Last week, the USDA released yet another GMO crop for planting this spring—thermostable alpha-amylase corn, called “Enogen,” developed by Syngenta, a biotech conglomerate based in Switzerland. This variety of corn will produce an enzyme that softens the kernel in order to aid the extraction of ethanol. It is intended to be used solely for ethanol production and planted only near ethanol plants; however, research has shown over and over again that industrial-use corn can and does transfer to corn meant for food production. For instance, the Mexican government has confirmed that as much as 95% of their traditional non-GMO maize crops in two northern states are contaminated with GMOs, despite a national ban on planting GMO crops.
Organic Valley continues to deplore the USDA’s recent approvals of GMO crops without the consideration of organic and non-GMO markets and farmer livelihoods. We wholeheartedly support organic crop, dairy and livestock farmers and organic manufacturers whose markets, feed and ingredients will now be at greater risk due to USDA actions. If the USDA refuses to protect us, then we must protect ourselves as organic farmers, by refusing to purchase GMO seed, and as consumers, by voting with our dollars for organic foods. We maintain our vow to continue the legal fight against GMOs for as long as it takes to protect the integrity of organic food and farming.
George L. Siemon, founding farmer and C-E-I-E-I-O of Organic Valley