I’m going to stick my neck out here: I think we might just be seeing the beginning of the end of our love affair with genetically modified (GM) crops. Emerging science from both home and abroad is raising serious questions about the long-term risks of GM crops. And from what I can gather, mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that many U.S. farmers are beginning to regret ever setting eyes on the damn crops. To be perfectly honest, I’m actually quite surprised at just how long this romance has lasted. Of course, the billions of dollars spent by the likes of Monsanto on PR, lobbying Congress and all the rest has certainly helped keep us all fixated on this glamorous technological panacea. But, like most whirlwind romances, our own niggling doubts and the sage advice from trusted sources (in this case independent scientists) is becoming difficult to ignore. Was it really all too good to be true? Robert Kremer is beginning to think so. Kremer is a government microbiologist, based at the University of Missouri. He works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and has studied Midwestern farm soils for the last two decades. He is one of several scientists who have uncovered what appear to be hitherto unpredicted problems in plants and soils associated with the use of glyphosate-resistant GM crops and the glyphosate herbicide
In a recent post we discussed the ruling currently under construction at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) which would allow certain state-inspected slaughter plants to perform federal inspections on meat and poultry. The comment period has been extended, and we invite anyone who has an interest in this to add your two cents to the discussion (instructions below). This ruling could have tremendous implications for livestock farmers using independent, state-inspected plants who are now limited to selling product within state lines, and could dramatically expand their marketing capabilities. Cooperative inspection has the potential not only to benefit independent farmers and slaughter plants, but could have positive animal welfare implications through reduced transport time.
From the FSIS website:
FSIS is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days for its proposed rule to allow interstate shipment of meat and poultry products produced in selected state-inspected establishments. The proposed rule, Cooperative Inspection Programs; Interstate Shipment of Meat and Poultry Products, was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 16. FSIS is now allowing interested parties until Dec. 16 to prepare and submit comments for the proposed rule.
All submissions received must reference docket number FSIS-2008-0039. The proposed rule is posted on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2009_Proposed_Rules_Index/index.asp. [See “Cooperative Inspection Programs.”]
Comments may also be sent to the Docket Clerk, USDA, FSIS, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705. Submissions can also be made through the Federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov.
The transcript and audio file for the Nov. 5 interstate shipment teleconference have been posted on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/past_events/index.asp.