Anyone who has driven through central Oregon has witnessed first-hand some of America’s most fertile crop ground. And what farmers there grow are, in large part, seeds to supply other farmlands. Oregon farmers right long and hard to ward off invasive grasses. It is a constant threat and battle so that they can continue to reap the yields that such grow-friendly soil/climate allows.
That has meant there’s been an urgency for Oregon farmers to plant genetically-altered seed stocks, so that they can ward off invasion from grasses. But what if the altered seed stock turns out to be a threat with serious implications, too?
Great story from the Associated Press today about potential contamination from altered seed. An organic farmer in central Oregon who is worried that cross-pollination of these altered sugar beets will take up with table beets and Swiss chard, among other crops being grown in the area.
“Who’s responsible if it isn’t on a leash?” said Frank Morton, a certified organic grower.
Morton began organic farming in the Willamette Valley 20 years ago, growing lettuce varieties for restaurants. He considers it a moral obligation to keep his seeds free of contamination from transgenic crops.
Four-fifths of the nation’s crops are grown from genetically-altered seeds, with Monsanto leading the way.