best to educate others to the dangers of GM foods, as well. I will never stop fighting the good fight. No more approval for GM foods! No more GM foods, period!! Organic and sustainable farming is the only way to go! But wait, then Monsanto wouldn’t OWN the world (and that includes our government!)! It’s all about profit and power, not about what’s good for people or the planet.

  18. 18
    Charise Charly McOmber Says:

    we do not want this as growers, we do not want this as consumers. how much more clear do we need to be?

  19. 19
    Marilyn Reid Says:

    PLEASE stop allowing GM foods to be used and MAKE them be labeled.

    You have NO idea what the long term effects of these “foods” will do to us.

    We are poisoning our earth by dumping more and more chemicals into it. There has to be a better way.

  20. 20
    Anthony Sullivan Says:

    It is apparent to me that genetically-engineered food for mass consumption is an unnecessary answer to serious problems of energy-waste, vast economic expense, and global health decline for all living things created by environmentally negligent and obsolete morals, practices, and technology of industrial agriculture. Locally distributed, community-based food production is not only the most logical system for minimum cost and energy input, but it will strengthen our culture and heal our bodies and the land. All effort for equalizing the negative effects of current and past production variants MUST go towards benefiting all people through natural, healthy operations NOW.

  21. 21
    Susan Crawford Says:

    I am extremely concerned about the implications of genetically modified crops on the health of our human species. I urge you to NOT approve the release of these until much more research has been done, and we are absolutely sure we are not harming the environment and ourselves. Thank you.

  22. 22
    Guy Sines Says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I have always taken steps to inform myself about the foods that I eat, and choose those with maximum nutritional value. It concerns me deeply that irresponsible corporations have chosen to produce food which is increasingly shown to be not only detrimental to human and animal health, but also to the environment, and in fact threatens the entire global food supply. Please hold these companies responsible for the damage they are causing, and also regulate companies who use their GE products to label them accordingly so that consumers may continue to make informed choices.

  23. 23
    Sandra Nicht Says:

    we must stop this insane drive to commit collective suicide via genetically engineered “food” – the vast majority of humans and other species on this planet do NOT wish to consume substances which harm us! no more approvals of unnatural fake frankenfoods, and please rescind prior approvals of genetically modified plants, they are not safe!

  24. 24
    Miki Wright Says:

    I am not in favor or approval of these organisms or their sale to the public without labels. They say they are subtantially equivalent, but if they were the same, Monsanto couldn’t test a farmer’s crops to sue for patent infringement. Clearly they are different and we deserve the right to choose whether we want to eat them or not. Or buy them or not. Or plant them or not. And we deserve to have our organic crops protected from eventual contamination. The world does not need more junk processed food, or more mono-crops. We need diversity in our agriculture, and our diet.

  25. 25
    Kris Mize Says:

    No, no, no. I will NEVER purchase GE products! I am tired of these expedited government policies that allow GE crops into the marketplace before long-term studies on health can be verified. I am tired of our government putting corporate profits before public health. I am tired of paying my share of taxes to support these agencies which are supposed to protect my well being but instead promote ways to line the pockets of those who don’t give a fig about real food!

  26. 26
    Jim Says:

    Keep your hands off our food

  27. 27
    Jackie Alaniz Says:

    No GE crops! The health risks are not worth it and our children are going to suffer from the long term effects.

  28. 28
    Autum Says:

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Quit messing with nature and modifying this and that. The food that is supposed to nourish us and our children will soon be the food that kills us. We have to put a stop to all this scientific meddling IMMEDIATELY!!! Leave our food alone!! This so like a horror/ sy-fy movie. Am I in the twilight zone????

  29. 29
    Rebecca Says:

    I don’t want GMOs!!!!

  30. 30
    Jennifer Essary Says:

    Please do not authorize the growth of any more genetically modified crops. The environmental and health effects associated with GMO’s significantly outweigh any perceived benefit of the crops.

  31. 31
    Dan Says:

    Label GE foods, I dont want to consume them. There is not enough study on the effects of these GE foods on humans. I for one dont want this in my food supply.

