by Erin Elizabeth, Health Nut News:
USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture Greg Ibach testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee last month that plants grown with the help of genetically modified organisms and gene editing could be allowed to be certified organic in the future.
Despite the growing demand for organic food (record sales were reported in 2018), it appears the genetically engineered food and pesticides industry has continued to be remarkably busy behind the scenes.
Many may be unaware that Bayer, following its purchase of Monsanto, immediately began planning its new GMO division at Monsanto’s old plant in Creve Couer, Missouri, called ‘Bayer Cropscience Division.’ Bayer is expected to pump an estimated $3 billion into the facility for GMO seeds, pesticides and plant research.
According to a report from the website AGWeb, Bayer’s GMO division is expecting a potentially record-breaking level of investments for new “crop technologies (read: GMOs and pesticides)” in the next few years.
And now, a different player is entering the field, called CRISPR, which signifies an entirely new project led by the GMO industry. CRISPR’s gene-scrambling technology offers high hopes to an industry that plans to saturate the market with GMO mushrooms, potatoes, strawberries, and other foods whose long-term safety has not been tested. The technology allows any scientist to “play God” by scrambling the genes in our food – with NO GMO labels needed. The majority of consumers won’t even know if they’re eating a CRISPR modified food.
The concerns over GMO foods and CRISPR just became very real, because in the not too distant future, USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture Greg Ibach wants to completely change the rules to allow these scientific experiments to be included in organic foods. And, according to the USDA’s website, he testified before congress in July to plead his case. According to the Organic Consumers Associatione, he said:
“I think there is the opportunity to open the discussion to consider whether it is appropriate for some of these new technologies that include gene-editing to be eligible to be used to enhance organic production and to have drought and disease-resistant varieties, as well as higher-yield varieties available.”
Current standards prevent the use of genetic engineering and GMOs in foods stamped with the organic label – and it should stay that way!
It is not known how serious Ibach’s proposal really is at this time, but clearly, the inclusion of GMOs in organic food would be disastrous for an industry that, according to Alt Health Works:
..prides itself on producing synthetic pesticide-free, truly natural food that has been praised by environmental stewards for its support of biodiversity, human health, and even the best option for feeding the world according to a recent report from the United Nations.
The current administration has already greatly loosened the scientific and testing requirements for GMO plants and animals, which were already lax to begin with, according to experts within the industry. Cornucopia Institute’s Director of Domestic Policy Marie Burcham said in a statement:
“The allowance of any GE techniques under the organic label raises legitimate ‘slippery slope’ concerns. The USDA would be hard-pressed to find the resources to track allowed GE technologies and products in the organic sector, assuming they could summon the will.”
Without a doubt, if this proposal is ever allowed to move forward, it will open the door to contaminate organic food like nothing we’ve seen before.