A federal judge in Delaware has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency should not have allowed genetically modified crops at the state’s Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. But in wisdom that only Solomon could fathom, the problem was not that the agency’s own biologists found that the farming of GMO crops posed significant environmental risks to the refuge. No, it seems that the agency failed to do the proper environmental reviews. Still, the ruling is a victory for the Audubon Society in Delaware and two Washington-based nonprofits, the Center for Food Safety and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
And the victory could have repercussions here. Every year, I have to tell potential CSA members why there won’t be any sweet corn from Upper Meadows Farm in their shares. That’s because thousands of acres of nearby federal land have been planted with GMO corn by the farmers who lease these fields. I will not risk cross-contamination from those crops, so I don’t plant sweet corn. (I will have popcorn this year because it shouldn’t be pollinated by the GMO corn). Funny thing is, I read a study years ago that was published for the National Parks Service that recommended that organic practices would be preferred. I’ll see if I can dig it out of my files. Practice and preference are often more than arms length apart.
You can read the full text of the Delaware judge’s decision here.