Know Your Alfalfa!

Welcome to my sixth monthly issue of E-News Health Tidbits! I am interested in sharing alternative health information from a variety of sources. I am especially addressing these to women over 40 as I share my own experiences. And, much of the information may apply to any human being.

This edition will include:

1. Know Your Alfalfa --
(Be Aware of The New Laws Passed)

The results? Peace of Mind, 'Take a Deep Breath'

Thank you for taking this time for yourself. Celebrate Women's History Month & St. Patty's Day! Gail

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Natural Remedies

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Know Your Alfalfa

Hello and Welcome to my March e-zine newsletter.Spring is coming, hopefully soon!

I realize that there is much information available about genetically modified(GM) foods and health concerns related to GMO’s.

I know I have included information on my website related to organic and natural foods and avoid genetically modified foods as much as possible.

I wanted to address this issue again because of increased awareness of the health implications to people, animals and the environment.

Besides, the eight genetically modified food crops, “corn, soybeans, canola, cotton seed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash”, alfalfa has now been added to the GMO category. Herbicides will be pumped into alfalfa seeds.

What Does Dr. Mercola Have To Say?

As you've probably heard by now, the USDA recently approved planting of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa, the fourth-largest crop in the USA, without restriction.

As you can see, this has created quite the controversy, so rather than go with the original story posted by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), I decided to weigh in with all the participants and delay the story until I had a chance to interview all of them. Here, I will present several sides, including that of:

Jeffrey Smith -- the Institute for Responsible Technology

Michael Besancon -- Whole Foods

George Siemon -- Organic Valley

Ronnie Cummins -- The Organic Consumers Association

How Did GM Alfalfa Get Approved Despite Such Strong Opposition?

Scathing articles by major media have questioned how this approval got squeezed through, despite the evidence showing that GM alfalfa could be a disaster.

Articles in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have suggested the decision was the result of political wrangling, as opposed to evaluation of the evidence.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Bill Tomson and Scott Kilman, both of whom are veteran agricultural policy reporters, tie the troublesome decision to the White House:

"The Obama administration Thursday abandoned a proposal to restrict planting of genetically engineered alfalfa, the latest rule-making proposal shelved as part of the administration's review of "burdensome" regulation."

However, this issue is far more important than trying to rid the system of regulation that is "burdensome" to business, which makes it all the more disturbing.

You probably don't realize it but alfalfa is the fourth most grown crop in the US. Farmers plant millions of acres of alfalfa to produce forage seed and hay to feed cows and other livestock.

It really is shocking that Monsanto pushed so hard for GMO alfalfa approval and received it, because over 93 percent of the current alfalfa crop is NOT being treated with herbicides, so there's really no need to make it Round Up resistant.

Alfalfa is also a major pollinator, which means that the likelihood of it cross-pollinating and transferring genetic material is very high, if not guaranteed.

It's also a natural forage for pastured (organically-raised grass-fed) animals. Contamination would be disastrous for organic dairy- and cattle farmers as federal organic standards forbid them from using GM crops, and organic food manufacturers will reject a food ingredient if found to be contaminated with GM material -- not to mention Monsanto's history of suing both conventional and organic farmers for patent infringement should their crops be cross-contaminated.

USDA chief Tom Vilsack acknowledged these concerns in an "Open Letter to Stakeholders" on December 30, 2010, stating that the USDA's environmental impact statement "acknowledges the potential of cross-fertilization to non-GE alfalfa from GE alfalfa," adding that cross-fertilization is "a significant concern for farmers who produce for non-GE markets at home and abroad."

Click Here For the Rest of the article

Not all is bad news. Below is a presentation by Dr. Mercola. It is divided into You Tube sections and a written transcript.

The first You Tube discusses health implications to children affected by GMO foods.

The second You Tube is divided into several sections discussing the decisions made with GM alfalfa with Whole Foods, Organic Valley, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and Organic Consumers Association.

At the end of the written transcript is advise on what we as consumers can do to be proactive regarding concerns of genetically modified foods.

There is also a Non-GMO shopping guide included.

My own personal advise, when possible, buy local with your community growers at Farmer’s Markets, local vendors, or stores who purchase from and support local growers. At the larger markets look for the labels, Non GMO project verified, or Certified Organic.

Thank you and happy spring!

Dr. Mercola's GM Alfalfa videos

Check Out My "Healthy Foods" Section

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think!

I am grateful for having you in our Alternative Health Community.

See you next month!

Gails Alternative Health Community