As we wrote a couple weeks ago, GE alfalfa is already impacting organic seed producers. We’re fortunate that some members of Congress are taking note of the organic community’s concerns, including Senator Leahy (VT) and Representative DeFazio (OR), who are still collecting signatures from colleagues who support their letter to USDA regarding the negative consequences of releasing GE alfalfa on organic and other non-GE producers and markets.
But they need your help!
Have your members of Congress joined the letter? Call and ask them to join the sign-on letter today. Below are some useful talking points and instructions. It only takes a few minutes. Friday is the deadline for signatures.
Click here for a backgrounder on genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa.
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senator/Representative’s office. Ask that he/she sign onto the “Leahy and DeFazio Dear Colleague letter to USDA regarding GE alfalfa.”
Email or Fax:
Below is a template for emailing or faxing your Congressional Delegation. Simply fill in the information below to personalize the cover note and attach the PDF of the letter.
Dear [Your Senator/Representative’s name here]:
As you may know, Senator Leahy and Representative DeFazio are circulating a congressional sign-on letter in the House and Senate asking USDA to maintain the ban on genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. (You can read the letter here.)
Monsanto wants to sell its GE alfalfa and wants the USDA to approve its permit application, but consumers, farmers, dairies, and food companies don’t want GE alfalfa plants and seeds released into the environment.
USDA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) admits that if GE alfalfa is approved:
- GE Contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa crops will occur
- GE contamination will economically impact small and family farmers
- Foreign export markets will be at risk due to rejection of GE contaminated products
- Farmers will be forced to use more toxic herbicides to remove old stands of alfalfa
Yet USDA has decided that these impacts are insignificant and have dismissed the concerns of farmers and consumers in our state.
As a [farmer/rancher/seed dealer/consumer] from [your town or county] I urge you to sign on to this Dear Colleague Letter as soon as possible. [Try to include any personal stories or messages here.]
If you have questions or would like to discuss the importance of this letter, feel free to contact me at [your name, address, email and telephone.]