Dear Friends, I know this is a busy time for many of us, and I ask that you excuse this email during your holiday weekend, but I need to ask for your support on a very serious matter. As you know I have been working on defeating Senate Bill 777, this bill is in support of genetically modified foods and threatens the integrity of organic farmers and the food we work so hard to grow. Although there was opposition to Senate Bill 777 it passed the senate and now on TUESDAY 4/18/06 it could pass the house and Michigan can become the 15th state to have legislation that support companies like Monsanto & ADM and shut the door on Michigan's local organic agriculture. I know we are all busy and this request may seem a little large right now, but I have to ask. PLEASE show up on TUESDAY 4/18/06 1:30pm at the Capital, Lansing- room 404 on the 4th floor. We need AS MANY FARMERS & CONSUMERS as we can get on TUESDAY 4/18/06 1:30pm at the CAPITAL in LANSING. I will be there and trust me I will be giving testimony regardless if they are accepting it or not. Although time isn't something I have a lot of right now I will make room in my schedule to attend. It's that important to Danny & myself and to represent all of the organic farmers & consumers in Michigan. Local food systems are on a come back...let's open the door....but we NEED YOUR HELP!! If you can not attend the press conference please CALL YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!! Call their Rep, too, to oppose SB 777 AND advocate for a substitute Study bill such as the one Sen. Brater introduced in the Senate.? We need to find a Champion in the House to carry our request further.? (Find your Rep at?http://house.michigan.gov/find_a_rep.asp) Here's more information: The press conference time is now scheduled for 1:30PM in room 404 of the Capital Building in Lansing. Almost immediately following, we invite you to join us in attending the House Ag Committee meeting in room 307 of the House Office Building (currently scheduled somewhere between 2-3 depending on when the House gets out of session). It's important that as many folks as possible attend both events. The House Ag Cmte is threatening not to hear any testimony. We want to pressure them to reconsider just by having sheer numbers of us show up. On Tuesday, April 18 at 1:30 pm, a coalition of farmers, environmental groups, and concerned citizens will hold a press conference to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 777, a bill to strip local authority over seed, especially genetically engineered seed. The House Agriculture committee will take testimony on this bill at 2:00 p.m., immediately following the press conference. Who: -Michelle Lutz, owner, Maple Creek organic farm -Sandy Nordmark, Michigan Farmers Union -Claire O'Leary, Sierra Club National Genetic Engineering Committee -Kate Madigan, Michigan Environmental Council Where: Room 404 of the Capitol Building When: Tuesday, April 18 at 1:30 pm Story: This fall, the Senate introduced SB 777, a bill that would strip cities, counties, and townships of their ability to regulate seeds in an effort to pre-empt any local regulation of genetically engineered (GE) seed. Despite four days of testimony by dozens of opponents to the bill and after months of delay, the bill passed the Senate last month. The bill now will be taken up by the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, April 18, immediately following the press conference. Farmers, environmental groups, and concerned citizens will testify in opposition to the bill at the hearing, and will announce their concerns to media at the press conference. Genetically engineered crops pose many legitimate concerns, and current federal regulations have not caught up to the new complexities and risks of the technology. There have been no local attempts to regulate genetically engineered crops in Michigan to date, so there is no need to prevent local regulations of these crops before our state fully evaluates this issue. 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!!!