> Subj: Re: GMO seeds
> Date: 1/8/99 11:00:01 AM Central Standard Time
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: Erorganic@aol.com
> Dear Gardener/Farmer:
> In my last e-mail I promised you a response about the genetic engineering
> matter. I have been working on it. It is getting quite lengthy because I
> am trying to answer each concern expressed in about 300 letters.
> I expect to have an answer to you by January 14. I ask for your patience.
> Thank you,
> Rob Johnston, Jr.
Johnny's Selected Seeds
At 04:35 PM 1/5/99 EST, you wrote:
>What is the present policy position of Johnny's Selected Seeds regarding
>marketing GMO seeds or seeds derived from GMO techniques?
>The Organic Farmers Marketing Association, Inc.
>Eric Kindberg, Co-chair Communication/Telecommunication Committee
I guess seedsmen like you see real advantages to GE seeds or seeds derived
from GE. We would be very interested in understanding the advantages as
balanced against the possible impacts on humans and the environment.
After years of weighing the consequences, Eric Sideman of Maine Organic
Farmers and Growers Association, and I worked out a public policy statement 4
or 5 years ago. The statement at the time on the use of Bt said dead
genetically engineered Bt was reasonable for use in organic farming. Live GE
substances were not.
However, the newer EPA allowance last spring of live GE modified rhizobium
innoculants in farm operations, the introduction of GE Bt modifications in
living plants and the newer yet pest control use of live GE microbes in the
field mean: live GE substances are poised to permeate every living room, lawn,
food product and nature as a whole. The situation is out of control. There
is no choice but to call a halt. No one has the understanding of the long-
term affect, direct, interactive and indirect, of this very short-term
introduction of enormous quantities of GE substances.
As the enormous amount of Bt GE derived material is now being used in all
kinds of seed for field planting; and because we have no knowledge of the Bt
GE impact on the effective use of the Bt toxin for pest control in the future,
we, the Organic Farmers Marketing Association, and many other organizations
have sought to call a moratorium on use. Much more trials and technical
evaluations must be undertaken before the environment can afford such a
wholesale manipulation of its genetic base as is occurring presently.
As you may know, the National Organic Standards Board and the Organic Farmers
Marketing Association have passed resolutions that no GE or GE derived
substances can be used in organic farming and handling.
To carry out our operations as certified organic farmers, we must have a
guarantee that all planting seed is free of GE or GE derived germplasm. The
premier service a planting seed provider can do for an organic farmer is
assure them that no GE seed is being offered. At the least the GE seed should
be segregated to an identified page of a catalog. Much of the language use to
describe GE modified planting seed is deceptive, "enhanced," "protein
enhanced" etc. leading to mistakes in ordering.
If we can provide you with insights to better develop a public policy position
on GE seeds, etc., please contact us.
Eric Kindberg, certified organic farmer, OFMA member
A PUBLIC POLICY PRESS RELEASE: