Stop GE Crop Field Trials!

One year ago today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that unapproved, genetically engineered (GE) wheat was found to have contaminated an Oregon farmer’s field, halting wheat exports around the country. The experimental GE wheat, known as Roundup Ready, was developed by the Monsanto Company to withstand direct application of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate).

Yet one year later, we’re still waiting for the government to take action.

Thousands of people contacted their Senators and Representatives urging Congress to take action, yet Congress has done nothing. More than 150 farm organizations, food processors, mil-lers, retail companies, bakeries, and seed businesses sent USDA a letter last year calling for improvements in the agency’s oversight of trials of experimental GE crops, yet USDA has done nothing.

In fact, USDA has actually continued to allow Monsanto to conduct GE wheat field trials, despite unanswered questions as to how the company’s product contaminated Oregon wheat last year.

As we’ve warned for over a decade, contamination is inevitable when irresponsible companies like Monsanto are allowed to experiment with our food supply while USDA is asleep at the wheel.

Sadly, this was not the first case of experimental GE crops escaping from field trials. Past transgenic contamination episodes involving GE corn and GE rice triggered over $1 billion in losses and economic hardship to farmers.  China recently rejected huge shipments of contaminated U.S. corn and turned to Brazil instead.

How many times does this have to happen before we finally put a stop to these risky GE field trials?

USDA has a terrible track record overseeing these field trials. Even the USDA’s own Inspector General issued a scathing report detailing numerous violations of agency rules in regulating genetically engineered crop field trials. USDA officials did not know the locations of many field trials it was charged with regulating, and did not conduct required inspections of others.

Tell Congress and the USDA to stop open-air field trials of GE crops!

Subject: Stop GE Crop Field Trials

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