GMO Grass: What’s Next?

Posted on Aug 17 2011 - 2:02am by Mike Lieberman

The latest in crazy GMO news that I read on is that there will soon be a genetically modified kentucky bluegrass. According to the article:

The grass is still in its research-and-development stage, so it’s not available in stores yet, but experts fear the recent USDA decision to not regulate it as a noxious weed or plant pest could push it onto the market faster, since there are few regulations to hold it back.

Even though this isn’t food, it scares me for many reasons. The first reason is that the USDA is doing nothing to regulate GMOs infiltrating our lives. They’ve done this before with the genetically modified alfalfa and sugar beets, now the grass.

Kentucky bluegrass is usually used in public places such as golf courses, parks and ball fields. It will be resistant to Round-Up, so we will be exposed to even more chemicals in our daily lives. The leisurely picnic or round of golf will be accompanied by a nice dose of Round-Up and chemicals.

Since our government and its agencies are in the pockets of the big chemical companies and don’t have our best interest in mind, it’s up to us to do something about it.

We need to stop supporting companies such as Scotts Miracle-Gro, even if it’s their Organic Choice.

We need to stop using the chemicals in our homes and gardens.

We need to vote with our dollars and support the companies and business practices that believe in.

What do you think about this genetically modified kentucky bluegrass and what else can we do about it?

Photo courtesy of George Eastman House on Flickr

22 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Katherine Kelley August 17, 2011 at 10:55 am -

    I find it fascinating and disgusting in equal measure that instead of changing our behavior, science attempts to change nature.  You would think it would be easier to modify our choices instead of DNA.

  2. Mike Lieberman August 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm -

    True, but no money in changing choices…at least no money for the corporations.

  3. Blueschiz August 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm -

    Glyphosate does not go away in two weeks as is promoted. It remains in the soil in its broken down form and continues to bind nutrients, particularly manganese. Application of phosphorus helps this, so the chemical companies win three times, genetic seed, herbicide, fertilizer.  And your soil dies as a result.

  4. BOBfromATL August 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm -

    Somewhat on a related note, Obama appointed a Monsanto VP as advisor to the FDA today. Doesn’t bode well on a variety of levels.

  5. Mike Lieberman August 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm -

    Yea. Thanks for the change Obama. Hope he and his wife enjoy their organic garden.

  6. Mike Lieberman August 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm -

    Nasty stuff.

  7. Patricia Menzies August 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm -

    Did he appoint another VP today?  I did a search and found the appointment of Michael Taylor back in July 2009.  A blog posted Aug 16th says  Obama “just appointed” Taylor.  I totally oppose this action, but we need to be careful about recirculating old news as new.  If you know of a NEW appointment, please post a link.  My search engine (Ecosia, not Google!) doesn’t always find everything.  Thanks.

  8. Patricia Menzies August 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm -

    Most grasses as I understand it are wind pollinated.  Just like the threat from GE alfalfa, GE bluegrass would cross pollinate with nearby lawns and farms.  “Grass-fed” could no longer be guaranteed “organic” if animals were grazing in contaminated fields.  The genie is out of the bottle but we must unite to stop Monsanto’s poisoning of our food sources.  This is beyond madness!

  9. Mike Lieberman August 18, 2011 at 12:54 am -

    If I’m understanding properly, Michael Taylor used to be the Food Czar and has recently been appointed the senior advisor of the FDA.

  10. Mike Lieberman August 18, 2011 at 12:54 am -

    Way beyond. We can’t allow this to happen.

  11. Anonymous August 18, 2011 at 4:44 am -

    This is totally idiotic!!!!
    There are millions of acres of bluegrass pasture.

  12. Mike Lieberman August 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm -

    Pretty much…

  13. Moja Mujaden August 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm -


    Excuse my ignorance,  when one say GMO, they basically make a plant resistant to something so there will be no excuse of using pesticides? right?! But anyway, i’m just so perplexed that even freaking grass  will be genetically modified? I don’t see any value in it being a GMO.  

  14. Mike Lieberman August 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm -

    GMO means that it’s resistant to using certain pesticides, so those pesticides are sprayed excessively. So it increases the ussage.

  15. Sandra Fraser August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm -


  16. Derek Smith September 17, 2011 at 9:23 am -

    I’m sorry this is such a big comment…. no one has to read all this.

