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MICH-ORGANIC Home

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MICH-ORGANIC  March 2006

MICH-ORGANIC March 2006

Subject:

Take action on seed pre-emption bill

From:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:57:57 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (173 lines)

Here is the most recent on the seed pre-emption bill. Please take action so your voice is heard. I have combined info from Claire O'Leary Maitre and Cynthia Price. Note there are persons to contact and their info included in this email.


Vicki Morrone
Organic Vegetable and Crop Specialist
C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
CARRS Departent of Community, Agriclture, Recreation and Resource Studies
303 Natural Resources Bldg
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
Phone: 517-353-3542
Cell: 517-282-3557
FAX 517-353-3834
E-Mail:  [log in to unmask]

Don't forget!A carrot a day may keep the doctor away but an ORGANIC carrot a day, grown locally will taste good, support your farmer neighbor AND may keep the doctor away!!!


-----Original Message-----
From: Linking growers, consumers, and all those in-between [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dutcher Farms
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 7:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fw: Take action on seed pre-emption bill

Hello All,
    If this bill passes, I am sure that this will only be the first of many 
bills to come to remove any control at the local level. The politicians are 
always talking about how we need less big government and more local level 
government, but then are always quick to pass a bill that removes local 
control, esp. when it comes to large multi-national corporation profits. We 
better start to wake up at what changes are being made in our government's 
interests. I am personally getting fed up with all this federal and state 
control i.e. TB testing,tagging and Quarantines( cattle and goats), Scrapies 
testing and tagging( sheep and goats), The National Animal Identification 
System( all animals, even possibly all the way down to cats,dogs, and even 
parrots, the Texas version now includes parrots, even though parrots that 
are imported already have leg rings with federal id numbers) and of course 
ALL the penning, tagging, recording, and any other "work" that has to be 
done falls on the farmer. Under the NAIS, livestock farmers will have 24 
hours to report "each of the following: a birth, a death, any animal you 
slaughter,any animal you ship to the sale yard, any animal you may sell to 
your neighbor,etc. 24 hours to report or you get a $1,000/day fine. Now 
folks on our farm I sure am going to be busy on the phone calling USDA, 
granted it most likely be seasonal, but here we go again the onus is on the 
farmer, I wonder how many hours a year this will require? I will not be paid 
for my time, not even minimum wage. I do not believe any of this has 
anything to do with food safety, it is more about control and tracking than 
anything else. For all of you non-farmers reading this, I have heard quite a 
few small farmers saying that the NAIS will be the nail in the coffin for 
them, as well as it may be for us too!! Fear has completely overridden any 
shred of common sense that we once had. The time has come to say enough of 
this foolishness( and a large waste of money and time, who is going to keep 
track of the database? Cripe we can't afford books in our schools!!) and 
move back towards a society of greater freedoms.

Cowardice asks the question:is it safe? Expediency asks the question:is it 
politic?Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the 
question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, 
nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right!
- Martin Luther King Jr.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cynthia Price" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:27 PM
Subject: Take action on seed pre-emption bill


The message below is for those concerned about what's widely called
the "seed pre-emption bill," because it's a pre-emptive strike aimed
primarily at keeping local entities from outlawing Genetically
Engineered seed. Apparently it will be taken up tomorrow on the main
floor of the Senate. If it passes, there really is not  much hope that
it can be stopped in the House, but there may be some slim possibility
that the governor would veto it. So this really may be close to the
last chance, if you agree that the locals should have control over the
seed that grows our food rather than the state or by default the
Federal government (or if you feel strongly about local control at
all), to stop this bill.

Thanks,
Cynthia Price
Secretary, Greater GR Food Systems Council

Please take action NOW to stop Senate Bill 777-a bill that would strip
cities, counties, and townships of their ability to regulate seeds,
including genetically engineered seeds.

Because of your opposition so far, this bill was stalled in committee
since November. However, the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism
Committee voted on the bill last week and it will be voted on TOMORROW
(Thursday, 3/30) on the Senate floor.

Please contact your Senator by Thursday noon and urge them to oppose
this bill. Ask them to instead create a workgroup to study this issue
and recommend how the state should address genetically engineered
crops.


Take Action!

Some senators' phone numbers are listed below, or visit this link to
find your Senator:
http://www.senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator/michiganfys.asp


Birkholz, Patricia L.
Saugatuck Twp.
(517) 373-3447

Hardiman, Bill
Kentwood
(517) 373-1801

Kuipers, Wayne
Holland
(517) 373-6920

Schauer, Mark
Battle Creek
(517) 373-2426

Sikkema, Kenneth R.
Wyoming
(517) 373-0797

VanWoerkom, Gerald
Muskegon
(517) 373-1635


Background:

This fall, the Senate introduced SB 777, which would strip the
authority of cities, counties, and townships to regulate seeds,
including genetically engineered seeds. Now the bill will be voted on
by the full Senate tomorrow.

Genetically engineered crops pose risks to public health and the
environment, including the risk of allergic reactions, the creation of
superweeds, and the contamination of neighboring crops. Dozens of
farmers, residents, and environmental groups turned out to testify
against SB 777 before the Senate Committee this fall and winter.

Further concerns are posed by experimental crops, including
"biopharmaceuticals"-food crops genetically engineered to produce
prescription drugs and industrial chemicals. Examples include soybeans
or corn genetically engineered to produce blood clotting agents or
contraceptives. There already have been more than 750 open air field
test sites of experimental crops in Michigan alone, and contamination
of food crops in the U.S. has already occurred in more than one
instance.

It is inappropriate to preempt the ability for local governments to
regulate GE crops when State and Federal regulations are inadequate.
Specifically:

o        The Food and Drug Administration does not require pre-market
safety testing or labeling of genetically engineered foods, and does
not approve the safety of GE food.

o        The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires no specific
safety tests for the approval of GE crops, leaving the testing
procedures to the industry it oversees.  The National Academy of
Sciences criticized this process as often lacking scientific rigor.

o        The Environmental Protection Agency has few required safety
tests specifically designed for GE crops, and has not required the use
of internationally accepted testing procedures to ensure that new GE
foods are not allergens.

(from Claire O'Leary Maitre)

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