  32. 32
    Kurt Lloyd Says:

    Are you kidding me???? There is nowhere /near/ enough understanding of the side-effects from these crazy genetically engineered plants. Absolutely NOT to this ridiculous attempt by biotech firms to take advantage of the rest of us. ENOUGH already, ENOUGH! How about crop diversity, crop rotation, building UP the soil rather than destroying it bit by bit, and a reversed trend, one toward smaller-scale FAMILY farming, not the insanely huge, nonresilient, chemically-laden, unhealthy monoculture “farms”.

  33. 33
    Bill Tatton Says:

    I want full disclosure labelling on all GMO foods. I also want a truly independent study into the safety on any of this GMO stuff. The FDA has shown itself to bend willingly to Monsanto and the other corporate monstrosities pumping out this frankenfood. The FDA no longer has credibility.

  34. 34
    Lee Hutchings Says:

    If it is true that you are what you eat, then if we consume genetically altered food stuffs, won’t we also become genetically altered?

    And if we do become genetically altered and traces of the altered substances are found to be in our DNA, will we still be considered “natural” born human beings, or will the”un-natural” beings become the property of the holders of the patented substances?

    So, you see there are many, many unanswered and scarey questions in this tinkering with mother nature. So, lets just say no to GMO. We can live without it. With it, Im not so sure that human life, as we know it, will ever be the same. Again NO MO GMO!

  35. 35
    EddieW Says:

    USDA, just like FDA don’t give a damn for your comments…they will mean nothing…they will change nothing!! FDA said GMO foods are safe, now that results are coming in and it’s totally UNSAFE…they call it safe…so it’s safe..even if millions die from it!! Both belong to the Eugenics movement, and want the death of millions!!

  36. 36
    Melissa Wilkie Says:

    GE foods are not tested, and potentially harmful. As long as labeling is not required, they should not be allowed to be produced.

  37. 37
    Lesley Bell Says:

    NO!!!!! GMO!!!!! If you are going to allow it then it must be labeled so as to protect the people of this country by allowing them to make the choice to purchase this fake food. Monsanto needs to be stopped!!!!

  38. 38
    Dawn Says:

    Just say no! Bad for people, bad for the environment If you think healthcare costs a fortune now wait till you see what happens with the exscalation of GMO’s

  39. 39
    Jessica Horman Says:

    STOP STOP STOP! GO ORAGNIC PLEASE!

  40. 40
    Elizabeth Fresolone Says:

    Please listen to “THE PEOPLE”. We do not want more chemicals or GMO’s. We need to leave this earth for our children…

  41. 41
    Rotag Says:

    No GM foods period! We do not need them its as simple as that. Its proven organic is healthier for the people, plants and the earth. Stop altering are foods to try and maximize profits!!!!!!

  42. 42
    maria Says:

    They need to stop messing with our food.
    We need to go back to organic farming and each person grows their own food. If they don’t want to listen to us, then we need to boycott this frankenfood which is making us sick. We need to have a choice in what we eat.

  43. 43
    Angela Swanson Says:

    Please ban the GE genetically engineered plants in question for which you are requesting public comment.

    Please get rid of all GMOs for that matter, but these in particular at the moment.

    Also, please put GMO labelling into effect so all the intelligent people can stop eating anything grown from such organisms.

  44. 44
    Eamon Buehning Says:

    I want to be able to be informed about what I put in my body.

  45. 45
    Rowan Millar Says:

    From the many things I’ve read about GMOs, written both by supporters and detractors, I must conclude that the science is very sketchy, and that GMOs should not be eaten.

  46. 46
    raymond owen Says:

    I am an organic farmer and will remain so. Please, no GE food for me.

  47. 47
    Kimberly Myers-pinkel Says:

    Stop the genetic engineering on our food. Our bodies are not designed for this. There is medical evidence of the detriment that these unnatural foods have on our systems. Germany has outlawed them due to the results of their medical research and the effects upon humans. Why do these corporations care so little for the human race?

  48. 48
    Jill Hahn Says:

    Please protect the farmers from Monsanto and the public from unnatural, altered food and chemicals.

