– USDA Received Pathogen Warning BEFORE Deregulating GM Alfalfa (Activist Post, Feb 20, 2013):
Following a 6 year approval battle, the USDA fully deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa in January 2011. A week later, they partially deregulated GM sugar beets. This occurred despite Secretary of Agriculture’s Tom Vilsack’s knowledge of a stark warning letter by Dr. Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology, Purdue University two weeks prior, who found a link between the modified organisms and the proliferation of the new pathogen. Huber knew about its presence in Roundup Ready soy and corn and sought to hold off the GE alfalfa calling the situation an “emergency.”
Dr. Huber said (vid below) “we don’t know what it is” – it’s a new entity first noticed by veterinarians in the late ’90s, new to science. It’s not a virus, although similar, actually smaller in size and like a fungus that spreads like a virus. It’s contained in Roundup Ready (RR) and Roundup sprayed plants and feed and bizarrely affects all farmland animals often with infertility and spontaneous abortions – an inter-species syndrome that could be the first of its kind.
So it’s not just a side-effect of endocrine-disrupting pesticides or transmission of genetic material – it’s a new pathogen the USDA ignored. There is increasing evidence it’s already affecting humans with infertility and reproductive problems, but the USDA filed the warning in the garbage.
An excerpt from Huber’s letter:
We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of alfalfa. Naturally, if either the Roundup Ready gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity.
For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.
So far, it appears the White House and even the Supreme Court continue turning a blind eye to any indication that this new pathogen could be harmful to plants or humans. Even in the light of studies that have shown the “micro-fungus” is present in a “wide variety” of livestock suffering from infertility and spontaneous abortions at a rate as high as 45% above average. (Occupy Monsanto)
Just icing on the cake, studies have indicated that the use of RR crops leads to an increased use of the pesticide Roundup which is reported to have a deadly impact on DNA. So, with the danger involved we have to wonder: Why the rush, when even farmers have come forward to say that weeds aren’t really that big of a problem in alfalfa? Why should we be exposed to untested pathogens, unneeded alterations to crops and increased use of deadly pesticides? More leading researchers are taking a stand and asking the same questions, and there are conflicts of interest within the USDA touched on below.
This struggle against GMOs broke new ground by being the first case to make it to the Supreme Court. Filed in 2005, the suit led initially to an injunction prohibiting sales of RR alfalfa. The initial concern was cross-pollination (contamination). A warning letter to that effect was sent to Vilsack around the time of Huber’s letter by Center for Food Safety.
During the hearing, Justice Antonin Scalia made it clear that he views GMO contamination, or cross-pollination, in a much different light.
This isn’t contamination of the New York City water supply – It’s the creation of plants of–of genetically engineered alfalfa which spring up that otherwise wouldn’t exist. It doesn’t even destroy the current plantings of non-genetically engineered alfalfa. This is not the end of the world. It really isn’t.
No, it only affects human life and the entire eco-system.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, issued a statement of support for deregulation, but said flaws in the current regulatory system need to be addressed.
I applaud the USDA’s decision to deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa, giving growers the green light to begin planting an abundant, affordable and safe crop – While I’m glad this decision was guided by sound science, I’m concerned that USDA’s process creates too much uncertainty for our growers. Alfalfa was one of nearly two dozen genetically modified crops awaiting USDA evaluation and approval–a bottlenecked process that hinders growth and progress.
Why the blind rush? It might be unsurprising to find out the major conflicts of interest. Tom Vilsack’s are described in the Dr. Huber interview below. Additionally, after knowledge of the GE alfalfa deregulation, committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) said:
I am pleased that USDA used sound science and respected the limit of its statutory authority to make this decision.
His idea of USDA “sound science” comes with a price-tag. Mike Ludwig reported in 2011:
Monsanto was one of the top contributors to Lucas’s campaign committee in 2010. A political action committee and individuals associated with Monsanto donated $11,000 to his campaign last year, and Lucas has received $1,247,844 from the agribusiness industry during his political career, according to watchdog site www.opensecrets.org.
Meanwhile, certain “experts” are claiming that GM crops are currently over-regulated…stay tuned….
We can expand our knowledge about the new pathogen, how Roundup works to destroy weeds and pests and how it can affect those consuming it. Roundup immobilizes and blocks nutrients in all living organisms – except for those genetically designed to withstand gallons of it. Dr. Huber provides more on that and Monsanto in this informative interview with Dr. Mercola:
I think it’s safe to say Dr. Huber isn’t a scare-monger – he really understands the relationship between plants and pathogens. He and Mercola discuss how “we’ve already jumped off the cliff.”