Time for Action on Coexistence and 2,4-D

February 26, 2014

Dear PASA Members & Friends,

If you heard my annual address at our recent Farming for the Future conference, or have otherwise been paying attention to policy matters of importance to sustainable agriculture, you will know that an important public comment deadline is fast approaching.  You must submit your thoughts to the USDA on the issue of agricultural coexistence by next Tuesday, March 4. In order to do so, I suggest that you consult each of the following links, in this order:

  • NSAC Coexistence Info Page – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has provided critical background information and links to alerts from other organizations regarding this issue.
  • Federal Register Notice – The actual notice of request for public comment, starting in the third column of the first page. The USDA provides specific questions concerning which comments are invited, though comments may go beyond the specified questions.
  • Comment Submission Page – This is where comments must be submitted, beginning by hitting the “Comment Now” button.

Why is this important?  Because we cannot accept the idea that organic and non-GMO farmers must bear all the risk of cross-contamination of their crops with GMO varieties, and the even greater threat of pesticide drift from one farm to another. It is simply not okay to absolve companies that produce GMO seeds and the accompanying proprietary chemicals of any responsibility under the guise of a “coexistence” euphemism!

And while you’re at it, you may also want to comment on the pending approval of new GMO seed varieties resistant to 2,4-D – an outdated herbicide that is noxious to many common fruits and vegetables, and is known to drift as far as a mile or two from where it is applied. Background info and comment instructions can be found in an alert at Rodale News. The comment deadline has recently been extended to March 11.

There are many challenges we face in achieving sustainability for our food and farming systems, and those stemming from new industry-friendly regulations seem to be coming at a quickening pace these days. It is everyone’s responsibility to be heard through the channels that have been provided, and some channels that we have to create ourselves. Please lend your voice to the growing chorus of those who wish to maintain a clean environment and healthy food supply for generations to come.

Thanks for your prompt attention and action on these matters!

Brian Snyder, PASA Executive Director

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