Animal Welfare Approved

Guest Blog

The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 28, 2011

Reprinted by permission from the Organic Consumers Association

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.

AWA Farmer Speaks Out: Guest Blog

By Animal Welfare Approved | May 12, 2010

AWA farmer Tim Koebel from Windy Ridge Natural Farms in Alfred, NY, writes a guest blog about his recent visit from AWA program director Andrew Gunther.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hosting Andrew Gunther, Director of Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), for a tour of our farm. In spite of the absolutely horrid weather (36 degrees heavy rain, snow and strong winds), we managed to get Mr. Gunther a decent look at our operation and some chicken soup afterwards to take the chill off.

I always enjoy an opportunity to meet, speak with and learn from someone like Mr. Gunther, but several things made this a very special visit. First, Mr. Gunther’s core expertise is poultry and to have access to someone with his knowledge and experience was a very exciting event. I could have talked for days. I would have offered him a vacation spot to keep him on the farm longer but I figured our current strange weather would scare him off of that thought.