The USDA is hosting two public forums to accept public comments on a new variety of genetically engineered (GE) creeping bentgrass. One of the public forums will be held May 18 at the Oregon State University Conference Complex in Corvallis from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. NW RAGE invites you to come to Corvallis with us to give your comments on this unnecessary and unwanted GE grass. We will be leaving from our office (3347 SE Belmont) at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18. If you would like a ride to Corvallis or can offer a ride, please to give us a call at 503-239-6841 or email us at email@example.com Let's let the USDA know how unwelcome these experiments really are! |
We will also be having a teach-in one week beforehand on Wednesday, May 11 to educate the public on the effects this GE grass could have on the environment (time and location TBA).
This variety of creeping bentgrass shocked scientists last year when it was found that pollen from the grass traveled 13 miles, far outside of the control area near Madras, Oregon. These findings prompted the first-ever Environmental Impact Statement of a GE organism. Contamination from this grass threatens the Willamette Valley's place as the grass seed capital of the world, and even the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have come out to say that it could contaminate all 175 national forests. Furthermore, bentgrass is perennial, easily establishes itself in natural and urban habitats due to its light pollen, and crossbreeds with at least a dozen wild relatives. The commercialization of this grass, which would be used mainly on golf courses, would wreck havoc on the ecosystem and potentially devastate Oregon's grass seed industry.
If you are unable to attend the public comment forum in Corvallis, you can also comment electronically through the USDA's EDOCKET system by clicking here. Comments must be received by June 1.
Helpful links: [ GE Bentgrass article from the Portland Alliance | Developer of Scotts GE bentgrass now on USDA Review Panel | Send your comments to the USDA electronically | USDA's Biotechnology Regulatory Services web site ]