Seed of Change: America may Shift its Policy on Genetically Modified Crops

Terry D. Etherton

There was a very interesting article, Seed of Change: America may Shift its Policy on Genetically Modified Crops, published in The Economist on January 6, 2011 about the mess that potentially has been created by USDA Secretary Vilsack and his “coexistence plan” for oversight of Roundup Ready® Alfalfa.  I had written about the “coexistence plan” in a blog Luddites at the USDA Door that I posted earlier this week.  I encourage you to read the article in The Economist.

One thought on “Seed of Change: America may Shift its Policy on Genetically Modified Crops

  1. Having anti-GMO groups help set agricultural policy seems to be about as good of an idea as having anti-vaccine groups help set public health policy.

    So, if a set distance must be maintained, who would need to move/stop, the GE or the organic? Isn’t there some sort of system already in place for stuff like this, like if someone is growing an open pollinated vegetable and the neighboring field is growing another variety? Or has no one ever thought to sue over it before? Cross pollination is nothing new so why the sudden concern over biotech specific cross pollination? It would seem that precedent is already set, and that the burden should be on the one who wants to avoid contamination, otherwise it gives undue control to anyone who just doesn’t like what their neighbors are growing…I can certainty see issues coming up from time to time with certain crops (like fields of sweet and dent corn, or seedless fruits that become seeded when pollinated), but why should organic growers get special treatment? I would wager that, much like the philosophy of organic farming, this has more to do with dogma than reality.

    I think it’s kind of funny in a way because usually it is the anti-GMO people who seem constantly preach about freedom to grow what they want (as if that was ever an issue), but seem quick to jump on restricting the freedoms of someone growing something they don’t like. I certainty wouldn’t want anyone telling me what plant I can and can’t grow without some darn good reason.

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