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Urgent: Tell the USDA What YOU Think about GMOs in Organics

UPDATE 02/18/10: The comment period has been extended until March 3, 2010  You still have time to have your voice and opinions heard!  The easiest way to send your comments to the USDA is on the True Food Project's Take Action website. ---------------------------------------------------- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently considering whether or not to approve the use of genetically engineered (GE) Roundup-Ready alfalfa. Their report says you don't care about GMOs in organics. Comments are due to them by February 16th, so read on to hear how you can help. (Or go directly to the True Food Project's Take Action website.) alfalfa_field As part of the approval process, they are required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a detailed analysis of how the crop will affect the environment, organic and conventional farmers, farm animals, and the public. They've released their EIS on GE alfalfa, and here's how the True Food Network at The Center for Food Safety summarized the issue in a recent Action Alert:
In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) sued the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its illegal approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa. The federal courts sided with CFS and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed the impacts of the plant on the environment, farmers, and the public in a rigorous analysis known as an environmental impact statement (or EIS). USDA released its draft EIS on December 14, 2009. A 60-day comment period is now open until February 16, 2010. This is the first time the USDA has done this type of analysis for any GE crop. Therefore, the final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops.
That Environmental Impact Statement, unfortunately, contains a number of questionable statements and conclusions. The part of the EIS that worries us the most is the claim that buyers of organic foods don't care if those products are contaminated with GMOs (genetically modified, or genetically engineered, organisms). We know that nothing could be further from the truth, and that a huge number of our shoppers care deeply about avoiding GMOs in the foods they buy. We've gone to great lengths to keep GMOs out of organic foods and, through our work with The Non-GMO Project, have helped advance North America's first standards and verification program for Non-GMO foods. We are intent on preserving our ability to provide non-GMO options for our shoppers. Every newly-approved GMO crop erodes our ability to provide non-GMO food, and leads to contamination of organic and non-GMO crops, due to pollen drift and other forms of contamination. What can YOU do? The True Food Project has set up a Take Action website to help you easily submit your comments to the USDA. These are due by February 16th so take the time to do it now. Please use the CFS's form letter as a guide and personalize it as you see fit - let the USDA know exactly why you're concerned about this issue, what you think about GMOs in your food, and what you think they should do with the approval of GE alfalfa. In our own comments to the USDA, we emphasized a few key facts:
  • Organic and natural foods consumers do care about the presence of GMOs in their food. In fact, avoiding genetically engineered ingredients is one of the key reasons that shoppers seek out organic foods.
  • The contamination of organic and non-GE crops by GE material has presented a huge burden for our company and our industry.
  • The unchecked proliferation of GE crops will directly harm organic producers and the integrity of the organic label.
  • The approval of GE alfalfa would do more harm than previously approved GE crops, since alfalfa is a perennial crop.
Everyone has their own opinion about GMOs; please tell your story to the USDA via the True Food Project action campaign by February 16th. We'd love to read what you think in the comment section below, but make sure you send your comments to the USDA first!

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119 comments

Comments

RLM says …

GMO stay out of organic foods. That's what organic foods are all about! USDA ought to understand that many people desires their foods to be naturally enchanced, not with artifical means. Thanks, Robert L. Mason Fort Lauderdale, FL

Ben Bishop says …

I have absolutely no moral problem with GMO food. If we can use it end hunger and increase nutrition and crop yield that's great. But, we simply haven't been testing these foods well enough for safety. In fact, the work of Arpad Pusztai shows how dangerous GMO food really is. No way will I ever buy GMO food or put it in my mouth until true safety testing is performed -Ben Bishop

Ebony Imhotep says …

This is a terrible tragedy. We must do whatever we can to stop the spread of this Fraken Food. Their attempting to force these foods on us not caring about the adverse reactions on our bodies or the enviornment. Farmersare being forced to grow these Genetically Modified Foods and being pushed out of business by Monster Corporations. We owe it to ourselves, our familes, the enviornment, and small farmers to stand against the war being claimed on our food.

Michelle says …

Thank you for keeping me informed. Nothing is more important than keeping our food and environment safe for our next generations as well as our own health. Also, my sincere appreciation to Whole Foods for supporting the National Institute of Whole Health, for I am studying with them, and between the two of you, I am learning more than I ever expected. Keep up the good work!

