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“Monsanto Laws” Emulsifying Democratically Enacted Laws Banning GE Crops

Although more and more communities are passing
laws banning the planting of genetically altered crops,
in fear of these cross-pollinating with time-tested
crops or organic ones, the Gene Giant corporations
are spending millions to overturn democracy in action
all over America. 14 states have been
twisted to pre-empt democratically-voted-in
laws and prohibitions.

Be aware that California and North Carolina are
the two states in the bulls-eye of Monsanto
et al right NOW to also pass the so-called “Monsanto Laws”
invalidating the will of the people in towns, cities,
and counties that do not want genetically
altered crops in windshot of their fields and homes:
See this page for the LATEST, with a map of the involved states:

This is the beginning of the story from
Unfortunately, this has progressed to 14 states now passing
these so-called “Monsanto Laws” prohibiting communities
from enacting laws they have voted through and approved,
banning the planting of genetically altered crops. Pollen flies,
and can land and pollinate with organic crops. Why should
this be allowed, especially if citizens know about it, have
decided to put a plebiscite onto the ballot, and have gone
through the democratic process, culminating with a vote
on the issue? We know that genetically altered crops
cause proliferation of the microvilli in our intestines,
when ingested, and that this may cause cancer.

From the NewLeaf potato studies we found that
certain organs were affected negatively, including
the brain and testicles of lab rats, becoming smaller
in size than control rats who ate the un-altered potatoes
from the very parent line of the potatoes that WERE altered.
This led companies like McDonald’s to reject NewLeaf Potatoes
[which were left dead in the water, off the market as of 2001].
As did the food community reject attempts at foisting genetically
altered wheat onto the market. Here are two “teasers” from
2 issues of Organic Bytes to explain, with a reference to a
more detailed article I will post after the two teasers:

Responding to the growing number of localities whose
citizens are voting to regulate or even ban genetically
engineered crops, the biotech industry, led by Monsanto
and Syngenta, has brought new legislation to [fourteen]
states in the U.S. that would remove the rights of
communities to have any control of agricultural
regulations in their area. On one side of the issue,
citizens and farmers in counties that have banned GE
crops, like Mendocino, Calif., say they have a right to
protect their predominantly organic county from
contamination by GE pollen from neighboring crops.
On the other side of the issue, the biotech industry
is investing tens of millions of dollars to remove
these local rights, saying anti-GE citizens and farmers
“lack the education to make these kinds of decisions.”


Just as we are going to press, OCA has been informed that California state legislators may try to pass a law shortly that would take away counties’ rights to ban genetically engineered crops. So far three of California’s 59 counties have passed GE crop bans, with Sonoma County slated to vote on a ban in November. Across the U.S. 14 states have already passed these “Monsanto Laws.” Stay tuned to OCA’s website and the next issue of Organic Bytes, for further information. The apparent ringleader of this nefarious scheme to suppress Biodemocracy and spread Frankencrops across California is State Assemblyman Simon Salinas of District 29 (representing Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties). You may want to call or fax Salinas’ office and tell him to back off. Simon Salinas’ office can be reached at Phone: (916) 319-2028 or Fax: (916) 319-2128.
“Monsanto Laws” Sweeping the Nation Take Away Community/County Rights to Ban GMOs

From: The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) By HOPE SHAND CARRBORO —
Goodness grows in North Carolina?
Not if the General Assembly approves bills
that would pre-empt local regulations on
genetically modified crops and trees.

House Bill 671 and Senate Bill 631 aim to
prevent towns, counties or cities from
passing any ordinance, regulation or resolution
to control any kind of plant or plant pest
(including invasive plant species).
The bills would usurp local control by
making the state Department of Agriculture
the only body in North Carolina with the
authority to regulate plants.

These bills are not a homegrown initiative,
but part of a nationwide biotech industry
campaign. Similar bills, containing identical
language, have cropped up in at least nine
other states as part of a campaign by industry
to prevent citizen initiatives like those passed
in three California counties last year that
prohibited cultivation of genetically modified crops.

