Govt Approves Escaped, Highly Invasive GE Grass, Says It’s No Threat
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency released a final environmental impact statement giving approval to genetically engineered creeping bentgrass – a highly invasive grass genetically engineered by Monsanto and Scotts. Of course, this GE grass was created to withstand many toxic doses of glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and other weed-killing brands.
Trouble is, no one has ever been able to keep the aptly named grass from creeping out of test plots – a “plot” similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But the grass is not only invasive to lawns, it could also affect…farm fields.
Decades-old outdoor experiments have proven the novel grass impossible to control, as it escaped from “controlled” plots and invaded irrigation ditches, river banks and the Crooked River National Grassland, crowding out native plants and the wildlife that depends on them. Despite more than a decade of efforts and millions of dollars, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Scotts and Monsanto have been unable to exterminate the escapes. Now USDA has granted the industry’s request that it relinquish any authority over the GE grass.
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“USDA’s approval of this genetically engineered grass is as dangerous as it is unlawful,” said George Kimbrell, a senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety. “The agency is giving Monsanto and Scotts a free pass for the harm their product has already caused farmers and the environment, and is irresponsibly gambling future harm on nothing more than their empty promises.”
GE bentgrass has already escaped and contaminated three counties and was declared a noxious weed in Malheur County in 2016.
USDA says it “poses no environmental threat” but now the responsibility shifts from regulatory agencies and Monsanto/Scotts to individual farmers and horticulturists. Jerry Erstrom, farmer and chairman of the Malheur County weed board, said:
It just tears me up to think about the environmental and economic havoc this grass could wreak upon our community.
The USDA has ignored the concerns of farmers in the areas affected by the existing contamination. I just can’t believe that they will turn this loose and let Scotts and Monsanto walk away from what they did here.
What better way to cover up a catastrophe than to simply…approve it!
Interestingly, while the EPA and USDA are governmental bodies that tend to always roll out the red carpet for genetic engineering – taking the word of the companies themselves – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “has recognized the danger of the novel GE grass and its likelihood of spreading out of control, concluding that if approved it is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered Willamette daisy and Bradshaw’s lomatium and harm the critical habitat of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly and Willamette daisy.”
Lomatium is a threatened, medicinal flowering herb traditionally used by Native Americans to help lung infections…Bradshaw’s lomatium is now confined to only a few counties – in the same region as the GE grass, of course.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be a way to protest this frankengrass besides our dollars since it has already been approved. Center for Biological Diversity says it will “explore all legal options necessary to place the burden of controlling this invasive weed back where it belongs —on the shoulders of the corporate profiteers who brought it into the world.”
Whatever you do, please refuse to buy this product and share this story to warn your friends!
This article (Govt Approves Escaped, Highly Invasive GE Grass, Says It’s No Threat) can be republished with attribution to Heather Callaghan, source article and Natural Blaze.com, keeping all links and bio intact.