Lorraine Bolt says …

Of Course it is unrealistic to think that we all could eat organic food all the time given the extent that the huge agribusiness has on our country. But, for health reasons and for the planet, I myself am going to eat and buy organic. We just had two little girls in the Salt Lake area die from rat poisoning that was applied around their home to kill gophers. Who knows what other childhood diseases are brought on or exacerbated by chemicals and pesticides in the environment. I am for handing our children and grandchildren a planet that is better, not worse, for our having been here. I don't want GMO's--or any other chemical that has to have initials to tell what it is--in my food or pouring into the ocean

MJ says …

Organic and natural foods should be just that- natural. No engineering involved in creating changes.

ap says …

of course we do not want gmo's in our organic foods!

Tish says …

I absolutely care! Stop messing with our food! Just let it grow naturally the way it's suppose to. It was created perfect, it doesn't need to be tampered with to improve it. Stop messing with our health!! I care! It's not organic if it's man made. It's getting harder and harder to teach my children the difference between whole, natural food and man made/altered food!

R. Vega says …

My parents grew up organic in the old country and I had allergies growing up. Guess who was healthier. There is a gaping hole and I hope that someone follows the money and catches up to it, that way we can effect some real change. Right now our food supply is being controlled by financial interests, both private and public. It goes without saying that this is a recipe for disaster. ACT NOW!

Barbara Travers says …

I have just recovering from breast cancer. I am not blaming anyone but genetics, but now it is my and my doctors problems to make sure it does not come back. One thing big thing is nutrition -- and without organic and natural food for me to eat, I will have more trouble going forward. Please consider this.

Liz says …

Please make the link for comments to the USDA more obvious.

Doreen T. says …

Why can't Monsanto leave Mother Nature alone. It's all in the name of Big Business (or should we all say Big Busyness.) The report issued recently in Jan. of this year,in the International Journal of Biological Sciences, clearly spells out problems with GMO corn. This information was recently on the Whole Foods webpage and I am thankful to them for keeping us informed.

Tess Crain says …

I CARE! Stop the Monsanto Devils from destroying our food supply and killing us all. Don't fear a nuclear war, fear Monsanto's GMOS and all GMOs in our food supply. No to GMOs!

Jean Matthews says …

I am very concerned about GMO's. With all of the illness in the United States, I think we should be ever so careful about what is done to our food. I always read the ingredient panels and will not buy if it contains GMO's. We should buy from those companies that state on the product that it contains no GMO's. Whole Foods is a blessing in my neighborhood.

Elizabeth Redmond says …

You may also want to take a look at the 2010 Supplement Saftey Act- http://capwiz.com/lef/utr/2/?a=14665781&i=86958913&c=

Dr S.V.Matthews says …

TOTALLY AGAINST GMO's in ORGANICS! I recently watched Food, Inc. and have decided to eat only organic, cage-free poultry products and open-range (grass-fed)beef as well as open-rang pork. I am not a flaming liberal or fanatic PETA member but am appalled at the treatment of our animals and the unhealthy hormones and antibiotics they are fed that get transmitted to our food suppliers/distributors and eventually to us. Once I decided to eat only organic, I'm frustrated at how difficult it is to fnd and how expensive it is (3-1/2) times non-organic products. I was appalled that Monsanto has a monopoly and can intimidate our farmers who want to grow Non-GMO organics. I thought the anti-trust laws prohibited monopolies. S.V. Matthews

teresa says …

What bothers me the most is that once crops are contaminated, there's no going back. You can't un-do what has been done. With Monsanto, it's all about the mighty dollar and building a monopoly. It sickens me. I wish more Americans were aware.

Denise Rochon ND says …

The reason I eat organic is that I want my food to be as '' close to Nature '' as possible. GMO are quite far from that. No Thank You!

Terence Klein says …

This is a very important issue. Thank you for being proactive about this & letting us know before the damage is done. I will be sharing this story with everyone I can.

screwdestiny says …

Thank you for sharing this scary issue with us. That's ridiculous that they're thinking of allowing it. And to say that people who buy organic don't care! Did they even consult anybody who buys organic? I highly doubt it. I don't pay 25% more for organic food just to be giving money to Monsanto.

Jessica Salazar says …

HELL NO!!! they need to stop trying to change everything!! To say people don't care is an insult. Personally i dont buy organic food but still it is wrong what they are trying to do. First it start's off as organic then it will be real food then what else? i'm going to help stop this... Thanks for letting "us" people know cause it seem's no one else cars...

earthygirl says …

Thank you for this news! After I watched a Dvd called "Unnatural Selection" I realized how important it really is to protect our rights to eat organic, non-Gmo foods. It is very important to also protect our crops from cross-contamination from any new sources. The right to farm organic crops should be of great concern-it seems to be a breach of basic human rights! If we keep missing with our land and nature, there may be no going back!

