pa_capitolWe just learned that THIS Wednesday June 15th, the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will be voting on a resolution that “urges state and federal regulatory agencies to use science based, peer reviewed data to assess the impacts and the regulation of modern agricultural technologies including but not limited to crop protection chemistry, genetically engineered or enhanced traits and nutrients”.
In other words, this resolution would mandate that our regulators use only the industry science that is presented to them and would not allow for our government to take the “precautionary principle” when it comes to new agricultural technologies used for food, feed and fiber.
This is an outrageous resolution, as it protects solely the biotech industry, completely discounts consumers and small farmers and shows blatant disregard for the health of humans, animals and the environment.
You can read the resolution here.

ARE YOU OUTRAGED?

Will you help us make some noise by calling our representatives and demanding that they protect consumer interests and not the industry? ASK them to vote “NO”! HR872!

Here are some highlights of the resolution:

“WHEREAS, The availability of modern agricultural technologies such as precision farming equipment, crop protection chemistry,genetically engineered or enhanced traits and agricultural nutrients are critically important tools that allow farmers to expand yields, reduce environmental impacts, improve profitability and provide a safe, healthy, abundant and affordable food supply; and
WHEREAS, The agriculture and food production industries have a long history of success and safety in protecting and further enhancing the food, feed and fiber supply for Pennsylvania residents and the world.”

TALKING POINTS:

1.  We know that genetic engineering HAS NOT expanded yields. Quite the opposite.
According to the second edition of GMO Myths and Truths:
Conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in delivering crops that yield well, resist disease, are nutritious, and tolerate drought and other types of extreme weather. (pp. 284, 318–321)

2.  Genetic engineering technology has NOT reduced environmental impacts. This technology has created super-weeds which have forced farmers to increase their chemical inputs. A report by agronomist Chuck Benbrook has shown that planting of the herbicide tolerant crops has led to 527 million pound increase in the United States between 1996 and 2011 and overall pesticide use increased by about 404 million pounds.

3.  GMO foods have NOT BEEN PROVEN safe. According to GMO Myths and Truths:
The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects that can disrupt or alter gene structure, disturb normal gene regulatory processes, or cause effects at other levels of biological structure and function. These effects can result in unintended changes in composition, including new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value
The GM gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops – may be be toxic or allergenic.

Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a GMO may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready crops.

4. GM crops ARE NOT needed to enhance the world’s food supply. When people become concerned about feeding the world or developing drought or flood resistant crops, they must understand that that conventional breeding produces crops with these desired complex traits.

5. Pennsylvania has the opportunity to be the bread basket of the Mid- Atlantic. A USDA Report from 2015 showed that Pennsylvania was #3 in sales of organic produce totaling about $313 million, and sales from organic farms across the country were up 72%. This is where consumer demand is leading us, not in technology that has shown little to no benefit to consumers or to many farmers, but has created huge profit margins for the chemical companies.

Please reach out to these representatives and make your voices heard.
Please reach out to these representatives and make your voices heard.

By clicking this link, you will be taken to a spreadsheet which has the names and websites of each representative on the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee and the folks running against them. Please call the incumbent in your district and if you’d like, you can call the person running for that office as well to send a message about consumers’ right to know!

Thank you for your action!


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