February 4, 2014.
Source: National Organic Coalition
“Agricultural Coexistence” ≠ GMO Contamination Prevention
USDA is asking for public comments on how agricultural “coexistence” (relationships between GMO and non-GMO farmers) can be strengthened.
Comment deadline: March 4, 2014
Farmers & Handlers: Share your experiences and costs with preventing GE contamination, or about being contaminated
Consumers: Tell USDA: Contamination Prevention Now!
WHY IS THIS ACTION SO IMPORTANT?
Organic and Non-GMO agriculture has shouldered the burden of GMO contamination for too long. Tell USDA:
(1) Implement mandatory contamination prevention measures to avoid the problem and protect the non-GMO sector.
(2) Ensure shared responsibility for the unwanted spread of GE products. Farmers should not shoulder the burden through GE contamination crop insurance. Patent Holders should be held responsible for the contamination.
HOW TO COMMENT
Comment ONLINE at: Regulations.gov and search for: APHIS-2013-0047-0061
Submit SNAIL MAIL comments to: Docket No. APHIS–2013–0047, Regulatory Analysis, and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station, 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238.
Farmers & Handlers: If you would like to send an ANONYMOUS COMMENT outlining your experiences and costs, please go to:http://tinyurl.com/AC21Story
Questions? Call Liana Hoodes, NOC ED at (914) 443-5759 or emailLiana@NationalOrganicCoalition.org
More information on “Co-existence” of GMO and Non-GMO Farmers
In 2011, re-convened the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), which made recommendations in five major areas regarding agricultural “coexistence” (compensation, stewardship, education and outreach, research, and seed quality).
Some of these recommendations included investigating an appropriate compensation mechanism for dealing with economic harm caused by GE contamination such as the possibility of offering crop insurance to organic and non-GMO farmers. Other recommendations focused on identifying ways to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in all sectors of agriculture production, including conversations among neighboring farmers regarding planting dates to prevent cross-pollination. To access all AC21 documents go to:http://tinyurl.com/AC21DOCS
USDA is asking for input on more than a dozen questions about education, collaboration, and outreach. The department seeks input on coexistence practices, and, specifically, how the department can support communication between farmers.
USDA is not discussing the most important question: How do we prevent GMO contamination?
USDA’s questions miss the point.
Talking about coexistence without first committing to Contamination Prevention is perpetuating GMO contamination
WHAT SHOULD I SAY IN MY COMMENTS?
If you are a farmer or handler, share any experiences you’ve had with contamination on your farm or as a buyer. If you’ve been directly impacted by contamination, explain the circumstances and consequences.
Several AC21 members have stated that they don’t believe GMO contamination is a problem.
Even if you haven’t experienced contamination, are you spending your resources to prevent contamination (for instance: land for buffers; choosing less profitable varieties with delayed planting dates, etc.)?
What is this costing you?
For more background and points to make in your comments see HERE.