2,4-D Ready GMO Crops Approval Advances
The announcement from Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance below reads like a political concession speech. The folks at Farm and Ranch, who Midwest Wine Press speaks with occasionally, put up a valiant effort to stop Dow (and perhaps soon Monsanto) from getting their new herbicide resistant seeds approved. But in 30 days, the USDA decision to approve Dow’s GMO 2,4-D ready seeds becomes final, which seems almost certain.
Also this week, the USDA predicted a record corn and soy harvest for 2014. (14.03 bushels of corn and 3.82 billion bushels of soybeans.) Of course most of those kernels and beans are grown right here in the Midwest. It’s a valid source of regional pride that we are such fantastic food producers.
But there’s also darker side to industrial scale monoculture. Many corn and soy farmers will tell you privately that they’re not completely comfortable with modern chemical farming. But production needs to be maintained so food remains plentiful.
The USDA GMO corn and soy approval leaves many growers in the relatively small Midwestern fruit and vegetable industry in a vulnerable position. 2,4-D is lethal to grapes and many vegetables in small quantities that can drift in the air for miles. Many times in the past, we’ve stressed the need for Midwestern wine and grape organizations to come together in a more unified voice, primarily for marketing reasons. Now there’s a an urgent regent to speak out together to preserve viticulture in the Midwest.