Sierra Rise

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Why stand apart, when we can rise together
Genetically-engineered grass easily contaminates wild ecosystems and farmland.

Don’t let the government deregulate it!

NOTE: This is just one of Sierra Club’s campaigns. If you go to SierraRise.org, you can pick any one of several┬ápetitions. Please take the time to sign the petitions on the issues that you want to see resolved or brought into focus. Thanx to Honey for sending me this.

Monsanto and lawn care company Scotts have a particularly terrible product they’ve been testing out — a type of grass genetically engineered to withstand being coated with herbicide. Like we need even more Roundup getting sprayed everywhere!

But what could be worse is that the grass — a variety of creeping bentgrass — has repeatedly escaped from its testing grounds and contaminated surrounding wild and agricultural land. Due to its light seeds and pollen and the many species with which it can cross-pollinate, it’s even more prone to drift than many GMOs.1

An easily-spreadable, genetically-engineered grass is too dangerous to let loose onto the environment. Tell the government to rein it in.

Monsanto and Scotts are petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate their glyphosate-resistant bentgrass. If the USDA agrees to the plan, the federal government could do little to protect the environment and farmers.

The Fish & Wildlife Service predicts that genetically-engineered bentgrass will imperil several endangered species, including the Fender’s blue butterfly, by spreading uncontrollably and crowding out native plants.2 The grass has already contaminated three counties.3

“It just tears me up to think about the environmental and economic havoc this grass could wreak upon our community,” said Jerry Erstrom, farmer and chairman of the Malheur County weed board. “The USDA has ignored the concerns of farmers in the areas affected by the existing contamination. I just can’t believe that they will turn this loose and let Scotts and Monsanto walk away from what they did here.”4

Demand that the USDA reverse its plan to deregulate this super weed.

In return for this deregulation, Monsanto and Scotts have pledged not to “commercialize” their creeping bentgrass for several years. Yeah, okay… ­čśĺ

There are two reasons these corporations would push for deregulation: either they want to eventually sell the grass, or they don’t want the feds to force them to clean up their mess.

Either way, we’ve got to stop their scheming. Prevent the USDA from shirking its duty on genetically engineered grass.

In it together,

Alexander Rony
SierraRise
References:

1. (2008). “Bentgrass: Unintended Effects of Genetic Manipulation.” The Nature Institute.
2. Frazer, G. “In Reply Refer To: FWS/AES/BCH/.” Fish & Wildlife Service.
3. (9 December 2016). “USDA Gives Monsanto and Scotts’ Glyphosate-Resistant Grass Green Light.” EcoWatch.
4. Ibid.

Photo Credit: Oliur Rahman / CC0

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