Volume 4 Issue 2

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Page 26 of 39

To exercise our freedom of choice, we must demand that formulation of new USDA guidelines for GE crops consider the following: • health consequences for all species, not only of the transferred gene but of massive chemical spraying on food crops; • rapid evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds and pesticide-resistant insects; • contamination of water/air; • and transgenic contamination of traditional or organic crops. You have the right to know. of the "precautionary principle," allowing governments to act because of potential negative effects on humans and the environment. Irreversible harm may already have been done before science conclusively rules about hazards. In contrast, the science is very clear about the effects of herbicides and pesticides sprayed on our food crops, genetically engineered to withstand the poisons. Although causality is oen difficult to demonstrate, Monsanto has agreed (see their website) that its glyphosate (Round-up Ready) herbicide, killing milkweed, is a major cause for the 81 percent decline of monarch butterflies. Although the monarch is a major pollinator for American farmers, Monsanto has offered only $4 million to mitigate the disaster. Senior scientist at the National Resource Defense Council, Sylvia Fallon, is clear: "Glyphosate has wiped out the milkweed they [monarchs] need to survive…. EPA completely ignored the impact on monarchs…and seriously underestimated the toxicity for people." e World Heath Organization now classifies glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen" and thanks to decades of spraying, the chemical is now abundant in air and waters in U.S. rural communities. GE crops also threaten your choice for organic foods. A recent USDA study ("Transgenic Feral Alfalfa…" 12/23/15) documents a 27 percent contamination rate of areas beyond GE fields. Already in 2014, China rejected GE contaminated corn shipments, costing U.S. agriculture almost $3 billion. Contamination of organic or hybrid crops can come from cross-pollination, mixing during storage or of the seeds before planting. As the Center for Food Safety concludes, we now have "the absurd spectacle of the U.S. (the world's leading corn and soybean producer) importing organic corn and soy from countries like Romania and India. Fear of transgenic contamination is one factor deterring more U.S. farmers from meeting America's growing demand for organic foods." Abby's Magazine - Volume 4 Issue 2 | Page 27

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