GMOs Okay for People, But Not for Wildlife?

There’s been an embarrassing setback for U.S. Fish and Wildlife in their well publicized plan to saturate wildlife refuges in the Southeastern states with genetically modified plants.

Last August, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Beyond Pesticides filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging FWS with unlawfully entering into agreements for GE crops on 25 refuges scattered across Alabama, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana. According to the suit, FWS violated the laws governing refuge management and failed to conduct an environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The government was able to sidestep the spotlight on GMOs when Justice Department attorneys representing FWS pledged that from now on the government would comply with NEPA and other legal obligations before allowing any “further” GE cultivation in Southeastern refuges. This pledge was contained in a filing dated March 21 this year.

So does this mean the lucky first 25 wildlife refuges will still receive the fruitful ‘blessing’ of GMOs? Or not?

And even more to the point, isn’t it interesting that GMOs will apparently require environmental scrutiny on behalf of wildlife that has never been required for human and livestock consumption?

Follow this issue on or by contacting Kirsten Slade at (202) 265-7337.

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