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OTA Advocates Protection Of Organic Farmers As GE Seeds Advance To Commercialization

January 20, 2011: 11:38 PM EST

At a House of Representatives members forum on genetically-engineered (GE)  alfalfa, the U.S. Organic Trade Association (OTA) expressed strong support for a recent USDA proposal to consider the economic consequences of unrestricted deregulation of Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready (RR) alfalfa, including the impact on organic agriculture and products in the United States. The OTA said it believes the department has the authority to oversee GE crop commercialization and protect organic farmers. The member forum was organized to question USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on whether the USDA has the authority to consider conditional deregulation of RR Alfalfa. The OTA advocated a “meaningful co-existence” between organic and conventional farmers that would protect seed purity for organic farmers’ use, compensate organic farmers for contamination losses and require USDA oversight of GE crop commercialization.

"Organic industry wants farmers protected in the marketplace And USDA has authority to do so", News release, Organic Trade Association , January 20, 2011, © Organic Trade Association
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