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MICH-ORGANIC Home

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MICH-ORGANIC  May 2006

MICH-ORGANIC May 2006

Subject:

FW: The bad news, and some initial reactions (fwd) about Public Act 132 (SB 777)

From:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 May 2006 08:34:58 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (162 lines)

 

 From Cindy Dutcher: 

In thinking of strategy and mistakes, we all need to educate our own
elected 
officials, and maybe give presentations to our local political groups.
We 
have sent our rep and senator information on the non Farm Bureau side of
the 
GMO issue, and also wrote to our Rep, Senator(up for re-election) and
Gov. 
Granholm (same) and voiced our displeasure at the vote and signing of
SB777, 
and how we would remember their votes and remember their signing on with
the 
corporations and not listening to the folks who voted for them. They
won't 
give a hoot next year but until November...we have also been given an 
opportunity to give a presentation to our local progressive Democratic 
Committee, Maybe a good start, they had NO IDEA they were eating and
feeding 
their children and grandchildren GE foods! They had no idea that SB777 
mattered at all! Perhaps a try for labeling??? One thing that really
caught 
me off guard, we were trying to discuss this bill as a local control
issue 
(avoiding the GMO part of the bill), but FB et all were talking the 
hodgepodge of local ordinance and gmos are safe line...maybe we should
be 
more blatant next time? I do agree with Joe about having enough
concerned 
individuals, and not one coordinated message. Just a few disorganized 
thoughts... Cindy 

 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Taylor Clarkston Reid" 
<[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>;
<[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>;
<[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; <[log in to unmask]>; 
<[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 11:23 PM
Subject: The bad news, and some initial reactions 


> First the bad news:
> The Governor signed SB 777 into law at 3:55 this afternoon and filed
it 
> with the Secretary of State at 4:18.  The timing seems like a duck and

> cover move which is not surprising.  Here office was getting a lot of 
> phone calls and faxes and I'm sure someone let her know that we were
going 
> to continue to challenge the process.  At any rate it is now Public
Act 
> 132, and is immediately in effect.  This is extremely vexing, but I'm
sure 
> no one is surprised.  I'm reluctant to just give up at this point, and

> suggest we begin thinking about what to do next.  There are several
ideas 
> that people have thrown out as possible courses of action.  None of
them 
> will be easy, and I know it's a very busy time for farmers, but I
think 
> most of the legwork could be handled by some of the advocacy groups,
and 
> those of us who spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk.
> One option would be getting legislation introduced to amend the Act.
Our 
> best chance with this, I believe, would be to find a Republican who 
> represents a district with a strong organic agricultural constituency 
> capable of applying pressure (in the thumb maybe).  I know this seems
like 
> a long shot, but we would only have to convince one person, and 
> Republicans are traditionally opposed to limitations on local control.
If 
> were able to get somebody to listen, we could present a strong
argument 
> about the misrepresentation, bias, and inaccuracy in the testimony
that 
> was given, and present a strong scientific argument about the dangers
of 
> GMO's.  The evidence on this is clear, it's just a matter of getting 
> somebody to hear it.  The fact that organic is the only growing sector
of 
> agriculture, which is the second largest component of Michigan's 
> struggling economy might resonate as well.  Obviously we would have to

> rebut the notion that "GM contamination is not a threat to organic 
>  farmers", and that "pollen flow can be predicted", but this ludicrous

> notion might not be as convincing if it wasn't being misrepresented as
a 
> scientific fact established by MSU.  Someone suggested that we might
be 
> better able to pull this off after the next round of elections, but we

> could certainly begin to plant the (non-GMO) seed.
> Another possibility is actually challenging the effectiveness of the 
> legislation by working to get an ordinance passed (Ann Arbor was
suggested 
> as a possibility), and fighting it on moral, legal, and scientific 
> grounds.  In my reading, the legislation seems somewhat vague, and has
a 
> number of potential weaknesses. "Superweeds" encouraged by the use of
a 
> single herbicide can certainly become "noxious".  As the Percy
Schmeiser 
> case has shown, organic farmers are not the only ones adversely
affected 
> by genetically modified crops, and these crops themselves can be
noxious 
> weeds in certain cases.  In addition, it seems to me that there is 
> significant scientific evidence to present a compelling argument that 
> these corps present "unreasonable environmental effects" in a number
of 
> ways, and once this argument is made, MDA must hold a public meeting
to 
> evaluate the legitimacy of these claims.
> A third option would be to work toward the development of regulations 
> similar to the existing pesticide laws, which would offer recourse for
the 
> contamination of organic crops by GMO's.  This kind of regulation has
been 
> presented in other states already, and just because the NOP does not
have 
> a problem with contaminated organics, does not mean that they fail to 
> represent a potential financial loss for organic growers.
> These are just some initial ideas.  Would folks be amenable to a short

> late-evening meeting/conference call to discuss these issues in a few 
> weeks? Please let me know either way.  In the meantime we will
continue to 
> work within the University to make sure they honor the obligations
they 
> have committed to as a result of improprieties surrounding the
legislative 
> testimony.  Thank you all for putting up with my long-windedness.   I
hope 
> we can continue to support one another in this fight, and perhaps
build on 
> the lessons we have learned from it in challenging the upcoming
pro-CAFO 
> bill and other issues that threaten agricultural sustainability, small

> farming, and ecological sanity.
> Sincerely,
> Taylor Reid
> 517-862-2793
> [log in to unmask] 
> 
>  
> 
 

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