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Activists urge action on genetic crops

March 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- A U.S. health advocacy group says the federal government should act to limit the impact of genetically engineered crops on crops raised on non-GMO farms.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should require biotechnology companies selling genetically engineered (GE) seeds to take steps to ensure conventional and organic crops can successfully coexist without contaminating their genetically engineered cousins.

While pollen floating from a GE to a non-GE crop doesn't pose a food safety hazard it can create financial losses for organic or conventional farmers, who can often sell their crops at a premium price, a CSPI release said Wednesday.

The non-profit group said it supports, among other measures, exploring crop insurance as a potential means of compensating farmers adversely impacted by GE crops.

Other measures could include segregation tools to keep GE and non-GE seeds and crops separate, actions to ensure seed purity for public and private seed varieties, and testing protocols to identify unintended presence, the group said.

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