Organic Policy and Regulations

Biotech in the News

Brandi and Adele in cornWhile browsing today’s Wall Street Journal I came across Ian Berry’s report  that, “Insecticide sales are surging after years of decline, as American farmers plant more corn and a genetic modification designed to protect the crop from pests has started to lose its effectiveness. This flies in the face of Monsanto’s claims that their agricultural paradigm is sustainable for farmers and the planet. From where I sit it seems sustainable only to those developing and selling the insecticides.

Food and Water Watch recently released a Monsanto Corporate Profile outlining their murky history producing industrial chemicals.  It is heavy reading that gives you an inkling of their regard for people and the environment. After reading this I find it hard to believe that their interests are in feeding the world.

Polls indicate that the majority of people in the U.S. support labeling of genetically modified foods. On May 10th, the Vermont House of Representatives passed a GMO labeling law, by a vote of 99-42. On May 21st, the Connecticut Senate passed a similar law  by a vote of 35-1. Already this year 26 states have introduced labeling laws with the possibility of passage in a number of states. Clearly the message is strong that Monsanto’s power must be reined in.

Last week both the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed their draft versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. This week the full Senate will be voting on amendments to its version. There are several biotech related amendments that will be filed to the Senate Farm Bill. If you care about this issue Call your Senator and urge them to:

  • Support Senator Merkley’s (D-Oregon) amendment  (#978) to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act”  provision in the 2013 government spending bill that attacked judicial oversight of genetically engineered crops.
  • Support Boxer’s (D-California) Sense of the Senate amendment (#1025) in support of mandatory GMO labeling as well as her amendment requesting that FDA and USDA study the 64 countries around the world that already require GMO labeling (#1026).
  • Support Senator Begich’s (D-Alaska) amendment (#934) to ban the sale of genetically engineered salmon until Federal wildlife agencies are properly consulted.

Continue to monitor the news and stay abreast of all that is happening on the state and federal level. It is imperative to our right to know what is in our food.

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