September 08, 2006

Local Bans on GE Crops Stand as CA Senate Fails to Vote on SB1056

Ding Dong, SB1056 is Dead
Californians for GE-Free Agriculture reports that SB1056, the bill that would have preempted local restrictions on genetically engineered organisms, failed to make it through the California Senate, and has died with the close of the legislative year. This is seen as a major victory.

The Monsanto-backed bill was introduced last year after the passage of four county and two city bans on GE crops. It was opposed by associations of cities and counties, environmentalists, organic and family farmers, and thousands of citizens who are concerned that it would have pre-empted democratically established local rules. California currently has no state regulations to protect farmers, consumers or the environment from the risks of GE crops.

One of the central concerns about genetically engineered crops is contamination of the food supply by engineered varieties. Just this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that an unapproved variety of GE rice has been contaminating the U.S. rice supply for years. Japan, the E.U., and other important U.S. rice importing countries reacted immediately with bans and restrictions on long grain rice imports, shaking the rice industry and causing the rice futures market to plummet by more than $150 million so far.


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