Target: Kevin Shea, Administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services
Goal: Properly regulate and conduct scientific research on the negative health effects of genetically engineered grass produced by Scotts Company
New genetically modified grass created by Scotts Company will not be tested or regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. This grass, called Roudup-Ready Kentucky bluegrass, is meant to withstand the poisons of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Because this grass bypassed all regulatory processes of the USDA, the harmful effects towards animals and humans are unknown and, therefore, potentially very hazardous.
The dangers of this grass may be much more far reaching than expected. The seeds of this Kentucky bluegrass can spread and be swept into organic farms raising livestock or plants. This would compromise the quality and integrity of the organic foods, possibly stripping farmers of their official organic labels. Because grass seeds can very easily travel long distances on the wind, this Kentucky bluegrass has the ability to infect every lawn, park, and grassy area. In addition, this particular grass was engineered to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup, which kills weeds and is not regulated. The full negative health impacts of Roundup on humans are not known, either, but studies have shown that Roundup can interfere with hormone functions in rats and create neural defects in amphibians.
Scotts Company bypassed all supervision requirements of the USDA. The USDA neglected to investigate the grass under the Plant Protection Act of 2000, which is supposed to ensure that highly spreadable grass is tolerable for unmoderated usage on plants. No regulatory agency, including the USDA, knows the extent to which this GMO product may effect the health of living beings. Urge the USDA to examine the impact of Roundup-Ready Kentucky bluegrass on the environment.
Dear Mr. Shea,
I am writing to strongly encourage the USDA to reconsider its mild stance in regulating grass and other plants that have been genetically modified. The Scotts Company’s Roundup-Ready Kentucky bluegrass bypassed the regulatory processes and requirements of the Plant Protection Act of 2000. The grass clearly fit the description of a noxious plant, but was not controlled as such. In addition, this Kentucky bluegrass will also not be considered a plant pest, when almost every other genetically modified crop or plant has been regulated as a pest.
The environmental, economic, and health impacts are virtually unknown about this new, genetically modified grass. The USDA must maintain its position as a protector of human, animal, and plant health through sufficient regulations and research of risky genetically engineered products.
Unregulated and untested usage of Kentucky bluegrass could lead to a great increase in the use of Roundup as an herbicide to kill weeds. This roundup has already been found to cause birth defects in frog and chicken embryos. I urge the USDA to take charge in regulating and comprehensively examining the full impacts and effects of Roundup-Ready Kentucky bluegrass.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: cisc1970 via Flickr