On January 27th, 2011 The United States Department of Agriculture fully deregulated genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. GE alfalfa can now be planted and grown without any oversight. This increases the risk for the contamination of non GE alfalfa crops, nor is there a process to examine and track possible cross pollination.
Why does it matter? Alfalfa permeates the food we eat. It is one of the largest crops in the US and is a staple feed for dairy cows, beef cattle and honeybees, as well as an ingredient for supplements. With GE alfalfa fully deregulated organic farmers will have difficulty keeping organic alfalfa crops from cross pollination with nearby GE crops. Nor is there a process to examine and track possible cases of contamination.
Round Up Ready alfalfa is genetically engineered to be more resistant to the herbicide Round Up, which kills potential weeds. Round Up Ready alfalfa is genetically modified to resist the herbicide, so while the weeds are destroyed, the alfalfa crop is preserved from the chemical. The USDA passed on an option to conditionally deregulate GE alfalfa which could have allowed organic and non GE growers to hold GE crops, growers and seed producers responsible for contamination. This option was not selected and GE alfalfa is now fully deregulated.
The Grain Train will not intentionally carry products with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Many of our popular brands are committed to keeping their products GMO free and we will mark these brands that are actively maintaining the integrity of their products throughout the store. We will continue to monitor GMO products and work to ensure that all of our products meet our standards.