Source: USDA open letter news release

"Complexity surrounds American agriculture today. With the recent announcement of USDA's final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa and the subsequent meeting to bring together diverse stakeholders for a dialogue, USDA has taken decisive steps toward looking at possible approaches to alfalfa production coexistence that are reasonable and practical," Vilsack's wrote in an open letter to agriculture.

"The rapid adoption of GE crops has clashed with the rapid expansion of demand for organic and other non-GE products. This clash led to litigation and uncertainty. Such litigation will potentially lead to the courts deciding who gets to farm their way and who will be prevented from doing so.

"Regrettably, what the criticism we have received on our GE alfalfa approach suggests, is how comfortable we have become with litigation — with one side winning and one side losing — and how difficult it is to pursue compromise. Surely, there is a better way, a solution that acknowledges agriculture's complexity, while celebrating and promoting its diversity," Vilsack wrote.

Read open letter news release