By Catherine Haug, Dec 10, 2016 (image, right, from Organic Consumers Association, used with permission)
The Montana Organic Association’s ‘Organic Matters‘ newsletter, Fall 2016 (1) included an article by Green America titled “Stop GE Wheat.” Its intent is to encourage people to sign a petition to prevent the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) wheat.
This campaign is critical to all of Montana’s wheat farmers who grow wheat for flour sold in the US, but also imported around the world. The types of GE wheat currently being developed/tested are herbicide-tolerant varieties, such as Roundup-ready. Note: wheat is in so many processed foods, not just breads and cookies. See Kids with Food Allergies (2) for list of what to look for on labels.
If this campaign is important to you, consider signing the petition at stopGEwheat.org.
NOTE: GE and GMO both refer to artificial modification of genes, producing varieties that could not otherwise be produced by breeding.
Read on for my transcription of the article.
Stop GE Wheat, by Green America
[This article is transcribed on the ESP website by Catherine Haug; however, bold emphasis on specific test is mine.]
Green America recently launched a campaign to prevent the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) wheat. Back in the early 2000s the biotechnology industry attempted to introduce GE wheat but that effort was rejected by consumers, brands, and farmers. Now the biotech industry is working to introduce GE wheat again, with a number of companies developing and field testing herbicide-tolerant varieties. Our campaign aims to protect the integrity of US wheat and prevent further corporate control over what and how food is grown. Wheat is different from the major GE crops that are already in use in that the vast majority of it is grown as a direct food source for human consumption; worldwide it is responsible for 20 percent of human calories.
Recent incidents where unapproved GE wheat contaminated a number of US wheat fields resulted in several countries temporarily banning US wheat imports, show the strong international opposition to GE wheat and potential market backlash. The introduction of GE wheat poses a serious risk to the integrity of the US wheat market and puts international exports at risk, which account for nearly 40% of the market. Organic farms are particularly at risk for contamination and impacts of pesticide drift. Due to growing pesticide resistance, companies are turning towards stronger pesticides with higher tendency to drift to nearby fields as potential options for herbicide-tolerant GE wheat.
Over 30,000 concerned citizens have already signed a petition saying they do not want GE wheat in their food. The campaign will be working in partnership with a number of organizations to reach farmers, businesses and policy makers.
“We’re proud to be working with Green America on this important initiative and we were one of the first organizations to sign the petition,” states MOA* member Tara Blyth of Kamut International. “We hope that you join the Stop GE Wheat Campaign by signing too.”
Learn more and sign petition at GMO, GE.
*Cat’s note: MOA is Montana Organic Association
- MOA’s Organic Matters newsletters online: montanaorganicassociation.org/publications.htm (NOTE: as of the writing of this post, the Fall 2016 issue is not yet online; check the website in the new year).