In the span of just three weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has decided to deregulate three new GMO crops, despite opposition from legions of concerned scientists, farmers and consumers.
First, the USDA lifted all restrictions on Roundup Ready alfalfa, a primary livestock feed crop. Next, they decided to allow farmers to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets, in the name of preventing a U.S. sugar shortage. And now, they’ve given farmers the go-ahead to plant a type of GMO corn designed to yield more ethanol for biofuel production.
Of all of the reasons that the USDA has given for allowing these GMO crops to be planted, increasing biofuel production (and thereby decreasing our dependence on foreign oil) seems the most likely to be valid. Unfortunately, however, things are not always as they seem, especially when it comes to the motivations behind certain regulatory agencies’ decisions.
There are at least a couple of MAJOR flaws with this plan. Firstly, there is the fact that growing and processing corn for ethanol requires more fuel than it produces! And secondly, there is the fact that contamination of non-GMO corn crops (and whatever long-term ecological consequences this may bring about) will be unavoidable. Scientists say that the proliferation of corn engineered for ethanol production threatens to destroy the integrity of corn crops grown for food.
So why does the USDA continue to make decisions about GMOs that defy scientific evidence and the wishes of the majority of Americans? Here’s an overview of the situation from our friends at the Alliance for Natural Health USA.