Jennifer P says …

Thank you for the information. This is truly a concern. I buy organic because I want naturally grown food, not scientifically grown food.

denise petersen says …

SERIOUSLY?! just the name, "round-up ready" is terrifying! on my way to the Take Action website now!

Ryan C. says …

Thank you for the alert. I just submitted a litter through the True Food Project site. Please keep us up-to-date on this matter.

Michelle says …

I started working with Whole Foods in 2002, the same year the USDA rolled out the national organic program. I'll never forget learning of the countless organic farmers who have lost their Organic Certification because their crops were contaminated by pollen from a neighboring GMO farm. GMOs have not been fully studied long enough to evaluate their food safety or risk, and many people shop organic because GMO's are expressly forbidden. We have a right to choose what we put into our bodies, and I hope you will hear this organic shopper's loud voice insisting that this right remains protected. I do not want GMOs in my food!

Latachia Harvell says …

I do care about what goes into my foods and I only buy organic and natural products. I worry about my overall health and the health of my three children. Therefore, I will not purchase any foods with GMOs in them. Even if I have to pay a little extra, in the long run it is worth it for my family. I don't think that any GMOs should be in any foods let alone organic.

megan marshall says …

I think it's utterly disgusting to genetically modify our FOOD. It's revolting to cover our food with poisons. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT!!! The people want healthy NATURAL food that sustain life, Not slowly kill us!

Amie says …

I buy organic foods because I want to consume the best and most natural foods there are. I like the idea of eating things that could have come from my grandma’s backyard. GMO’s are not my idea of Organic and Natural. Humans are made to consume foods from the earth the way it was put here for us. I believe the USDA would be doing the people of the United States a huge disservice if they allowed GMO’s to be in organics. It would confuse people. Organic is Organic for a reason. This is just one more reason we cannot trust the USDA to do what’s best for the people of the US. It’s all about the money baby! SAY NO TO GMO”S!

Judy C says …

Not only am I concerned about the health of my family, but also about the ability of a company to genetically modify foods that I potentially feed my family, and have no choice in the matter. I feed my family organic foods and believe I, and millions of others like me, do NOT want GE crops and foods to contaminate our organic food supply. Not only do I think that there should NOT be GE Alfalfa, but I believe that all GE/GMO foods should be labeled as such. We live in a country of "free choice" and I choose organic foods that have not been contaminated with GE crops. Please, send your letter today!!

Evelyn G. Morlote says …

I do not want genetically alteree ANYTHING! Why do you think Americans have so many health issues? Enough already. Let us eat whole organic non altered foods. Stay out of my food!!!

Tony Berg says …

I love your stores and the committment you and all your staff have to quality food and health. I have only one problem - Canola oil. I react badly to this oil and the research I have done says that it is in fact a GM modified version of rapesedd oll (toxic) heated to high temperature to remove the odor. It seems out of character with all you stand for. I notice that this oil is not offered in the UK or EU. Tony Berg

Jill says …

People don't want to eat food that is "round-up ready"! I think people buy organic for all sorts of reasons but I assure you one of them is not so they eat round-up--in one way or another. The fact that companies, especially Monsanto, are creating such products is scary--think about it, plants that can withstand the weed killer Round Up. There is something very wrong with that idea. Then those plants cross pollinate with traditional non-GM plants and ta-da we have more genetically modified plants. No wonder so many people have chronic diseases and allergies-especially allergies, the human body knows these foods aren't truly from nature and creates a defense--the allergy.

Bob Eastman says …

Please don't allow GMO's into organic foods

Indira says …

What is there to say except NO to GMOs on all foods not only ORGANIC,,,,there are people strugling to make ends meet and cant afford food at all ...thanks for all suporters

Karen says …

Please NO GMOs in our organics. We want safe food please!

Christian Gonzalez says …

This is disgusting, the USDA is corrupted and needs to be fixed. If every one of your corporate spies working for the USDA, EPA, and FDA left, we wouldn't have to worry about GMOs being in our food. Our food is one of the most important things in our families' lives, along with water and air. These food companies are just as bad as tobacco companies; we're ingesting food with genetically modified ingredients, how is this natural? I'd rather eat dirt than eat food with GMO's in it. We need change, we need to know what's in our food. This is insulting, the USDA is pathetic. Do something about this now.

