Feds forced to stop planting GMOs in all refuges in 12 Northeast states

SOURCE: http://www.naturalnews.com/031030_GMOs_lawsuit.html

Monday, January 17, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A federal lawsuit filed by several conservation and food safety groups has led to a ban on any further plantings of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) in all U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) refuges in 12 Northeastern states. And more lawsuits are reportedly on the way to have GMO plantings cease in as many as 75 other wildlife refuges across the country as well.

Filed by the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic on behalf of the Delaware Audubon Society, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Center for Food Safety (CFS), the lawsuit brought to light the fact that the FWS has been illegally permitting private parties to plant GMOs on public land, without a proper environmental review. The FWS settled the suit, agreeing to stop further plantings unless and until an appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis confirms their safety.

“For Delawareans, this is a victory for the protection of vital public resources in our state,” explained Mark Martell, President of the Delaware Audubon Society. “Our aim was to end illegal and destructive agriculture on the Delaware refuges but we are delighted to have this victory extended to other refuges along the Great Eastern Flyway.”

The same groups in 2009 tried to petition Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, an appointee of the Obama Administration, to issue a moratorium on GMO plantings in all National Wildlife Refuges. But Salazar never even responded to their letter. The groups did, however, stop GMO plantings in Delaware’s Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge that same year.

“GE (genetically-engineered) crops have no place in National Wildlife Refuges,” said Paige Tomaselli, Staff Attorney with the CFS. “These pesticide-resistant crops pose significant risks to the very wildlife those refuges serve to protect, including massively increasing pesticide use and creating [sic] of pesticide-resistant superweeds. This Northeast region-wide ban is an important step in the right direction, but the Fish & Wildlife Service must stop planting these crops in other regions as well.”

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