Proponents of the seed pre-emption bills,
including the Agriculture Department, are
championing the interests of corporate
“gene giants” such as Monsanto and Syngenta — not citizens.
Whether you’re for or against genetically modified seeds,
the pre-emption bills represent an anti-democratic
measure to take control away from communities.
Just as the corporate hog industry won legislation
to prohibit local jurisdictions from keeping out
supersize hog farms in North Carolina, now the
gene giants are trying to muzzle debate by
eliminating options for local regulation of
genetically modified crops.

The issue has immediate relevance
in Eastern North Carolina, where Ventria
Bioscience has a permit to grow an open-air,
experimental plot of rice engineered with
synthetic human genes (to produce artificial
human milk proteins) near the state
Agriculture Department’s Tidewater Research
Station in Plymouth, in Washington County.
Two earlier attempts by Ventria to grow its
genetically modified “pharma rice” — a crop
that yields drugs for use in human and
veterinary medicines — were opposed by
farmers, food companies and environmentalists
in California and Missouri because of concerns
that the genetically altered pharma rice could
cross-pollinate with conventional rice, thus
contaminating the food supply.

Last month, California-based Ventria Bioscience
requested a permit from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to grow up to 70 acres of pharma rice
on two additional plots in Eastern North Carolina.
If the pre-emption bills pass, communities would
have no authority to regulate genetically modified
crops. Everyone agrees that unintended gene flow
from genetically modified plants is unavoidable.
The organic food market is the fastest-growing
segment of the farm economy, but organic farmers
risk losing organic certification, and markets, if
genetically modified DNA contaminates their fields.
Local governments should have the ability to protect
growers who worry about contamination.

The biotech industry and federal regulators
have repeatedly failed to contain and control
genetically modified organisms. The science
journal Nature revealed in March that Syngenta
had inadvertently sold an unapproved strain of
genetically modified corn to farmers for four years.
During that period, 146,000 tons of the corn were
marketed as animal feed and corn flour in the U.S.,
in Europe and in Asia. Syngenta informed federal
authorities about the illegal corn in late 2004,
but the public and unsuspecting farmers were
in the dark until four months later. To keep
out the unlicensed strain, the European Union
threatened to boycott U.S. corn imports valued
at $347 million. As usual, farmers were left
holding the bag. Syngenta was let off with a fine.

This was not the first time genetically
modified corn has entered the food supply.
In 2000, Starlink corn, approved only for use
as animal feed, was found in taco shells,
causing a nationwide recall of food products
containing yellow corn.

Eliminating options for local authority over
plants/seeds is risky business. The farm biotech
business is controlled by five multinationals,
the world’s largest seed and agrochemical
companies: Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta,
Bayer and Dow. Monsanto’s genetically
modified seed technology accounted for
about 90 percent of the total worldwide
area devoted to such crops last year.
Seed industry concentration means
fewer choices for farmers and
consumers and unacceptable levels
of control over the seed supply.

For all these reasons, North Carolina
towns and communities must preserve
options for local regulation of plants,
and for public debate of genetically
modified crops and trees. (Hope Shand
is research director of the
ETC Group North Carolina, a non-profit focusing on
socioeconomic impacts of new agricultural technologies.)

© Copyright 2005, The News & Observer Publishing Company,
a subsidiary of The McClatchy Company


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Money talks. Politicians are the beasts that they are.
But someone, mostly us, has to do something
about these trespasses on our land and protoplasm.
Especially since we do know what is going on.
Make a call! Call Mr. Salinas in California,
and tell the fellow what you think!!
And call your representatives, mayors, Senators.
Especially Californians and North Carolinians:
call your state and national
representatives ASAP!!!!! Notice that you have
probably seen NOTHING on your TV about this!
And it is happening so quickly and quietly, while
countries like Austria, France, Germany, Greece
and Luxembourg continue to more vocally oppose
any reversal of their moratoriums prohibiting
any genetically altered crops in their COUNTRIES!!

Story on European countries here for you to link to:

Telephone numbers:
Your Senators in Wash DC
Your House of Representative person:
Make that call Monday! Before it is too late. And tell your
local radio station about all this. And your television
station and newspaper[s] too.

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