Cornucopia’s Take: The USDA insists that coexistence between GMO and organic crops is necessary, and they have provided guidance for organic farmers to lessen GMO contamination of their crops, effectively putting the onus on the victims of unwelcome DNA drift. There are crops (i.e. alfalfa) that have a pollination radius of five miles, making it essentially impossible to prevent the trespass of unwanted DNA. In Europe, it appears that even when GMO purveyors foot the bill for contamination, coexistence does not work.
Coexistence of organic, GMO crops ‘unfeasible,’ says study
Sustainable Food News
Highest costs related to coexistence are for testing and certification
There are no appropriate legal measures to protect breeding and seed production for organic farming against GMO contamination, said a new study, which concludes that “coexistence in breeding and seed production is unfeasible.”
The study “brings to light the unbearable situation of the organic sector when risks of contamination are too high: operators are obliged to adapt the production and to abandon certain types of productions,” according to the study’s authors, IFOAM EU, representing more than 180 organic food companies and farm groups in the EU-28, and Switzerland-based FiBL, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.
The study focused on four different production chains in five countries and was conducted based on interviews with 17 company representatives.
“GMOs are massively imported in the European Union and have been grown in few European countries,” the two groups said. “Because of the high risk of adventitious presence at different steps of the production chain and despite the ‘polluter pays’ principle, the organic sector and the conventional GMO-free sector need to implement suitable and expensive measures to avoid contamination.”
The 36-page study, titled “Socioeconomic Impacts of GMOs on European Agriculture,” said for organic and non-organic GMO-free feed producers, the highest costs related to coexistence are for testing and certification.
“Such a situation is inacceptable: the organic sector should not bear the costs related to biotechnologies and should be free to produce without GMOs,” said the report.
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