    I don’t normally join discussions but I feel the need. I can’t believe this proposal! Why does the USDA seem to be totally worthless and doesn’t care about conserving our land and soil for future generations? The very nature of our being is totally reliant on quality soil, or we wouldn’t even be here. I’m not making an understatement when I say we are dependent on the land so we can use it to grow food and nourish and survive…. we can’t import everything (as easily or quickly) if we run out of fuel. It makes me sad to have to live with people that strictly care about money and disregard everything else. I guess we have always had different opinions ever since we started, and I never try to control anyone, I just have to strongly disagree and always practice organic gardening so others might take example. I feel like if we all give in and do what these huge monopoly corporations (Monsanto) want then in 25 years there won’t be a single earthworm left — because our land will be so degraded they will have died or moved somewhere else. Pesticides are their biggest predator, by the way. I’m exaggerating when I say 25 years but you get my point.

    This is just a thought but who do we think we are? God himself? We have the right to literally change the nature and genetic makeup of plants to fulfill our own selfish desires? This is sick. I would LOVE to start some kind of campaign and get tons of people to join me in a fight against Monsanto. I know I wouldn’t be able to stop it because the money and corporation are ridiculously big but hey maybe I could start one little chip or dent…. and eventually that chip would become a crack. Mike Lieberman, you’re the man… please keep doing what you’re doing: you’re accomplishing what I want to see be done. I do have to say I am for the USDA as far as their organic practices are concerned. If I were them there would definitely be changes: no to very little monoculture with plenty of diversity,  only pesticide usage is 100% safe and selective only to the specific bug with no soil degradation, no damage whatsoever to soil organisms if possible, and only as a last resort. I am a novice and personally have never sprayed my garden with any kind of pesticide or insecticide so far except insecticidal soap I made myself. I try to “scare” most bugs away with a little spray rather than kill them because I have a hard time killing. I think it is wonderful they are doing this so that we as consumers who don’t want to grow our own food nor have the knowledge at least have a choice free from genetically modified, chemically grown crops.

    Also, Moja Mujaden regarding your comment: GMO crops were actually meant
    to “dramatically reduce the need for pesticides and field tillage.
    Pesticide runoff and erosion are reduced, which is beneficial for the
    environment.” This is according to my book “Plant Science: Growth,
    Development, and Utilization of Cultivated Plants” Fifth Edition.
    However, I totally disagree and know that like Mike says it increases
    the amount being used. Those are the supposed positives but you have to learn the negatives too.

    This is somewhat off-topic but extra food for thought about Monsanto:

    Not only does Monsanto now manufacture all the GMO seeds and “Round-Up Ready” seeds, they make aspartame and other artificial sweeteners and have a terrible history in general. Aspartame is extremely toxic and contains formaldehyde (which is considered as bad as arsenic and cyanide) and yet in thousands of products consumed by millions of people. You might say the FDA is just as bad if not worse than the USDA for approving it time and time again despite research. Poor FDA, how much you’ve changed over time.

  17. Mike Lieberman September 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm -

    Thank you for the comment. Very well stated. Frustrating…ain’t it?

  18. Mc December 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm -

    I find that all GMOs are reckless and un-proven science as to long term effects to either our health, other animals or the genectics of the planet. I find that any scientists who claims genectic engineering at this scale safe is blinded by their science. And to the golf guy above, I do not use any cooking oils made with MiO Crops, nor do I eat corn, soy or ganola any loinger. Its  getting hard to find food one can trust.

  19. Mike Lieberman December 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm -

    Sadly that is the case and reason why we should get as close to our food source as possible.

  20. tripps December 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm -

    Not to mention, since they’ve patented their GMOs’ genes, when they cross-pollinate somebody’s carefully saved heirloom seeds, Monsanto can SUE the new unwitting, unwilling owners of frankenplants.  And they have done so, with great success.  It’s like I let my dog out without a leash, and it pisses on your lawn, so I sue you for being in possession of my dog’s DNA.  “Beyond madness” is an apt way of putting it.

  21. tripps December 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm -

    Exactly.  Which is why I vote with my dollar.  And I’m not shy about telling ppl either!  😉

  22. Mike Lieberman December 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm -

    Amen to that!

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