USDA Approves Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Presence of Infertility-Causing Pathogens

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa, but two weeks before the department’s chief, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, made his decision, a senior soil expert alerted USDA to a newly discovered, microscopic pathogen that had been found in high concentrations in Roundup Ready corn and soy the researchers believe could be causing infertility in livestock, as well as diseases in crops that have the potential to threaten the nation’s entire domestic food supply.

The warning was issued by Dr. Don Huber, a plant pathologist and former Purdue University professor, who wrote in a letter to the Department of Agriculture that the pathogen he discovered is new to scientists, and that it appears to impact the health of plants, animals and most likely humans to a significant degree.

“For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and man-made biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks,” Huber wrote in a Jan. 16 letter to Vilsack.

“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,” Huber warned.

More and more farmland already being affected

The retired professor has called for an immediate moratorium on any approvals of Roundup Ready crops. Despite his warning; however, the USDA fully deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa Jan. 27 following nearly five years of court battles with environmental groups and farmers. The department had partially deregulated Roundup Ready sugar beets Feb. 4.

Reports have said that the pathogen is about the size of a virus and is able to reproduce like a micro-fungal organism. Huber says the organism could be the first micro-fungus of its kind, and that evidence exists that the infectious pathogen may cause diseases in plants and animals, which is rare indeed.

The pathogen appears to be prevalent in soy crops that are suffering from a disease known as sudden death syndrome; corn crops, meanwhile, are suffering from Goss’ wilt disease, which, according to Iowa State University, turned into the “disease of the year,” despite historically dry conditions (Goss’s wilt tends to develop more readily in wet weather with high humidity).

The “disease is caused by a bacterial pathogen that overwinters in residue of corn and several grasses,” says a description of the disease by agri-giant DuPont.

“Historically, damage to corn had been confined mostly to the Great Plains states. In recent years;” however, “significant crop damage has also been reported in central Corn Belt states,” said DuPont, adding that in some cases, crop damage can be as high as 50 percent.

Lab tests indicate that the pathogen is also present in a “wide variety” of livestock that is suffering from infertility and spontaneous abortions. Huber warned that the pathogen may be responsible for reports of increased fertility rates in dairy cows and spontaneous abortions in cattle that reach as high a 45 percent.

Growing concern over infestation of resistant ‘superweeds’

The scientist says he’s concerned the pathogen could be spreading because of an over-reliance on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which are vastly dominant in American agribusiness and increasingly around the world as well, especially over the past decade.

“We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of alfalfa,” Huber said. “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.”

Experts like Huber have been critical of glyphosate products like Roundup for weakening the natural defense systems of crops while promoting the spread of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” that have developed a dangerous tolerance to glyphosate and infested millions of acres of U.S. farmland.

“We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders,” Huber wrote. “This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.”

Sources:

http://www.sott.net

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2011/0805robertson.htm

www.pioneer.com

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5 Comments on USDA Approves Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Presence of Infertility-Causing Pathogens

  1. So strange – These events actually unfolded two years ago to this day. I’m not kidding!!

    “In 2007 a judge ruled that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval of GM alfalfa was illegal and ordered the Department to conduct an environmental risk assessment to look into farmer concerns about contamination. In December 2009, the USDA released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for comment (this is the first time it has conducted this type of analysis for any GM crop). Canadian groups sent in their comments,(http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-Not-on-the-Market/Alfalfa)
    but in January 2011, the U.S. approved plantings of GM alfalfa.”

    Is this some kind of sick media spin???

    It’s too fucking late!!

  2. As a long time Agent Orange Veteran Activist & Coordinator, the wife of 41 years of an Exposed Vietnam Veteran, and the Mother of two seriously birth defected children, (one recently deceased) and Grandmother to two more Birth Defected children, from Monsanto, Dow, Diamond Shamrock, Occidental Petroleum, Hercules Chemical Corporation’s defective products, I concur that We,THE People must stop this poisoning of our children. Speak Out, Boycott, Pressure Congressional reps to stop production of these lethal substances and ban usage! This is the only solution. Please begin now, I do not wish any other beings to suffer and struggle with the insidious Health Effects of Pesticide Poisoning for 40 years as we have. We need Your Assistance in this Endless, Criminal, Biological “Warfare
    at Home” for American families…Thank You!

  3. Don’t worry, folks, everything is under control, your trusty USDA as always have had your best interest in mind, didn’t they?! I am quite certain that some little trifling infertility did’t kill anybody yet, and, doubtlessly it is far more humane and, dare I say, even preferable to an old style, crude, bloody abortion! You MUST understand folks, that our world is severely overpopulated, our planetary resources are being depleted at alarming rate, so some personal sacrifices are unfortunately unavoidable. It is in our opinion truly the best, most cost-effective approach to the population control – to nip the problem in the bud, so to speak – NO pun intended.
    Just imagine ALL the money you could save not needing to purchase the obsolete by now, costly and cumbersome contraceptives. This should also be our little personal contribution to eliminate our federal budget deficit, global warming, world hunger and many other problems we are sure you’re concerned about! So, by NO stretch of imagination should such “minor” issue be called a GENOCIDE, right?!. O.K. then, now, since you now know everything to be known on the subject, you easily can see; there’s absolutely NO reason to panic; just calm down then and go watch the American Idol; enjoy the FINER things in life…perhaps go to Disneyland, for goodness sake, just don’t loiter aimlessly, keep moving, because as you know, there’s NOTHING here to see!

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  2. USDA Approves Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Presence of Infertility-Causing Pathogens | WHY I OCCUPY
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