> I'm kind of mystified by your reaction. Mainly they were urging farmers
> be careful and avoid contamination. What exactly did you disagree with in
> that posting?
Gosh, you are the 2nd mystified person I've heard from today on this post,
so perhaps some elaboration is in order.
Yes, the ag agent is suggesting separation of GE corn from non-GE corn.
First, this is the LEAST of additional costs for the farmer in this
scenario, and should be considered in choosing seed for the season. Maybe
possible for some farmers - separate storage facilities, but for smaller
farms, probably unlikely. The 660 ft. "buffer" is something I'd sure be
hard-pressed to see in my area of Wisconsin. Corn, etc. is planted right
into the ditches here...often creating an actual road hazard! Every inch of
taxed property is used for production. And he even suggests that 250-300 ft.
is really sufficient based on wind direction "and other factors" - give me a
break, pretty vague, subjective stuff there. My neighbors plant corn with in
60 feet of my land & they aren't going to quit (lowering their bottom line)
because they're worried about contaminating MY crop! Sorry, but that's the
way it is. That's why our farm is listed as a plaintiff in the Greenpeace
The insinuation made by this agent (saying that Europe, etc. have NOT YET
approved GMOs) is misleading...as if its just a matter of time, rather than
a matter of public outrage & pressure against it, which is really the case.
In fact Nestle & Unilever (a couple of the biggest food producers in the
world) have just announced they will NOT be using GE components in their
foodstuffs - and Cadbury has followed (Hooray!!) see:
Saying its acceptable, if you're feeding it out, is further reason for
concern IMO. Typical big biz, big ag jive...if you're giving it to a cow it
doesn't matter. Regarding milk & meat, as if the body of a cow somehow
negates the effect or "cleanses" the contamination of GE feed she
ingests..that it will not be long before milk (and meat tissue) from a
GE-fed cow will also be detectable through testing.
And the most irritating part to me is the advice to keep abreast of
developments at your local elevator...lets say the local elevator is ok with
GE now, but in the fall, the policy has changed? What new bans will be in
place at harvest time? Why risk it? And ultimately, who is risking what
here? It's not the ag agent...he just says, "oops, sorry", its not the
elevator, they'll refuse the grain...its the farmer, as always, left holding
the bag (of grain) Are grain elevators going to create separate handling as
well, strict cleaning of bins, etc? Sounds like organic standards to me.
Nope, they will simply not accept it...too costly.
Who pays the bill when bins of grain are contaminated by the non-GE farmer
who's corn was crossed & he assures the elevator its "clean", but
contaminates tons of export-bound corn...yup, that farmer will be paying
too. Just as a dairy farmer who contaminates a truckload of milk with
antibiotics pays for the entire load (and carries milk-contamination
coverage under his farm insurance policy) some farmers are going to get hit
hard before this is over...and it will probably be the ones who aren't even
using the GE seed! I suggest to you that insurance companies will be looking
long & hard at this issue before long.
So this is why I'm disturbed. It does not matter one little bit if you are
"on top of the situation", informed. Once that corn is in the ground...its
done. If you don't have animals to feed it to, you're stuck. If you're a
grain farmer, you have taken a far bigger risk than is necessary. The
writing is on the wall, and the ag agents should be presenting both sides of
the issue, rather than doing everything they can to keep this technology
alive & well in this country, the last stronghold of biotech.
So my biggest complaint is the lack of a rounded picture for the farmer, so
that he can make an intelligent decision. Its a subversive advertisement for
Monsanto, their seed, their chemicals and the destruction of the environment
that they peddle. The ag agent has a responsibility to suggest the best
farming practices known to him/her. To digress to suggesting ways in which
to possibly minimize financial (and environmental) disaster is unacceptable.
Hope this helps you understand my concern...
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