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From: Anna C.
Sent on: Monday, July 16, 2012 7:02 AM
Hello health conscious people, we need to take action.
This month, Congress will vote to pass the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Section 733 of the bill, ironically dubbed the “Farmers Assurance Provision,” has sparked widespread outcry and concern from the organic farming community for its ability to render the public and government virtually powerless in any attempts to stop GMO crop cultivation.

The “Farmer Assurance Provision”–more aptly described by Food Democracy Now as the “Monsanto Protection Act”– would strip the authority of federal courts to halt the sale and planting of illegal, potentially hazardous genetically engineered crops while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses potential hazards.

The bill gives biotech companies free rein to plant, harvest and sell GMO crops before they are even deemed safe by the USDA. Worse, if any GMO crops are found harmful by a court of law, the USDA is forced to allow continued planting of the proven dangerous crops. The provision goes even further and bans the court from suggesting that the USDA take action against any agricultural policies that may be harmful to the environment or farmers.

“This provision has nothing to do with farmers, and everything to do with the biotech industry’s sales,” said Dena Hoff, vice president of the National Family Farm Coalition. “Far from safeguarding farmers, it evades the law of the land and endangers their way of life and their livelihoods. The only parties whose interests would be assured are the corporations developing biotech crops.”

Dozens of organizations including the ACLU, Sierra Club, Center For Food Safety, Earthjustice, National Organic Coalition, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Valley Family Farms, and many more have come together to fight for the removal of the “Farmers Assurance Provision” from the bill. Together they have signed a letter to Committee chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) and the Committee’s ranking member Norm Dicks (D-WA) requesting the removal of this provision which you can read here: US House of Representatives Should Strike the Deceptive “Farmer Assurance Provision”

Why is this issue of such concern to us? It is vital that the rights of organic farmers is protected and their crops are in turn protected from cross contamination and “superweeds” created by GMOs, chemical pesticides and monocropping.
If you would like to join those speaking out against this dangerous provision buried deep in the 2013 Farm Bill you can email your congress member at the link below: Act fast! Congress is set to vote on this issue on July 23.
Let's make this work!

Best, Anna and Michael Coulter

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