Organic groups object to the suggestion of gene-edited organics

The USDA Appears to be in Favor of Gene-Edited Organic Production

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach stirred a hornet’s nest when he recently said the agency’s National Organic Program may consider whether gene-edited crops could be allowed for organic growers.  

Greg Ibach, the USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, responded,

“There is the opportunity to open the discussion to consider whether it is appropriate for some of these new technologies, including gene editing, to be eligible to be used to enhance organic production.”

The USDA has proposed a new rule that would allow many GMO companies to self-determine whether they should be regulated or not. Yes, you read that correctly. GMO companies will self-determine whether they should be regulated or not. Can you imagine the problems that this will create? Not only will this result in a flood of new GMOs entering the marketplace with no oversight, but this also opens the door for GE-plants that produce pharmaceutical and industrial compounds to be unregulated.

“We can debate many things in the organic industry, such as factory farms and hydroponics, but no one argues about GMOs. It is one of the key areas that differentiates organics in the marketplace. Clearly, the pressure for this is coming from large agrochemical players who want to degrade the credibility of organic in the eyes of consumers,” said Mark Kastel, long-time industry observer and organic policy analyst. 

“On June 6th, when the USDA entered into the Federal Register a proposal to change the way that GMOs are regulated, APHIS clearly said that its proposed definition of genetic engineering would include these new technologies, such as gene editing. They are not different,” put forth Michael Hansen, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist – Advocacy for Consumer Reports.

This goes completely against the grain of exactly why the consumer buys organic! 

Sign the petition located on Cornucopia Institute website here. 

Read more here on Max Goldberg's page on "The Organic Insider". and get your organic mattress and bedding now!

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