This post is in response to @permagriculture's question" "In your view has any genetic material from #GM Soya found it's way into organic crops?"

The heirloom tomato farmer must keep unwanted pollen from non-heirloom tomatoes from his flowers if he wants to collect the seed for next year. The sweet corn farmer must keep  unwanted pollen from field corn from her silks if she wants her corn to remain sweet. The mandarin orange farmer must keep all pollen away from his flowers if he wants to get the highest price for seedless fruit. Gene flow is a potential problem for any farmer with a specialty crop.

The problem of gene flow and pollen "contamination" is an old problem that exists regardless of genetic engineering. Yes, I am sure there has been some pollen from GM soy that has pollinated organic soy, although without seeing any evidence to the contrary I would say such pollination would be low if organic farmers are using the required distances from conventional fields. I'm also sure that organic pollen has "contaminated" GM and non-organic, and while that won't be a problem in most cases, there's been some research showing that weeds and insects move from organic farms onto conventional farms, which any conventional farmer would say is a problem. In addition, there are some upcoming GM traits where pollen from non-GM could ruin them, such as RNAi allergen free peanuts. 

I personally believe that all farmers need to be cognizant of what their effect on neighboring farms will be, and work with their neighbors to find solutions. Not only is there legal precedent for controlling any of your property that leaves your land, there is common courtesy and the idea of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Coexistence among different types of farmers is a complex subject area. I've written about this idea in two posts but I don't think I've even scratched the surface. This is a issue that needs discussion with compassion and openmindedness. While different farmers use different methods, all are in the business in producing food the best way they know how, and just trying to make a living. I think there is a lot of common ground if we approach the situation carefully.I don't think it's useful to throw blame around or demonize anyone, though.

I hope you'll consider reading these posts. If you have any thoughts on coexistence, I'd love to hear them. 

Co-existence isn’t easy
Coexistence takes conversation
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