J.Albrecht says …

Dear USDA, The fact that you have become unethical by now is undeniable. Putting G.M.O. foods in food labled as organically grown is wrong and dishonest. From the little studies that have been done on GMO, they prove it to be dangerous. A report done on Coast to Coast radio said "You have naturally occuring bacteria inside of your gut, but when you consume G.M.O food it changes your natural bacteria to G.M.O." They continue by saying "When Monsanto sent packages of G.M.O food to Indian peasants, they fed the product to their cattle and after relatively short term consumption all of the cattle died". What does this mean if GMOs are consumed by humans? What you are planning to do can potentially harm unaware consumers. One of the reasons I buy organic is to avoid GMOs. If you have respect for others, then you would choose to not take away their freedom of choice to what they put in their body. Shame on you and Monsanto for doing this to consumers! Hopefully you will learn to respect the freedoms of others that continue to whittle away.

Ronda Besler says …

Hello, I was upset to learn our government is thinking about GMOs in Organics. I have many illnesses and disease including being a diabetic. I have paid off most of my extra bills like credit cards and have begun eating more organic foods. The organic foods are more expensive up front but in the long run I am looking forward to a healthier life. I know it will not be long that the benefits of eating organics will be seen in my health such as my blood levels and cholestral readings. I say No to GMOs,because I do care about my health, my new grandaughter's health and my own grown children's health. Just because I fed them chemical filled foods in their younger years does not mean that we and they cannot feel better, live longer and have a better quality of life with less disease. As a family we say NO to GMOs. It's never too late.

krista dickson says …

I buy organics to ensure i am eating whole true foods. I have food allergies and buying organics gives me peace of mind.

Randie Miller says …

Please leave GMO's out of our food.

Lindsay Farlow says …

I want to keep our organic food pure and clean without being contaminated. Our food is the most important thing. Our children's children will suffer if we don't do something fast! I say NO TO MONSANTO and GMO's!

Dina Uzri says …

I have actively switched to shopping for foods that specifically state they do *NOT* contain any GMOs!! Most organic foods state that they are free of GMOs. If the USDA allows for GMOs in organic foods, then I will have even fewer options! I am firmly opposed to the presence of GMOs in organics and to GE crops period, including GE alfalfa! This is very important to me and should be important to everyone in American for health, environmental, economic, and political reasons!

Jamie says …

GMOs take money away from small American farmers trying to do the right thing. Big business benefits but doesn't care about the ramifications or who gets hurt in the process.

Brenda says …

I do not...I repeat...I do not want GMO's at my local organic grocer. I want my food to be nature not modified.

sophie strickland says …

Please do the right thing! Do not add GMOS in organic food! Do what's best for your children, and allow the American people what they deserve: Good, natural, organic food. Stop messing with our food, and messing with our health!!!!!

Sue Beridon says …

Please do not allow GM foods in our food supply. Some European countries have banned GM foods and their citizens are much healthier.Their food is more filling. The taste, smell and texture is what food should be coming directly from the farmer's fields. Our food supply should be in its natural state. Wheat, barley, oats, etc should NOT be GM. A tomato should taste and smell like a tomato. The American food industry is killing babies to the geriatric population with GM food. STOP GM FOODS.

Diana Shonk says …

There is not enough time to test the long range consequences of genetically modified foods. Man is so prone to think he can create what has taken nature hundreds of thousands of years to perfect. Why is man so inclined? Because there are too many humans on this earth and we are trying to eat everything. How about we take a page out of the animal rule book. Eat some, leave the rest for someone else! We need to change our excessive human ways. Not "design" food and animals to grow at top speed and be slaughtered and wasted by humans. * Organic and natural foods consumers do care about the presence of GMOs in their food. In fact, avoiding genetically engineered ingredients is one of the key reasons that shoppers seek out organic foods. * The contamination of organic and non-GE crops by GE material has presented a huge burden for our company and our industry. * The unchecked proliferation of GE crops will directly harm organic producers and the integrity of the organic label. * The approval of GE alfalfa would do more harm than previously approved GE crops, since alfalfa is a perennial crop.

Frank Karycinski says …

How can one justifiably call something natural if it has been altered. It would be like calling salads at a fast food restaurant a healthy alternative. How much preservatives are used to keep that food looking fresh? Once something has been modified, it is no longer is its natural state. Companies need to stop using the term "All Natural" and "Eco Friendly" as a marketing ploy and start providing products that really are healthy for us.

Aimee says …

Please stop using pesticides and antibiotics on our foods...it cause cancer obviously...I am constantly worried about what I am putting into mine and my family's bodies !

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