Organic Farmers Pay the Price of GMO Contamination

Organic farmers and others who do not use GMOs are increasingly under assault by GMO contamination and often left holding the bag, a survey released Monday reveals.

“The risks and effects of GMO contamination have unfairly burdened organic and non-GMO farmers with extra work, longer hours and financial insecurity,” according to research done by watchdog group Food & Water Watch in conjunction with the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM).

The survey comes as the USDA wraps up its public comment period on the feasibility of coexistence between GMO and non-GMO crops. 

However, according to Food & Water Watch, USDA policy recommendations have been based on protocols written by the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21)—which is “heavily weighted with biotech proponents”—without proper data on the the cost and other impacts of coexistence on organic and non-GMO growers.

“If USDA really wanted to know if contamination was happening, all they had to do was ask organic grain producers who take great pains to keep their crops from being contaminated,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Now USDA can no longer claim ignorance about this problem.”


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