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Pennsylvania State Legislature May Make Local & County GE Crop Bans Illegal

5/18/04

Subject: Pennsylvania House Legislators to Legalize Genetically Modified
Seed Use

Activists,
This just in from Thomas Linzey. Local control under attack again
in PA. Please contact your legislators and help defeat HB 2387. Since
Gov. Rendell has already said he will take away local control on the
factory farm issue we have no reason to believe he will veto this bill if
it passes the House and Senate.

Bill Smedley
Executive Director
GreenWatch Inc.
www.greenwatchusa.org

Friends,

On April 14, 2004, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Committee on
Agriculture and Rural Affairs voted to approve House Bill 2387, which
ostensibly regulates the sale and labeling of seeds in the Commonwealth.

The Bill, however, strikes another blow against local control by
prohibiting municipalities from regulating the "use" of certain seeds
within the State.

Earlier this year, Mendocino County, California voters approved a
referenda prohibiting the planting and use of genetically modified seeds
within the County. Eight other California Counties are scheduled to follow
suit later this year, either through referenda or votes by County officials.

The use and propagation of genetically modified seeds has become a
controversial issue, especially to organic farmers concerned about
contamination of organic crops with genetically modified strains.

House Bill 2387 would establish statewide policy approving the use of
genetically modified seeds by preempting the ability of municipal
governments to adopt any controls governing the "use" of those seeds at
the municipal level.

The 30 co-sponsors of the legislation are:

Hickernell (primary)
Hershey
Daley
Armstrong
Baldwin
Bastian
Boyd
Cappelli
Causer
Cruz
Denlinger
Geis
Gingrich
R.Miller
S. Miller
Payne
Pickett
Reichley
Sather
Saylor
Scrimenti
Semmel
B. Smith
Stern
Tangretti
E.Z. Taylor
Tigue
True
Youngblood
Solobay

Removal of the preemption language dealing with "use" would secure the
ability and right of municipal governments to consider Ordinances
prohibiting, or regulating, the planting and dissemination of genetically
modified seeds.

If you care about this issue, please contact your local legislator and
urge them to contact the Primary Sponsor and amend the Bill prior to this
legislation receiving a floor vote.

Thomas Linzey, Esq.
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
(717) 709-0457