The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) must do more to foster coexistence of genetically modified and non-genetically modified crops, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says.
CSPI’S biotechnology director Gregory Jaffe wrote a letter to USDA secretary Tom Vilsack calling on more action to ensure successful coexistence of both crop types.
Jaffe said coexistence policies must be a top priority on the part of grain handlers, seed companies, agricultural extension departments, farmers and others who plan a hands-on role in America’s agricultural production.
Action not research
In February, the USDA issued a fact sheet outlining its activities to address coexistence recommendations, including research and case studies. However Jaffe said this is not enough to change the day-to-day practices and production methods.
CSPI has called on action like segregation tools to keep GMO and non-GMO crops separate, action to ensure seed purity for public and private varieties and testing protocols to identify unintended presence.
It also suggested financial incentives for farmers who set aside ‘buffer land’ between GMO and conventional crops.