GMO Concerns

by firsthandfoods on March 3, 2014

We are concerned about the prevalence of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture.  Most of the corn and soybeans produced in the U.S. have in some way been genetically-modified.  At this time, it is extremely challenging for farmers to source non-GMO feed.  This is due both to the prevalence of genetically-modified seed and to the lack of verification procedures that can reliably and practically identify GMO from non-GMO seeds and feeds.  The exception to this is organically-grown seed stock and feeds, in which use of GMOs is prohibited.  But even organic crops can be inadvertently contaminated with GMOs.  In an ideal world, all of our farmers would have access to affordable GMO-free products, including organic seeds and feeds.  However supplies are very limited in North Carolina, and what is available is prohibitively expensive for most small-scale livestock producers.

That said, we do have farmers in our network who have production systems that include non-GMO feeds.  Some of our farmers, if the weather is cooperative, have sufficient pasture to produce quality, finished beef solely on grass and forages and thus are able to avoid the use of supplements all together due.   A few of our farmers raise their own non-GMO barley and oats to include as a supplement to grass and forages. Others have local access to non-GMO feeds.  We are currently working with our pork producers to encourage the development of feed production and processing methods that eliminate reliance on GMO-feeds.

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