  49. 49
    Myrna Says:

    I absolutely do not want GMO foods!!! I am totally against pesticides and chemicals in my food. Please let us have natural healthy food and seeds! You are killing us and our planet!

  50. 50
    Cade Willerger Says:

    All of us that have been tracking Monsanto know all of this GE is to sell more herbicides …they are ruining our food chain just for money and TPTB allow it to occur …there will be no going back and some day soon all these Agra. companies masquerading as innovators will pay a huge price for doing this to us …the public

  51. 51
    Tamar Hintiryan Says:

    GMO everything should be taken out of our world you guys are polluting our bodies as humans and effecting our future and health. God gave us natural foods and resources and we should not be taking advantage of his creations by genetically modifying our sources there is a reason they were not genetically modified from the begining

  52. 52
    Joe Tittiger Says:

    If you approve this I hope they tear your organization apart, and start criminally prosecuting those of you being bought off by special interests.

  53. 53
    Jennifer Chesson Says:

    I hesitate to even write anything since I doubt anything we protesters could say would change your minds in any way. And yet, I will choose to stand against your corporate GMO decisions as often as possible.

  54. 54
    Jeff Sisler Says:

    I believe GMO or GE crops and seeds are terrible for the well-being of humanity, and it should not go on any longer. Humanity needs to see the truth behind what is going on in this industry and how they make mass profits by attempting to make others sick through their modifications done in a laboratory. Stand up for your rights dont support such companies, even the grocery stores will begin to notice and start to buy more and more organic until it is just the thing to buy! – JEFF

  55. 55
    uma east Says:

    NO, NO, NO to GMO’s! No more!!!! GMO’s will not save the world- Please no more! Please think about the implications on the health of our children and for our future- GMO’s are not sustainable!

  56. 56
    Deb Slating Says:

    PLEASE stop being motivated by power, greed and money and do the right thing for the planet. Stop using GMO/GE plants. Instead, support organically grown agriculture.

  57. 57
    Sharon Weldon Sabbatino Says:

    As a registered nurse I am begging our government to reign in the FDA and any other governmental agencies that may potentially be bowing to incentives provided by special interests. GMO and GE crop production must be stopped now before it is too late to save any safe food production in this country. Please switch government subsidies from agribusiness to safe, organic, raw whole foods and small local farmers willing to use safe growing practices and to create jobs for residents in their local communities.

  58. 58
    Dan Brunell Says:

    The US continues putting business ahead of the health of the citizenry and causing much of the health crisis. GMOs are engineered to improve bottom line in a way that nature could not. These products may have some good value for corporate interests, but they continue to show they are ill conceived for human use as food, have unexpected consequences, lower the nutrient value of food and, worst of all, are usually done for reasons that adds other, health hazardous practices like loading up plants with fertilizer. GMOs should be labelled at the minimum and banned as they are in other countries. We are stewards of the world.
    It is time politics is put aside, lobbying is not equal to influence, and we more for the health of our people. The USDA should require labeling, not add any GMOs and work with industry to eliminate them over a short time.

  59. 59
    Mary Stone Says:

    Help us, don’t give GMOs a free ride. You represent us, the people, not the corporations that are more interested in money and power than the health of all concerned!!

  60. 60
    David Says:

    Genetically modified crops have not been INDEPENDENTLY proven safe. Before these monstrosities are unleashed on the unknowing american public, the USDA should only accept independent studies as evidence towards their potential safeness or harm.

  61. 61
    Debra Carrabba Says:

    GE crops are very dangerous to human health & animals. Don’t we deserve whole, healthy, no GMO foods, the way nature started out? It is so sad & I’m very angry, because of greed (money), that they are endangering the human race, our planet & animals, by poisoning our food supply. They should be ashamed of themselves, to even think of poison every human being & animal. They are a disgrace to the human population. They need their companies to be shut down ASAP. You wouldn’t think that the United States, could even be part of what they are doing. Making poison food & selling it to people, you shouldn’t even have to ask us what we think. Do you feed your family with GMO food? Do you risk their health, just so that the big companies can profit, as well as people getting sick, that adds more profit to the big pharmacy.
    Please, say NO to GMO Food.

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