GMOs coming to parks and lawns near you? – Published on Intrepid Report, by Reid Mukia, August 22, 2011.
On the Friday before the 4th of July weekend, the US Department of Agriculture USDA discreetly dropped a bombshell. They announced that their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service APHIS would not regulate Scotts Miracle-Gro’s
genetically engineered GE Kentucky bluegrass which is resistant to Roundup herbicide (Scotts is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for marketing and distribution of Roundup).
Just as alarming were the rationales behind the decision. APHIS claimed GE Kentucky bluegrass is not under their regulatory authority because pest organism DNA isn’t used for that strain, they don’t view GE nor non-GE Kentucky bluegrass as a plant pest or noxious weed and they don’t consider the GE variety to be a new species. Thus, the USDA announced they will take no steps to regulate GE Kentucky bluegrass but they “strongly encourage” Scotts to “work with industry partners and stakeholders and to develop appropriate and effective stewardship measures.” Self-regulation, in other words, which is what the USDA previously pushed when they announced a new policy letting Monsanto write their own environmental impact reports this past April … //
… Numerous grassroots campaigns are doing important education and activism work on related issues, one of the most prominent of which is the Organic Consumers Association’s “Millions Against Monsanto” project. And of course there’s local community-based groups like Community Alliance for Global Justice that educates and mobilizes the public to challenge unjust policies of corporations, governments and other institutions while creating and supporting alternatives embodying social justice, sustainability, diversity and grassroots democracy (to paraphrase the mission statement). Unlike corporations such as Monsanto, the food justice and food freedom movements don’t have the money to launch massive PR campaigns and bribe lawmakers to do our bidding but there’s power in numbers. With your help our numbers and ability to take effective collective action will continue to grow.