Too Late to Stop GMO Contamination?
How Much Longer Before All Crops Become GMO?
This week was a sad day for millions of people around the world who care about the quality of the food they eat. Through twitter and other media outlets, the news spread rapidly about the outcome of the court case in West Australia with Steve Marsh, organic canola farmer. He lost his organic certification and his livelihood when his crops became contaminated from a neighboring GM canola farm. Steve decided to sue the GM farm for losses and to protect his farm in the future. The court did not recognize the economic loss that Steve suffered and dismissed the case. This set an important precedent world-wide.
Can GMO Crops and Organic Co-Exist?
According to Food Democracy NOW! “The US Department of Agriculture is working with biotech lobbyists to finalize a plan so Monsanto’s GMO crops can contaminate organic and non-GMO crops at will.” Apparently there is a plan by the USDA to force farmers to pay for crop “contamination insurance” to protect themselves from GMO crops.
Aside from growing food indoors, it is unlikely that non-GMO crops can remain untainted by GM crops in the long-term. There are a few things organic farmers can do to minimize the risk of cross-pollination. Erecting buffers such as windbreaks and hedgerows to minimize contamination from GM pollen and insecticides is one possible, though not infallible solution. Knowing the prevailing wind direction and planting accordingly can help to minimize risks. Avoiding growing crops close to GE fields that cross-pollinate easily such as corn and canola is another way of reducing contamination.
Due to the reduction of good quality produce, city dwellers are getting very creative and finding ways to grow their own vegetables, even inside small apartments. Take the time to explore some of these gardening ideas. The social media site, Pinterest, is an excellent place to get some smart ideas on how to do this.