by Christina Sarich
China has zero tolerance for many GMOs. They’ve made this clear by refusing US exports that contain genetically modified ingredients – not even in the parts per million range. Due to the recent contamination of hay from RoundUp ready GMO alfalfa, the Chinese government has now blacklisted hay from the US, and they are looking at Canada’s exports closely to determine if they will also need to be blacklisted.
One exporter of hay to China and other places around the world, Ed Shaw, said three American hay exporters have been blacklisted from exporting to China, and hundreds of container loads of hay have been turned away after GMO alfalfa was found in the loads.
Hay exported to the country from the U.S. was in quarantine due to the detection of GMO traits, specifically of genetically modified alfalfa. And this isn’t a singular occurrence, either. Last year, a Washington State grower’s hay was rejected after it tested positive for GMO alfalfa. This doesn’t sit well with China, since all imported hay is supposed to be GMO-free.
Needless to say, the trend continued, leading China to boycott all US grown-hay completely.
Forage Seed Canada president Heather Kerschbaumer said her Golden Acre Seed Co. had nine non-Roundup Ready alfalfa samples tested last year for the presence of Roundup Ready alfalfa, and all tested negative; however, GMO alfalfa is increasingly planted between vegetable crops in California and other places in the US. The possibility of cross-contamination grows stronger every planting season.
Forage Seed lost $20,000 recently due to contaminated canola seed, and now Canadian officials are concerned about GMO alfalfa contamination since it could possibly bring the Canadian export market to its knees.
More than three years ago, Phil Bereano, a co-founder of AGRA watch, argued that by deregulating the planting of GE alfalfa, the USDA was in direct contravention to its obligations under law and court decisions.
Many believe that non-GMO alfalfa crops in the US have already widely been contaminated.
With recent reports finding that the GMO contamination issue is much more serious than previously thought, as well as numerous real-life cases of cross-contamination, it seems that organic crops will never truly be safe.