Whole Foods Market conditionally threw its support behind the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent decision to deregulate genetically engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa. In an email sent to customers last week, Whole Foods professed their support for organics and "seed purity" but said they are in favor of the "conditional deregulation" of the GE alfalfa. That is, if Monsanto, the creator of the GE crop, agrees to pay compensation to farmers "for any losses related to the contamination of [their] crop[s]."
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Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley have joined with Whole Foods in saying they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE alfalfa, as long as there are restrictions in place to support "coexistence" with organic crops.
The Organic Consumers Association released a statement saying that the move to deregulate the alfalfa will contaminate non-genetically engineered and organic crops across the United States, including the alfalfa fed to organic animals (alfalfa is a mainstay food for organic dairy and beef cows and commercial honeybees), poison farm workers and produce Roundup-resistant super-weeds that require the use of more toxic herbicides, as well as "destroy the essential soil food web."
Anti-GE crops activists have been fighting Monsanto on this issue for 12 years. They fear that the USDA's decision regarding Roundup Ready alfalfa sets a dangerous precedent. Maybe so -- if you have a problem with poison becoming part of the DNA of your veggies and killer weeds destroying the entire planet's ecosystem.
And you were worried about parabens.