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Sierra Club wants Sen. Harkin to initiate investigation of transgenic contamination

(May 13, 2002 CropChoice news) The following is from a Sierra Club press release.

Sierra Club is asking Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture to hold hearings on the contamination caused by the planting of genetically engineered crops. Farmers, consumers and environmentalists can be on the same side of this one -- please join your voice to this appeal.

Contact The Honorable Tom Harkin.

Write him: U.S. Senate
731 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington DC 20510

Call: (202) 224-3254

Fax: (202) 224-9369

e-mail: Tom_harkin@harkin.senate.gov

Sample message

Dear Senator Harkin,

I'm writing to ask that you, in your position as Chairman of the U.S.Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, schedule hearings regarding the contamination of organically grown crops and all crops intended to be sold as GEO-free.

Scientific studies indicate that genetically engineered (GE) pollen is contaminating the crops of farmers who are not planting GE crops. This creates a perilous situation for organic farmers who are rightly concerned that they may not be able to market their product as organic. Many farmers are being charged with patent infringement by the manufacturers of transgenic seeds for the corporations' transgenic crops growing on their land despite the fact that these farmers did not plant GEO seed. On the flip side, farmers should not have to sue their farming neighbors who plant GE crops when these neighboring fields cause genetic contamination to the farmer who plants GEO-free.

Many consumers want the choice to purchase products that do not contain GEO ingredients. As the food supply gets contaminated, i.e. by pollen flow, wind, birds, insects, grain elevators, etc, consumers may not have any choice. Plain and simply, this is not fair to the consumer.

There is also evidence that transgenic plants are creating superweeds. There is concern, too, that the genetic code which is released out of doors may ultimately harm the natural environment. In one sense, a "gene spill" like Starlink is akin to an oil spill but, because genetic code is self-propagating, environmental cleanup would be even less effective.

Therefore I implore you, Senator Harkin, to schedule hearings to include a broad cross section of views, including those of farmers, consumers, and environmentalists, regarding these important issues.



For more info, contact Laurel Hopwood, Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Committee Chair, at lhopwood@earthlink.net or 216-371-9779 (call before 8 PM EST)

View: http://www.sierraclub.org/biotech/references.asp