"One of our customers called us the other day asking about updates she kept seeing on Stonyfield Organic’s Facebook page. “They’re all about GE alfalfa,” she said. “I didn’t know General Electric was in the farming business.” We had to explain to her that GE stood for genetically engineered, and another term is GMO or genetically modified organisms. It was the beginning of a very good conversation. What is It? Genetically engineered crop plants are those that have been altered to enhance certain qualities, like increased resistance to pesticides and herbicides. Molecular changes are introduced into an organism’s DNA, often by introducing or destroying certain genes. A plant may be genetically changed to produce its own pesticide. In other words, toxins are artificially permeated into every cell of the plant. To bombard a plant with such chemicals is the opposite of what organic farming is about. An organic approach starts with healthy soil. The healthier the soil the healthier the plants. Weeds grow in unhealthy soils. Then what happens? As you can imagine, toxin infused plants have a few disadvantages. First of all, these newly engineered plants may cause harm to other organisms and disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Just as troubling, the genetically-introduced toxins can easily make their way to the ground water and consequently your drinking water supply. Another concern is that over time, the modified genes of the targeted plants transfer to other species. When large amounts of herbicides and pesticides are used on crops, weeds become resistant to herbicides and pesticides. Which means they do not work. Health Concerns: Not my Baby With any added substance, the potential for releasing unknown allergens is a concern. The number of children who have life-threatening peanut allergies is at an all-time high. Why? When one considers the increased rate of childhood diagnoses of physical birth defects like spinal bifida and cleft palate or neurological disorders like autism and ADHD, one can’t help but wonder about the increased usage of “neurotoxic” herbicides. These chemicals are poisonous to nervous systems and brains. Others are termed “endocrine disrupters” meaning they are toxic to our endocrine or hormone systems. Simply put, no one knows the ramifications of long term exposure, which is why the 2010 President’s Cancer Report recommends choosing foods NOT grown with such chemical compounds. It makes one wonder why GE was given the nod to go ahead by our own government agencies. These new GE plants are not recognized by the human body. This makes us question the connection between these new GE plants and new intestinal disorders in humans. Back to GE. The latest controversy about genetically modified foods concerns alfalfa. Alfafa is a key ingredient in organic cows’ diet. GE alfalfa potentially may contaminate organic and non-modified alfalfa crops. This is why many third world countries refuse the donation of GE food crops. They consider the risk of contaminating their own crops too grave. At the very least, GE alfalfa will in time destroy the option of organic crops, which eventually would mean no truly organic dairy or meat. So now you know, General Electric is not in the farming business, and GE alfalfa is a bad idea with far reaching consequences. What does that mean for you and me? Choosing organic feed is the beginning of a beneficial ripple effect for the environment and everyone's health. And that is a good idea! Reference: Stonyfield Organic"