Let me first state the obvious — leaving aside the fact that USDA’s own organic standards do not allow the use of genetically engineered crops, Stonyfield is absolutely and utterly opposed to the deregulation of GE crops. We believe that these crops are resulting in significantly higher uses of toxic herbicides and water, creating a new generation of costly “super” weeds, pose severe and irreversible threats to biodiversity and seed stocks, do not live up to the superior yield claims of their patent holders and are unaffordable for small family farmers in the US and around the world. We believe that organic farming methods are proving through objective, scientific validation to offer far better solutions. We also believe that unrestricted deregulation of GE crops unfairly limits farmer and consumer choice. – Gary Hirshberg, Chairman and CEO of Stonyfield Farm
On January 21, 2011, the Organic Consumers Association posted an article –The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now? The information contained incited fury against Whole Foods and other upscale organic retailers and diverted attention from the USDA, which has just completely deregulated genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa without restrictions.
According to Whole Foods’ response, there was never a choice to oppose GE alfalfa entirely, only to deregulate or deregulate with restrictions. Obviously, the “organic elite” (Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley) advocate deregulation with restrictions in the absence of any other choice. Read the Whole Story, by Walter Robb and Margaret Wittenberg.
The fallout from the USDA’s decision is described in Samuel Fromartz’s Chewswise blog.
Whole Foods and other organic advocates say they will continue to work to protect organic farming from cross-pollination with GE crops.