In the past 3 weeks, the Obama administration has unbelievably chosen to approve three biotech crops, Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa, Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets and a new industrial biotech corn for ethanol production. Obama's recent approval of them will allow them to be planted as early as this spring, despite widespread acknowledgement that these crops are certain to contaminate both conventional and organic farmers non-GMO crops. Only last Friday, the USDA's approval of the new industrial biotech corn for ethanol production occurred despite massive outcry from major food companies who know that it will contaminate and possibly ruin the food they sell to you everyday.

These decisions are a devastating blow to our democracy and the basic rights of farmers to choose how they want to grow food on their land and the rights of consumers who increasingly choose organic and sustainably grown food for its positive health and environmental impacts. Please join us in telling President Obama that it's time to stand up to Monsanto and reject these GMO crops today!

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    Please add your name to the letter to President Obama and Secretary Vilsack below that was originally drafted as a response from organic and sustainable farmers and activists during the EcoFarm conference recently to the decision to approve GMO alfalfa:

    Dear President Obama and Secretary Vilsack,

    [While gathered at the 31st Annual Ecological Farming Conference to celebrate the growth of the organic industry as a vital, mainstream segment in agriculture.]

    We were greatly disappointed to learn of your decision to fully deregulate genetically modified (GMO) Roundup Ready alfalfa. This decision undermines opportunities for farmers in America, particularly in important export markets for conventional alfalfa and in the growing organic dairy industry. It also severely restricts the choice of farmers and 50 million U.S. consumers who every day exercise their right to consume food that is certified organic and free of GMOs, that are yet to be proven safe for human consumption and our common environment.

    As farmers and leaders in the organic and sustainable agriculture community, we are profoundly concerned that the development and release of GMO crops have progressed rapidly, with inadequate oversight, scant public testing, and minimal public debate.

    Collectively, we stand united in the firm belief that it is incumbent upon our nation’s regulatory agencies to put independent, peer-reviewed science over the vested financial interests of corporations who have shown a consistent disregard for our nation’s laws, sound scientific theory, the livelihoods of family farmers, and the health and well-being of our citizens and the environment.

    As members of the fastest growing and most profitable segment in agriculture today, we are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has refused to protect the livelihoods of conventional and organic family farmers from the loss of a main livestock forage.

    According to university scientists, the deregulation of GMO Roundup Ready alfalfa could lead to the genetic contamination of all conventional and organic alfalfa within five years. As a result of this decision, organic and non-GMO farmers have lost another vital tool in their toolbox to expand into highly profitable domestic and foreign markets, eliminating important market opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers at a time when they can least afford it.

    The approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is yet another example of the agricultural biotechnology industry forcing an entirely unnecessary product onto the market not for farmer benefit, but simply to improve their bottom-line.

    As any farmer worth their salt will tell you, alfalfa - a perennial legume - does not suffer from the same weed pressures as other crops, such as corn, soybeans, cotton and canola and that is why ninety-three percent of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. does not use any herbicides. In addition, by approving GMO alfalfa, the Obama administration has further weakened production agriculture since the increased use of herbicides will only lead to an increase of glyphosate-resistant superweeds, which have been called “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” by Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts as reported in TheNew York Times on May 3, 2010.

    Last year, when the National Academy of Sciences released the report, Toward Sustainable Agriculture Systems for the 21st Century, it concluded that in order to meet the urgent demands of U.S. agriculture with regard to climate change, energy and water shortages and a rising population, “national agricultural policies and research programs should look beyond focusing only on low costs and high production and adopt a holistic perspective to farming that encompasses multiple end goals.”

    In order to protect the biological integrity of our nation’s seeds and the organic industry, we call upon you as President to immediately rescind the recent of approval of GMO alfalfa and instruct the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a moratorium on the further approval of genetically engineered crops until the issues over the science, contamination and labeling are more transparently reviewed. In addition, we call for a further review of all scientific evidence regarding GMO alfalfa and independent testing on the long-term effects of all GMO crops on human health and the environment.

    In approving GMO alfalfa, the Obama administration has undermined the most vibrant sector in agriculture today, placing an unfair tax on the rights of America’s farmers to grow food that is protected from genetic contamination. The USDA’s decision was ill informed, wantonly ignoring the basic biological principles of pollination and good agricultural practices.

    We now join with previous generations, from the Founders of our Constitution to those who fought to free our nation from prejudice during the long battle for civil rights, in a renewed struggle to defend the livelihoods of family farmers and our basic right as citizens to choose the type of food that we want to grow and consume.

    As such, we call for an immediate revocation of the decision to fully deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa and to create a biotechnology regulatory process that effectively and democratically investigates the impact of this unproven technology on human health, the environment and farmers’ long-term ability to meet the challenges of 21st century agriculture.



    Ecological Farming Association

    Food Democracy Now!

    Center for Food Safety

    Straus Family Creamery

    Organic Farming Research Foundation

    Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)

    National Young Farmers Coalition

    Californians for GE-Free Agriculture

    National Organic Coalition

    California State Grange

    Lundberg Family Farms

    Swanton Berry Farms

    The Greenhorns

    Food & Water Watch

    Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

    National Center for Appropriate Technology

    Nature’s Path Foods

    California Climate & Agriculture Network

    Jacobs Farms-Del Cabo

    Lewis Family Farm

    Credo Action

    Roots of Change

    Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

    Pesticide Action Network

    Organic Consumers Association

    Slow Food USA

    Amigo Cantisano & Jenifer Bliss

    Organic Ag Advisers

    Heaven & Earth Farms

    San Juan, CA


    Thomas Wittman

    Board President

    Ecological Farming Association


    Gabriel Howearth

    Founder, Seeds of Change

    Buena Fortuna


    Michael Pollan

    San Francisco, CA


    Blackie Foundation,

    Point Reyes Station, CA


    Wildfire Hearts Hands Feet,

    Carmel, CA


    Diane Dempster, President

    Tilth Producer’s of Washington


    Benjamin Watson

    Board Member

    Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity


    Larry Jacobs


    Jacobs Farm / Del Cabo, Inc.


