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Organic farmers adhere to strict growing standards that ensure their crops meet USDA guidelines for organic certification. But the growth in the number of genetically modified crops is contaminating organic farms, cites a recent survey.

The contamination by errant GMO seeds has become so bad, that more than half of the organic farms dealing with contamination have had their organic grains rejected, recently, and it’s creating a lot of concern.

“Of U.S. farmers that took part in a new survey…more than 80 percent reported being concerned over the impact of genetically modified crops on their farms, with some 60 percent saying they’re ‘very concerned’,” reports Inter Press Service.

The USDA’s recent extension on public comments on a study about how GMO and non-GMO crops can “coexist” led to the discovery of the contamination and concerns by organic farmers.

“The USDA said they didn’t have this data, but all they had to do was ask,” Oren Holle, a farmer in the midwestern state of Kansas and president of the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM), which assisted in the new study’s production, told IPS. “Our very strong feeling is that the introduction and propagation of the genetically modified products that are coming out under patent at this point have not had the regulatory oversight that they should have, and need to involve a far broader section of stakeholders. USDA has been extremely lax and, in our opinion, that’s due to the excessive influence of the biotech industry in political circles.”

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: Pete Zarria