muses of the moment

March 11, 2012

So, why are GM crops being planted in wildlife refuges?

Filed under: Odds 'n ends — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 3:17 am

Click here for an article about how the government is planting GM plants in wildlife refuges. (There is a quick summary on the left column.) These GM plants are planted in the wild and then sprayed with weed control. This doesn’t sound very wildlife refuge friendly. Why can’t we plant native, non-GM plants, and skip the weed killer spray? Is this really necessary? Isn’t it called wild for a reason?

Crazy as it sounds, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has permitted GM seeds to be sown in wildlife reserves for several years now, as part of various habitat restoration efforts. The idea is that planting herbicide-resistant GM crops helps establish ground cover while allowing them to kill off unwanted weeds. PEER challenged this practice after being contacted by concerned Fish and Wildlife biologists, and claims it is being used as a ploy to boost exports of GM crops. According to Truthout:

“PEER contends that the White House working group’s involvement indicates high-level interest in showing trade partners that the US government considers GE crops to be so environmentally safe that Americans plant them in wildlife reserves.”

PEER also claims to have evidence in the form of an email showing that US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has pressured the Fish and Wildlife Service to support GE agriculture.

“In the January 14 email, Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Hayes told top Interior Department and Fish and Wildlife officials that Vilsack is “somewhat exercised that the Administration is not being consistent in supporting genetically engineered crops,” Truthout reports.

And, if you would like to take the red pill:

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

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