Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oregon Non-GMO Farmers v Monsanto/Syngenta Goes to the Polls Today

Oregon Non-GMO Farmers v Monsanto/Syngenta Goes to the Polls Today:

Dr. Ray Seidler has been educating area consumers about the dangers of GMOs. Seidler is a retired EPA micro-biologist who years ago started the first Federal Research Program on biosafety issues of genetically engineered organisms. Hired from OSU to start the program, Seidler stated, “Back then we only wanted to regulate GMOs because we didn’t know anything about them. Now we see what damage they can cause.”

Dr. Seidler explained, “The problem is that the locations of some of Syngenta crops are secret. The FDA requires all GMO crops to be four miles away from non-GMO crops, but you can’t see them four miles away because their plots are usually secret. Our local farmers don’t know where to locate acreage to grow their crops without fear of contamination. Local farmers here have buyers for their pure seed to sell to consumers worldwide. Those consumers worldwide don’t want genetically-engineered contaminated seeds.”
Describing the Southern Oregon valley as “an incubator for growing cool-weather seeds, i.e. sugar beets,” he explained that local farmers plant thousands of sugar beet seeds, and then those seeds go to other regions in Oregon (i.e. Willamette Valley) to propagate more seeds. Later these end up as many millions of seeds planted in the Midwest to grow the actual sugar beets.

“But sugar beets grown here are all GMO seed, and are essentially contaminated for the world’s non-GMO international markets. If those farmers would just use conventional non-GMO seed for the sugar beets, then all farmers would benefit. The local farmers are trying to protect their vegetable crops of Swiss chard and table beets from being contaminated by these GMO sugar beet crops.”
Seidler emphasized, “Those non-GMO veggies would feed the world better than GMO sugar (from sugar beets). The sugar beets, introduced by Syngenta, are the origin of contamination for the valley’s farmers and the world market. The pure vitamin-laden seeds grown here (Swiss chard and table beets) are internationally exported to the 66+ countries that have banned GMOs in their countries. These seeds grown in this valley are in demand worldwide.”

Seidler further explained that this battle is about sugar vs. vegetables: “The foreign corporation Syngenta has been hiring day-workers here to plant GMO seeds, and those seeds go on to produce a different product than vegetables. Those seeds produce sugar, and the agribusiness conglomerates are feeding sugar to the world – so this battle is mostly coming down to ‘sugar over vegetables.’”

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