Latest Monsanto Boondoggle: Roundup Ready Alfalfa
By James Donahue
One would think by now that American farmers would be wary enough about Monsanto
seed crops that they would be not only shying away from them, but refusing to try any of the other newfangled chemically and
genetically treated products tumbling out of that plant.
Yet one of the latest tinkered seeds, Monsanto’s alfalfa genetically engineered
with the company’s Roundup Ready weed killer attached, has not only survived court litigation to stop its sale, but
has been tried by enough American farmers that it has infected most of the alfalfa growing on the North American continent.
The latest effort to stop the use of Monsanto’s alfalfa was tossed out of a
California federal court within recent weeks. The U. S. Department of Agriculture, which has been marching in lock step with
the Monsanto agenda, plans to allow widespread cultivation of the new modified alfalfa.
Seed producer Phillip Geertson, who wrote critically about the Monsanto alfalfa for
the website Activist Post, said that because the USDA deregulated this product in 2005, before its use could be challenged
in the courts, “Monsanto successfully contaminated the US alfalfa industry during the 2005 window of opportunity.”
Because of the way alfalfa grows and cross pollinates, the genetically modified alfalfa
has been spread far and wide. Geertson said he tested wild alfalfa and found that 90 percent of it contained the Monsanto
Alfalfa, which is a rich hay crop used as feed for livestock, has always been a healthy
crop. It is often planted with a companion crop of oats or other grasses in the spring. The cover crop suppresses weeds. After
the oats are harvested, the alfalfa quickly grows to be a second harvest on the same field.
Alfalfa is a weed that does not need to be sprayed for weed control. That is because
it grows fast and thick, choking out any weeks in the field. Once it is cut down as a hay crop, it’s roots shoot up
again for yet another hay crop behind it.
Thus the mystery is why any farmer that knew anything about his operation would have
been tricked into buying Monsanto Roundup Ready alfalfa seed.
What is especially disturbing about the widespread poisoning of the alfalfa crop
is that an ingredient used in Roundup Ready weed killer, the herbicidal chemical glyphosate, has been found to cause kidney
and liver failure in laboratory rats.
What is the chemical doing to us now that it is
in our food chain?