NCGA Disappointed in USDA's Decision To Deregulate GE Alfalfa, Urges Consumers to Show Support for Organic Farmers

Jan 28, 2011

National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) expresses disappointment with the USDA’s decision for complete deregulation of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa.

“We appreciate that the USDA considered various options for the future of GE alfalfa, and had hoped that the voices of the hundreds of thousands of consumers who commented on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] would result in a different outcome,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “Like many, we are extremely disappointed with yesterday's announcement and will continue to champion for better protections for organic farmers and consumers, by all means afforded to us."

"Many organizations are encouraging consumers to contact the White House and their state's legislators with their feedback on USDA's decision and we encourage all consumers to continue to make their voices heard. However, we have also heard some calls for boycotting of organics in protest to USDA's decision and we'd like to express our passionate objection to this idea."

“Although this outcome was not what we had hoped for, the organic community was included in this process at unprecedented levels and as a result of our combined input, the USDA has committed to studying methods to prevent cross pollination and securing and preserving non-GE alfalfa seeds,” Shrader continued.

"The message we would like to send to organic consumers today is that it is more important than ever to support the farmers and processors who bring us organics. It is only through continued growth and increased market power that we can have a greater impact in Washington. Yesterday's decision means that the work of organic farmers and others in the industry will be more challenging than ever. We want them to know that NCGA will continue to work on their behalf and we call on consumers to join us in showing support. Now is the time for us to demonstrate our shared commitment to organic. Now is the time to support organic farmers."