Last Thursday Tom Vilsack, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary announced he would allow unrestricted cultivation of genetically-modified Roundup-ready alfalfa.
We already know GMO corn and canola have escaped their areas of cultivation, invading organic fields, and particularly in the case of GMO canola, roadsides and native landscapes.
The decision to allow unrestricted GMO alfalfa is a threat to the environment, and to the food supply of organic consumers, especially those of us who choose pasture-raised organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy.
Last fall in my quest to improve our diet and hopefully as a result heal or greatly increase the health of my poor digestive tract, (which was ravaged about ten years ago as a result of food poisoning from factory-raised pork eaten at a forth-of-July cookout, and the IV antibiotics used to 'cure' me,) I searched EatWild, and found our local farmer. Our eggs, beef, poultry, and pork are now all USDA inspected, locally, sustainably, humanely, organically, pasture-raised about an hour south of us, and processed by a Central Illinois Amish farmer using traditional methods and without nitrates or MSG.
I found a source for certified organic, pastured dairy products, provided by a (semi-local) dairy cooperative in Iowa. Most of Kalona's farmers are Amish and Mennonite, with herds averaging 35 cows grazing on land that has never been treated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
I learned how to ferment foods using the traditional methods of ancient cultures - kefir made from traditional Caucasian kefir grains with our organic, pasture-raised milk, home-brewed kombucha, and cultured vegetables. I discovered organic miso, a Japanese soybean ferment, raw cider vinegar, and traditionally-fermented organic soy sauce. (Organic soy is a must for me, since most conventionally-grown soy is now genetically-modified.) The probiotics in these foods have helped bring peace to my digestive tract beyond any probiotic pill I've ever tried.
I've gotten toxins out of my personal-care products like deodorant, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and laundry detergent, and use simple things like vinegar and baking soda for everyday household cleaning.
While our government has been wrangling over health care reform, I've taken personal responsibility for my own health. And gradually over the past few months, my health has continued to improve. Besides the hoped-for improvement in a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, there have been unexpected benefits like the recent disappearance of pain from chronic tendinitis in my left shoulder, elbow and wrist. It's hard to express how amazing it feels being so much healthier, and even how other family members have been inspired to take better care of themselves too.
I believe it's my God-given right and responsibility to take charge of my own health.
Recently in a Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, et al., our government argued otherwise when it said There is No Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food (pg25) and There is No Generalized Right to Bodily and Physical Health. (pg26.) The potential implications of these claims, are, at least to me, astounding. Are they not to you too? For starters, it seems they've reinforced that view in the decision to release GMO alfalfa in the environment and into our food supply.
I strongly disagree, and am doing what I can to stand up for my right to bodily health and to safe, unadulterated, non-GMO food. I encourage you to do the same. Please contact the White House through the Comment Line at 202-456-1111, by fax at 202-456-2461, or through this Contact Form, and let President Obama know how you feel about the recent decision to allow unrestricted cultivation of genetically-modified Roundup-ready alfalfa. Polls have demonstrated repeatedly that consumers, if given the choice, do not want GMOs in their food, and want labels on GMO foods. What about you?
For more insight into this issue, please visit the Huffington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, Rodale.com, and/or Organic Consumers Association.