Just a heads up for any "studies" you may come across in the near future that downplay the negative environmental impact of Monsanto's GMO crops. According to Tom Philpott at Grist, the USDA has taken Federal Judge Jeffrey White's criticism of the agency to heart. Last year, Judge White rebuked the USDA for violating the National Environmental Policy Act by deregulating new seeds before checking their environmental impact. Philpott explains why the USDA's Monsanto-friendly rulings would not stand up to close scrutiny:
A rigorous environmental impact assessment would not likely be kind to Roundup Ready sugar beets. First, sugar-beet seeds are cultivated mainly in Oregon's Willamette Valley, also an important seed-production area for crops closely related to sugar beets, such as organic chard and table beets. The engineered beets could easily cross-pollinate with the other varieties, causing severe damage to a key resource for organic and other non-GMO farmers. Second, Monsanto's already-unregulated Roundup Ready crops -- corn, soy, and cotton -- have unleashed a plague of Roundup-resistant "superweeds," forcing farmers to apply ever-higher doses of Roundup and other weed-killing poisons. Finally, the Roundup herbicide itself is proving much less ecologically benign than advertised...But, thankfully, the USDA caved under pressure. In early April, the agency announced it will demand environmental impact tests of new GM crops...tests conducted by the GMO industry. Who said anything about objectivity?
Image: bestmeal.info, a great source for learning the history and impact of Monsanto