Warehouse C
Poison In The Hay
Page 2
Page 3

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 trait.


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?