The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Take Action: Amendment to new Farm Bill strips states....

Take Action: Amendment to new Farm Bill strips states....

Pam
PamM
Windham, ME
Post #: 7
Call to Actions courtesy of JB Whipple...

>
>TAKE ACTION
>US House May Prevent States from Protect Food Supply!
>Amendment to new Farm Bill strips states and local municipalities of
>powers to craft creative solutions to concerns about GMOs and other
>agriculture practices
>
Cut and Paste the URL to Preserve Local Control and Protect Maine Farmers,
>Consumers, and the Environment.
>http://www.democracyi...­
>rs/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2842
>
>
>House Subcommittee Approves Language Preempting State & Local
>Restriction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Other
>Questionable Foods (Adopted from an article by Britt Bailey and Center
>for Food Safety Action
>Alert)
>
>The United States House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture has
>begun the process of writing the 2007 Farm Bill. Of grave concern is
>language added and approved by the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and
>Poultry that preempts state restrictions of foods or agricultural
>products deregulated by the USDA. The added language reads, "no State
>or locality shall make any law prohibiting the use in commerce of an
>article that the Secretary of Agriculture has inspected and passed; or
>determined to be of non-regulated status."
>
>The preemption language has been traced to Iowa Representative and
>Subcommittee Chair, Leonard Boswell. His intention is to prohibit state
>and local policies banning the sale of products approved by USDA and
>other regulatory agencies. The broad scope of the language would affect
>state and local prohibitions on the cultivation of genetically modified
>crops, bans on the sale of rBGH milk, and the outlawing of foie gras for starters.
>
>At a time of pervasive food contamination and consumer displeasure with
>the social, ethical, and environmental aspects of food processes and
>production, the addition of a few lines tucked into an immense bill
>could weaken carefully adopted consumer protections.
>
>Local and state officials are now responsible for 80% of the nation's
>food safety enforcement. These officials regularly improve training,
>sanitation and labeling standards to address new food borne diseases
>and other dangers to our food supply whether natural or man made. This
>clause puts a straitjacket on these front-line workers, who are most
>familiar with local needs.
>
>If the preemption language is adopted into the final Farm Bill, some of
>the state laws that may be affected include:
>
>*Genetically Modified Crops Foods:
>
>This would wipe out the restrictions passed by voters in four
>California counties and two cities, and could limit the powers of the
>California Rice Certification Act and its ability to prohibit the
>introduction of GE rice varieties. Local and state laws pertaining to
>GE crops have also been passed in Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho,
>Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
>All of these democratically enacted laws are threatened by this language.
>
>The biotech industry and big agribusiness have been trying to push
>similar bills in dozens of states across the country, and also at the
>Federal level with last year's so-called "Food Uniformity" bill. Now
>they want to sneak it into a committee hearing and hide it in the Farm Bill.
>
>
>Specifically, this clause may over-ride existing legislation or prevent
>future legislation such as:
>
>* Legislation in California and Arkansas that gives these states the
>power to prohibit the introduction of GE rice. The major rice growing
>states are particularly concerned after last fall s revelations that
>several unapproved varieties of GE rice had contaminated natural rice,
>resulting in massive losses for US farmers when export customers in
>Asian and Europe closed their markets to US rice.
>
>* Legislation adopted this year in the state of Washington, which
>prohibits planting of GE canola in areas near the State's large non-GE
>seed production. Brassica (cabbage, broccoli, and other such crops)
>seed producers pushed for this legislation, since GE canola can
>cross-pollinate with and contaminate natural cabbage seed. The Skagit
>Valley area in Washington produces $20 million in vegetable seed
>annually and is home to half of the world's cabbage seed production;
>
>
>* State and local ordinances restrict GMO's in California, Maine, and
>Vermont
>
>* The ability of any state to develop and implement restrictions on GE
>technology designed to protect farmers from cross pollination between
>GE and non GE crops.
>
>*rBGH Milk:
>In 2006, Vermont's Agricultural Secretary, Steve Kerr, urged dairy
>farmers to stop using rBGH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, in dairy cows.
>New York City is in the process of considering a ban on the sale of
>rBGH milk.
>
>*Foie Gras:
>On grounds of inhumane treatment, the City of Chicago banned the sale
>of foie gras in restaurants. California has banned the force-feeding of
>birds to produce the product, ending the practice by 2012.
>
>In addition, the preemption language raises concerns that states would
>be barred from taking action when a food safety threats arise.
>
>For example, states could be barred from calling for recalls or
>prohibiting the sale of tainted meats, peanut butter, or other foods
>that have passed USDA inspection.
>
>The Farm Bill will be voted on by the House Committee on Agriculture
>before going to the House floor and then on to the Senate. To take
>action to oppose this disastrous preemption language, send a letter and/or contact:
>
>The House Agricultural Committee, agriculture@mail.house.gov.
>Your House Representative, www.house.gov/writerep/ Your Senator,
>www.senate.gov/general/contact_inf­ormation/senators_cfm.cfm
>
>Stay updated about the 2007 Farm Bill as it moves through the House of
>Representatives, agriculture.house.gov/inside/2007FarmBil­l.html
>
>Regardless of how you feel about each of these local or state actions,
>maintaining the ability of state and local officials to craft locally
>based solutions to these issues is essential to protect the state's
>farmers, consumers, and the environment. Please Take Action
>http://www.democracyi...­
>rs/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2842
>
>
>
>* For more information, please contact Food for Maine's Future at
>207-692-2571 or info@foodformainesfuture.org or contact the Center for
>Food Safety
>P: (202)547-935.
A former member
Post #: 60
The Maine supreme? court just ruled that state law pre-empts and superceeds a local Brunswick ordinance on the spreading of bio-solids that contain trace toxics.

In effect, it voided the ordinance promulgated by the Katadin Education Center via. a referendum.

read about "Judge throws out biosolids ban" here:http://www.timesrecor...­.
Susannah
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 1
I'm a firm believer in communicating w/ our reps. and senators, especially when they are running for re-election, such is the case w/ Tom Allen (rep.tomallen@mail.house.gov). The following is a correspondence I just sent him; feel free to use any part of it:
Hello Representative Allen,

Please don't let the farm bill pass since, from what I've read, it contains language indicating the over-ruling of State and local laws. If this is accurate, once again the greed for profits over humanity seems to be the driving force for this toxic bill. Please support local farmers and gardeners. Healthy food is our life source. Don't let them take this issue lightly, or we'll pay for it in many ways which we have been to a certain degree since the 1950's when "living through better chemistry" augmented the toxic, killing industry. Thank you!

Frank Sanfilippo
Portland, ME
A former member
Post #: 42
Frank I am so grateful for your post! I read Pam's post several times and tried the urls, which did not work, but was still having trouble with making a short statement as to what the bill was about. I will pass this on to my group of friends and to our co-op group.
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