Settlement Forces Feds To Stop Planting GE Crops In Wildlife Refuges

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service settled a lawsuit with conservation and food safety groups when it agreed to stop planting genetically engineered (GE) crops on all its refuges within a dozen Northeastern states.

The lawsuit charged that the Fish & Wildlife Service had illegally entered into Cooperative Farming Agreements with private parties, allowing hundreds of acres on its Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware to be plowed over without the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

As a result of the settlement, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service promised to revoke any authorization for further GE agriculture at Bombay Hook and four other refuges with GE crops: the Rappahannock River Valley Refuge and the Eastern Shore of Virginia Refuge, Montezuma Refuge in New York and Blackwater Refuge of Maryland, unless and until an appropriate NEPA analysis is completed – a condition that has yet to be met for GE agriculture on a National Wildlife Refuge.

“Planting genetically engineered crops on wildlife refuges is resource management malpractice,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein, noting that Fish & Wildlife Service policy explicitly forbids ‘genetically modified agricultural crops in refuge management unless [they] determine their use is essential to accomplishing refuge purpose(s).’ GE crops serve no legitimate refuge purpose, thus refuge officials must resort to outright fictions to claim these crops benefit wildlife.”

Despite this regional victory, the government would not agree to stop illegal cultivation of GE crop in refuges nationally, so new litigation is being prepared for other regions.

There are approximately 75 national wildlife refuges now growing GE crops across the country.

Related Reading:
Stop USDA Approval Of Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa!
FDA Caught Hiding The Truth About GMO Salmon
Labeling Of GE Salmon Might Soon Be Mandatory In California

Image: Saltmarsh Trail at Bombay Hook NWR
Credit: Flickr - US Fish and Wildlife Service

81 comments

Carole R.
Carole R.4 years ago

This is so scary. It is so out of control already. I fear for my kids and grandkids. What will become of this? :0(

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

NO, but the damage is already done. Those seeds will spread, infecting natural crops. Can't believe this -- like a mad scientist let loose. The damage is done, and we will not know the severity until the future, our children's future. Way to go, Fish and Wildlife Service!

Laura R.
Laura R.5 years ago

Has anyone done a correlation study between the onslaught of GM crops (Monsanto) and the bees reduced immunity? It is interesting that the suggestion for individuals to help is to plant organic gardens. A tiny organic garden here and there will not help when there are large swaths of GM crops, even in areas that are nature reserves that are supposed to be protected by the government, not used as taxpayer funded experiments for GM products.

Kelly Stephens
Kelly Stephens5 years ago

thanks for sharing

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

This totaly makes no sence? its a wild life refuge so how can domestic plants of any sort be planted there? should they not be trying to replant native spieces only?

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman5 years ago

noted and thanx :)

Trish K.
Trish K.5 years ago

Protect our National lands from Franken Farmers

francesco c.

thanks.

Joshua G.
Joshua Gray5 years ago

WTF is wrong with people?! Planting genetically engineered crops in a wildlife refuge is like releasing swine flu superbugs in a hospital.

patricia m lasek
patricia lasek5 years ago

Let the FDA eat Moneysanto's GMO crops. Don't plant them anywhere!