Originally published May 15 2013
Local farm hosts GMO information panel to expand non-GMO options in Connecticut: More communities should follow lead
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) There is a movement afoot in the state of Connecticut to make locally-grown foods that are not produced using biotechnology - that is, foods that are not genetically modified (GM) - more accessible to the people that want it. And a local non-GMO farm in the town of Ledyard is spearheading this effort, having recently held an information panel on GMOs that aimed to reconnect local farmers with the consumers that buy their products, and together take back control of the feed supply.
As it stands currently, non-GMO and certified organic animal feed is generally priced outside the range of what most consumers are willing to pay for the end product. Fairfield Green Food Guide describes the pricing setup for non-GMO feed as "prohibitively expensive," which is hardly a surprise when considering that Monsanto and the rest of the biotechnology industry owns virtually all the soy, corn, and canola crops grown in the U.S.
Over the years, American farmers have largely been persuaded with lies and empty promises to convert their crops to GMO. These GMOs are then turned into animal feed, which ends up being priced significantly lower than non-GMO and certified organic animals feeds due to its wider availability. And since not a single GMO labeling law has yet been enacted in the U.S., most people do not realize that the foods they eat, including conventional meat products, likely contain or were raised on GMOs.
Even though awareness about GMOs continues to increase, as does demand for non-GMO foods and non-GMO-fed animal meat, the costs associated with obtaining this clean food puts it out of reach for many of the people that want it. As long as government subsidies and public policy encourage an agricultural system dominated by the biotechnology industry, foods produced the way nature intended will get the back seat.
Farmers, consumers need to band together to facilitate growing demand for non-GMO foodsBut this situation can change. By working together, local farmers and the patrons who purchase their goods can develop solutions to take on the biotech bullies and regain control of the seed market, and thus the feed market and all that goes along with it. Once consumers realize why things are the way they are, they can demand that their local and state politicians take action to create a more fair and equitable market for food that is based on honest, free-market principles.
"Organic farmer and non-GMO advocate Bob Burns of Aiki Farms in Ledyard, CT, thinks it's high time our state's farmers are given a fair priced, sustainable alternative to GM feed, and he's doing something about it," explains Fairfield Green Food Guide. "He's organized a Farmer, Mill and Consumer Alliance event where a panel of experts will discuss reconnecting farmers with their customers ... who want non-GMO local produce and examine ways to take back control of the feed supply."
The panel discussion, which took place on May 3, analyzed whether or not local farms were capable of growing and milling their own non-GMO grain locally, for instance, or whether or not there are adequate grants and incentives in place to help local farmers transition away from GM crops. The discussion also dealt with other important issues such as GMO-induced superweeds and Connecticut's current efforts to enact mandatory GMO labeling legislation.
"This event is to re-unite farmers with our bread and butter, the consumers, and to guarantee the freedom in the marketplace that is being currently suppressed, with lies and misinformation fomented by the Bio-Tech industry," reads an official flier announcing the event. "The market is driven by the consumers and the farmer ... NOT THE BIO-TECH INDUSTRY."
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