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It wasn't very noisy at the OTA convention

(June 3, 2002 – CropChoice commentary) – It’s too bad that the European Union couldn’t have released its May 23 report about the near impossibility of organic and genetically modified crops co-existing two weeks earlier. That way, participants in the May 10 panel discussion -- "Crossing the Boundaries: The Challenge of GMOs" -- that was part of the annual convention of the Organic Trade Association in Austin, Texas could have read it( http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int/default.asp?sIdSz=our_work&sIdStSz=focus_on) and the commentary from this publication ("Is it noisy enough at the Organic Trade Association?" http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=701).

In response, they no doubt would have canceled the session and stuck to the auditorium door a note from Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Association.

She would have written: "Our critics were right about the threats of biotech crops to organic farming, so we’re going to work hard to do what we should have been doing all along, which is to push for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms."

An audio recording of the panel (The tape arrived last weekend, hence the tardiness of this report. Apologies.) revealed that the panelists failed to address the issue.

One of them, Michael Fernandez, director of science for the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, told the audience that transgenic and organic crops have been co-existing since the mid-1990s. Too bad he forgot to mention that organic canola and corn have been taking on progressively more foreign genes as the years pass.

Genetic contamination will increase until, at some point, organic will become something of a joke.