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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Act Now - Help Stop Crop Contamination

Jun 07, 2011 01:10PM

On March 29, 2011, Sow True Seed joined 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations in a lawsuit led by the nonprofit Public Patent Foundation, challenging chemical giant Monsanto’s right to sue farmers for patent infringement, because they say it is Monsanto that is perpetrating the injury by infecting organic farms with genetically modified seed. Mounting research shows that once released into the environment, the engineered seed (a genetically modified organism, or GMO), contaminates and corrupts naturally reproducing seed for the same crop.

For example, soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola, these famers report that organic canola became virtually extinct, as a result of cross-contamination. Organic corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa now face the same fate, as Monsanto continues to develop genetically modified seed for many other crops.

“In the last decade [for example], it’s become nearly impossible to ensure that corn seed is free from contamination,” says Peter Waskiewicz, co-founder of Sow True Seed.

“Morally, it has become necessary to stand up and fight for keeping open- pollinated seed safe and available,” says fellow co-founder, Carol Koury. Waskiewicz adds, “We recognize the basic right of all the Earth’s people to enjoy a safe, ethical and sovereign food production and distribution system.”

For more information, visit PubPat.org/osgatavmonsantofiled.htm. Petition for GMO labeling at OrganicConsumers.org/Monsanto/index.cfm. Ask the Department of Justice to step in at Action.FoodDemocracyNow.org/sign/break_up_monsanto. Join local groups that advocate for healthy, organic, locally grown and produced products.

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