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Update on Lobbying Against GE Rice and Wheat

Dear Friends,

Over the last year, Amberwaves, a grassroots citizens' group, has been
circulating a petition opposing the introduction of GM rice, wheat, and
other essential foods "for my children, grandchildren, and all future
generations. Through my food choices, I will strive to keep America and
the planet beautiful, healthy, and peaceful."

1. On Tuesday in Washington, D.C., we met with Joann Miller at the EPA
and presented her with the "Save Rice Petition" signed by over 10,000
people (www.amberwaves.org/Amberwaves_Petition.html). We also presented
a scientific paper on the dangers of glufosinate, the herbicide used in
conjunction with Aventis' LibertyLink Rice prepared by geneticist Joe
Cummins (www.amberwaves.org/web_articles/joecummins.html) and formally
asked the EPA to withhold approval of glufosinate for use with rice. We
also asked for an immediate end to the growing of pharmaceutical rice in
the Sacramento Valley of California. Rice fields are the world's largest
natural sanctuary with over 200 species of birds, mammals, amphibians,
reptiles, and insects, including 30 that are already endangered in
California. A similar petition was submitted to the FDA.

2. We also presented a copy of the petition to the US Congress through
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who will help publicize it on Capitol Hill.

3. We had a very productive meeting with US Wheat Associates, the trade
association that oversees the export of American wheat, and presented a
copy of the "Save Wheat Petition" (similar to the rice petition). US
Wheat Associates is opposed to the introduction of GM wheat at this time
prior to international market and consumer acceptance.

4. Earlier this spring, we met with the California Rice Commission,
which oversees the California rice industry and presented the petition.
Tim Johnson, the president and CEO, told us that as a result of growing
public awareness of GM issues, GM rice would be delayed "for 5 years, if
ever" in California. He said that rice farmers don't want it and are
"mad as hell" over the attempts by Monsanto and the biotech industry to
manipulate them.

In the future, Amberwaves will present copies of the petition to other
trade and food associations, government agencies, and other
organizations. Rice, wheat, and other grains are the Staff of Life, and
must be preserved.

Alex Jack
President, Amberwaves
305 Brooker Hill Road
Becket, MA 01223
(413) 623-0012
Fax (413) 623-6042
Email shenwa@bcn.net
http://www.amberwaves.org


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