    Nanda Coleman (aka: Betty Beekeeper)

    Beekeeper/food eater

    San Jose, CA


    Shirley Ward

    Farm and Garden Manager

    Esalen Instutute

    Big Sur, CA


    Diane Del Signore

    Executive Director

    Community Alliance with Family Farmers

    Davis, CA


    Jo Ann Baumgartner


    Wild Farm Alliance


    Robin Seydel

    La Montanita Coop

    Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Gallup, New Mexico


    Ron Whitehurst

    Pest Control Adviser, Co-Owner

    Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc.

    Ventura, CA


    Jan Dietrick

    Executive Director

    Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology

    Ventura, CA


    While G

    Karen Salinger

    Sales Manager/Owner

    Veritable Vegetable

    San Francisco, CA


    Rick Williams

    Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery

    Sebastapol, CA


    David Little

    Little Organic Farm

    Petaluma, CA


    Jim Reichardt

    Sonoma County Poultry

    Petaluma, CA


    Jill Adams

    Crescent Moon Farm

    Santa Rosa, CA


    Sam Earnshaw

    Community Alliance with Family Farmers

    Watsonville, CA


    Tammy Pierson

    Veggielation Community Farm

    San Jose, CA


    Virginia M. Salkowski

    R-evolution Gardens

    Nehalem, OR


    Zoe Hitchner


    Santa Cruz, CA


    Elizabeth Koltai

    Amy’s Farm

    Ontario, CA


    Ed Cohen

    Earthly Edibles Family Farm

    Korbel, CA


    Eryun Smith

    The Abundant Table Farm Project

    Oxnard, CA


    Sarah Nolan

    South Central Farmers

    Bakersfield, CA


    David DeLaPaz

    Of the Peace Foundations


    Sarah Domke

    Green String Farm

    Petamluma, CA


    J.T. Rehbock

    Continential Bioregional Congress CBC IX

    San Francisco, CA


    Hana Rehbock

    Linfield, OR


    Sandy Lewis

    Lewis Family Farm

    Essex, New York


    Anna Marie Carter

    Dag Falck

    Julie Fallon

    Colleen Cabot

    James R. Churchill

    Ian S. Wilson

    Moira Burke

    Cynthia Maglaras

    Nickulas Maglaras

    Alisha Strater

    Margaret Liebman

    Leah Taylor

    Sharon Setty

    Lauren Scott

    Mary Dixon

    Tom Dixon

    Anna Vinitsky

    Jeff Boesch

    Christina Jensen Augustine

    Lee W. Miller

    Sandra Ward

    Ken Kimes

    Jay Nitikman

    Janet Bryer

    Max Bryerbass

    Wendy Krupnich

    Lisa Bunin

    Joey Smith

    Ariane Lotti

    Sara Mcdonald

    Cary Schlussl

    Stephanie Rawlings

    Todd Champagne

    Lane Selman

    Patricia Becker

    Theresa Lyngso

    Joe Dickson

    Doug Gosling

    Mike Adams

    Lou Preston

    Ariana Gehrig

    Stacy Shutts

    Annie Helens

    Julie Zabel

    Tammy Kleen

    Pamela Callagher

    Eric Cardenas

    Lisa Masteller Parker

    Maggie Preston

    Jennifer Reichardt

    Misga Nuyttens

    Alannag Kull

    Anie Hehner

    Katharine Sontag

    Ariana Milmar

    Brooke Budner

    Julie Zabel

    Alexandra Lyon

    Rick Christianson

    Peter Ruddod

    Rachael Richardson

    Robert DuBois

    David Hernick

    Leah Sonkfur

    Bu Nygrens

    Deborah Suppres

    Susan Ditz

    Jean Hays Gunn

    Alice Dorr

    Jim Cochran

    Annie Main

    Jennifer Snder

    Thao Pham

    Thea Maria Carlson

    Laura McKissack

    Robin Boyle

    Michael Lipert

    Jane Sooby

    Klara East

    David East

    Laura Cainthers

    Karen Davis-Brown

    Paul Cheatham

    Milana PeBenito

    Phineas Ellis

    Robin Mitchell

    Howdy Goudey

    Gayle Ross

    Shawn Seufert

    Mark Baxter

    Sara Cogan

    Erica Walz

    Arty May

    Susan Kauffman

    Joann Baumgatr

    E. Eric Winders

    Alison Malisa

    Leah Atwood

    Maria Reynolds

    John Baer

    Sue Dern

    Arinna Grittani

    Loren Luyendyk

    Paula Manalo

    Pal Unkenhill

    Sandy Rintuul

    Neena McNair

    Justin Valone

    David Perkins

    Michael Davis

    Sean Culman

    Sara Gaucher

    Doron Comerihart

    Patrick Archie

    Udi Lazimy

    Bob Scowcroft

    Francisco Preston

    Jenna Hines

    Beth Seufert

    Molly Bloom

    Rawley Johnson

    Scott Washkowiak

    Thomas Cameron

    Ruthanne Jahoda

    Mark Calhoun

    Janell Lundgren

    Cameron Frisbee

    Sky DeMuro

    Ian Wilson

    Anne Hamersky

    Anna Smith Clark

    Eric Humel

    Batra Kagan

    Alison Cebulla

    Alise Echele

    Henry W. Art

    David Apple

    Melinda Lundgren