Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When GMO Food is Sold as Organic

Organic farmers whose field is contaminated with GE seed or pollen can still sell their product as organic that year.
Organic farmers are not allowed to purchase and plant genetically engineered seed. However, if their crops are contaminated by a neighbor who is growing genetically engineered food or they are sold GE (genetically engineered) seed they thought was organic, the farmer can still sell their crop as organic (even if they find out it has been contaminated) as long as they can prove they did not knowingly plant genetically engineered seed. 

Farmers have no recourse if their organic food is contaminated by GE fields.
So far farmers who have had their conventional or organic crops contaminated by GE plants have not been able to win court cases in the United States. Therefore, they are being protected by the organic labeling companies by at least allowing them to sell their contaminated food as organic. However, this does not protect the consumer. Something needs to be changed here. The farmer needs to be able to have laws that support organic farming and protect organic farmers from trespass of GE pollen on their crops.

What can we do to stop the continual growth of GE crops.  
We could stop it dead in its tracks if we simply refuse to purchase it. We can demand our food stores only purchase non GE food. There is easy to use testing for determining if a plant or seed is GE or not. Farmers, grocers and the public can purchase it. Tell all your family and friends to demand GE free food.

Which foods should always be tested?
All corn,  soy, canola, and cotton seed oil should be tested now. Even the organic ones should be tested as it is now thought that at least 3-4% of all organic corn, soy, and canola is contaminated.  The testing should be at the farmers level or the distributors level. However, anyone can be testing. Start telling your grocery store that you want your Corn (corn oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn meal) Soy (soy protein, soy lecithin, soy oil, soy sauce, soy isolates) Canola (canola oil) Cotton (cottonseed oil to all be tested for genetically engineered genes).  Tell them you don't want to buy products that are not tested if they carry these ingredients.

Non GMO Project
There is also a third party verification from the Non GMO Project that manufacturers can use to verify their food is safe.

Dairy Food Contamination
For farmers who grow alfalfa, sell alfalfa or grow the seed, they should also be testing. If you purchase alfalfa for your dairy animals, test it or make sure the grower, distributor has tested it before buying the alfalfa. For the person who eats dairy foods, find out if the manufacturer of your dairy foods gets milk from farms that feed non-GMO alfalfa to their dairy cows/goats.

Support labeling for genetically modified foods. 
Start labeling laws in your state for genetically modified foods. Some counties have started making their county an area where you can't grow genetically engineered food. You simply get the county to pass an ordinance and it is so. Go to GMO Free Jackson County to see how they are doing it.  That is easier than going state wide.  Passing laws to make it illegal to grow GE food in your area protects the family gardens from being contaminated in your area as well as the farms.