Monsanto is a large, very very large, pesticide company. The have genetically engineered soy, corn, and canola (rape seed) to withstand their Round-Up herbicide. They have now developed an alfalfa to do the same thing, and are waiting for the USDA to approve it. Yesterday was the last day the USDA was receiving comments for or against the approval. Why would anyone be against?
The problem with Monsanto’s GE seed is that it is still able to crossbreed with non-GE’d seed. Once this happens, since the seed it patented, the grower of the now contaminated seed has to pay Monsanto, or face patent infringment penallties. This is unfair to the farmer, yes, but in the case of alfalfa, there are greater consesquences. If the GE alfalfa seed is allowed, once it naturally crossbreeds with natural alfalfa, you can all but say goodbye to organic livestock.
Many growers feed alfalfa to their livestock, and a condition of Organic is that the animals not be fed genetically engineered feed. If Monsanto has its way, the organic industry will be gone forever.
I realize this is a very quick glimpse into the world of GE and Monsanto practices. If you are interested in more, I suggest checking of “Future of Food” “Fresh” and “Food, Inc.”