There’s bad news for organic gardeners, farmers, consumers of grass-fed beef and anybody concerned about the environmental and health effects of Roundup and GMOs.
Roundup Ready GMO grass seed is coming soon to stores near you, and will probably soon be in your lawn and your local farmer’s fields — whether you want it or not.
Scotts Miracle-Gro is releasing the controversial genetically engineered grass seed, Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass, and they were able to do it without the approval of a single government entity.
The University of Minnesota reports:
Scott’s Company was able to circumvent all government regulation concerning GE crops.
How did they manage that?
It has to do with the regulation of genetically engineered crops. Three government agencies are involved in approving them:
- The USDA regulates GE crops by controlling plant movement, plant pests and noxious weeds.
- The EPA regulates GE crops, which contain plant-incorporated pesticides.
- The FDA regulates the safety of GE crops, used for food and feed purposes.
The U of M explains:
This sidestepping was accomplished because of the nature of the use of turfgrass and the method of transgene insertion. Any plant which used Agrobactium (a plant pest) as a gene vector is regulated by the USDA, but Scotts used a gene gun and a Roundup Ready gene from a non-plant pest to achieve glyphosate resistance… Any plant incorporated pesticide, such as the well-known Bt trait, is regulated by the EPA. Scott’s RRKB only contains the Roundup Ready gene which does not express pesticides. Finally, turfgrass is not a food or feed product, which are regulated by the FDA.
For the aforementioned reasons the US government has no regulatory authority over Roundup Ready Kentucky bluegrass and Scott’s is free to release RRKB as it would any other non-GE variety.
Scotts already began testing the genetically engineered grass seed on employees’ lawns in 2014.
Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn told shareholders at their annual meeting in 2014:
I think we will see limited commercial activity the following year (2015), and I think, if all goes well, much more in the consumer market in 2016.
There’s good reason that Scotts is working so quickly to market the GMO seed. Hagedorn also told shareholders:
If you look at the grass-seed category, it’s probably significantly north of $500 million and probably less than $1 billion.
While Scotts and Monsanto stand make millions off the new seed, many more people stand to lose.
Some of the risks of Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass (RRKB) include:
- Since grass seed spreads easily, GMO grass is likely to spread quickly into other lawns, crops and fields.
- Consumers who purchase grass-fed beef may therefore be consuming beef raised on GMO grass, posing a financial threat to farmers and unknown health risks to people who consume the beef.
- Kentucky bluegrass is a member of the Poa genus, which contains over 300 species of grasses. RRKB could cross-pollinate with any of these, some of which are native grasses that would be forever contaminated.
- As RRKB cross-breeds with other grasses, it has the potential to create hundreds of species of “superweeds” which will then also be resistant to any amount of toxic Roundup.
- Roundup Ready seeds are designed to allow farmers and homeowners to use toxic amounts of poisonous Roundup on their farms and lawns that will kill every other living thing, which then contaminates both land and water with these poisons.
- Roundup is linked to more than fifty health and environmental hazards.
- For homeowners, RRKB will spread into flower beds and food gardens, requiring hand-weeding to elminate it.
- RRKB is a threat to any neighboring farmers who produce organic foods or seeds.
- Pollen contamination could pose yet another threat to imperiled bee and butterfly populations.
Natural Society reported:
We already know that RoundUp ready crops have been linked (retracted, but read more on that here) via independent peer reviewed studies to inflammatory, genotoxic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disrupting diseases, as well as infertility. RoundUp also chelates important minerals from the body, robbing you of your good health.
They advise readers:
We are running out of time to try and get Scott’s from being able to market and sell this latest GMO product. You can sign this petition which will be sent to Hagedorn, along with the CEOs of Lowe’s and Home Depot who are expected to sell the GMO grass.
Additionally, you can request that your grocery store only carry certified GMO-free grass-fed beef. The game is changing yet again as biotech tries to infiltrate every conceivable agricultural market on the planet.
Connecticut lawmakers tried to pass legislation banning the new GMO grass last year, and were quickly squashed by threats by Scotts. Ecowatch reports:
When Connecticut came close to passing a statewide ban on GMO grass, Hagedorn reportedly sent a letter to Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) stating that any renewed effort to ban or place a moratorium on the new seed could result in Hagedorn questioning “whether continuing to invest in Connecticut is in the best long-term interests of my company and its stockholders.”
They further warn:
Beyond its ability to spread quickly, beyond its potential impact on organic farmers, even more troubling is the fact that once Scotts Roundup Ready grass hits the market, it will lead to a dramatic increase in the use of Roundup, already the most widely used—and potentially harmful—herbicide in the world…
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide has recently been described by researchers as, “the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment.” It’s been linked to a litany of health disorders and diseases including Parkinson’s, cancer and autism.
What can you do?
- Sign the petition telling Scotts, Home Depot and Lowe’s, pledging to boycott all Scotts Miracle-Gro products and asking Home Depot and Lowe’s not to carry RRKB.
- Spread the word about the risks of genetically engineered grass seed to friends, neighbors and through social media.
- Post on Scotts Miracle-Gro Facebook
- Boycott Scotts and Monsanto products until they stop producing hazardous products that endanger our health and the environment.
- 15 Ways to take a stand against Monsanto and avoid GMO foods
- 10 World organizations tell why they’ve taken a stand against GMOs
- 58 Reasons not to use Roundup
- What do DDT, Agent Orange, saccharin and GM soybeans have in common?
- What countries have banned GMO crops?
- The myth of PLU codes and GMO foods
- FDA approves GMO flu vaccine
- It’s done — GMO Alfalfa approved with no restrictions
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