Source: USDA/APHIS via Seedquest.com
On the heels of issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Roundup Ready Alfalfa, Secretary Vilsack invited stakeholders to a meeting at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 20, 2010. The meeting began a dialogue with a diverse group, representing different interests and viewpoints in the GE, organic and non-GE agriculture sectors, as well as consumer interests, regarding possible approaches to alfalfa production coexistence that are reasonable and practical.
The meeting gave these stakeholders the opportunity to hear from one another, exchange information and concepts, ask questions and explore possible ways of working together to propose strategies for strengthening alfalfa production coexistence.
There was recognition by participants that immediate focus needs to be put on the issue of GE alfalfa production, as USDA will follow the final EIS with a Record of Decision in the very near future, but no sooner than Jan. 24, 2011. USDA intends to reach a decision in a timely manner to allow growers, if possible, to make decisions regarding the planting of alfalfa this spring. USDA is hopeful that a smaller number of participants most directly interested in the issues surrounding Roundup Ready alfalfa will come together and continue their dialogue over the next few weeks to evaluate possible approaches that could be taken in support of alfalfa production coexistence.