martes, julio 05, 2005

BioDemocracy under Attack

BioDemocracy under Attack in California

Dear friends,

The Biotech Bullies and the Farm Bureau are attempting a pass a "stealth" law in the California State Legislature that would take away city and counties' rights to ban genetically engineered crops. As you know, Mendocino, Trinity and Marin counties, together with the cities of Arcata and Point Arena, have all banned GE crops.

This latest attack is part of a larger assault on community control and Biodemocracy. These Monsanto Laws threaten our collective organic future.


A bill (SB 1056) containing language that prohibits counties, towns and cities in California from introducing any legislation relating to agricultural seed has been introduced in the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is being scheduled for a special hearing. Act now to protect the right to have a voice at the local level!

SB 1056 is the second attempt in as many days to stealthily insert anti-democratic language into an existing bill and undermine local authority on all matters relating to seeds. The language used is strikingly similar to that inserted into bills that have been passed into law in 12 states around the nation as part of an orchestrated biotech industry response to recent local actions on genetically engineered (GE) organisms. These preemption laws are a direct response to successful ballot initiatives in three California counties that have prohibited the cultivation of GE crops.

PLEASE contact the representatives listed below by phone or fax (scroll down for sample letter) to oppose the amended SB 1056 and defend local democratic rights to legislate on matters of health, safety and welfare. As amended, SB 1056 is an anti-democratic attack on the right of local government to act in a legal manner to protect their interests.

The battle to halt the proliferation of GMOs is a difficult one to win quickly at the federal level. Local GE-Free actions in the form of ordinances against GE organisms have provided a positive and hopeful solution, and allowed citizens to take meaningful action in their home town or county. We must maintain the right to have a voice at the local level!

Cal GE Free

Barbara S. Matthews, Chair (Dem-17)
(916) 319-2017

Bill Maze, Vice Chair (Rep-34)
(916) 319-2034

Sam Blakeslee (Rep-33)
(916) 319-2033

Joseph Canciamilla (Dem-11)
(916) 319-2011

Dave Cogdill (Rep-25)
(916) 319-2025

Nicole Parra (Dem-30)

(916) 319-2030

Simon Salinas (Dem-28)
(916) 319-2028

Juan Vargas (Dem-79)
(916) 319-2079

Sample Letter:

July 1, 2005

The Honorable Barbara Matthews
Chair, Assembly Committee on Agriculture
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0089

RE: SB 1056 (As Proposed to Be Amended) ­ OPPOSE

Dear Assemblymember Matthews and Members of the Committee:

(name) STRONGLY OPPOSES SB1056 as amended to prohibit counties, towns and cities from passing any local regulation on seeds. As amended, SB 1056 is an anti-democratic attack on the rights of local citizens and local governments to act in a legal manner to protect their interests, which are not otherwise protected by law.

We insist that this opposition be formally recorded for the upcoming hearing.



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