Movement for Maine Frankencrops

Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 11:09 AM
Subject: State-wide Moratorium to Keep ME Free from GE Crops

Maine Food Co-ops Unite for a Statewide Moratorium to
"Keep Maine Free From Genetically Engineered Crops"

Join us in our food safety campaign.

This fall our Maine-wide coalition will introduce a bill sponsored by Maine
congressional Representative Linda Rogers McKee (Wayne) and endorsed by
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) calling for a
moratorium on growing genetically engineered crops throughout the state
until they have been proven to be safe for our health and the environment.
Close to 400 Maine farmers (representing over 40,000 acres) have voluntarily
pledged to not grow genetically-altered crops for three years.

The public has the power to influence legislation. Your voice counts!

You Can:

-- overwhelm the Legislature this winter in Augusta
with witnesses and testimony

-- write government officials -- talk to your family and
neighbors -- in Maine, word of mouth works!

-- write newspaper commentaries -- cut through the nearly
100% media blackout about genetic engineering

-- encourage a neighboring farmer to sign our pledge

Please get involved -- Call Co-op Voices Unite! at 359-4617 or 359-2282

Co-op Voice Unite!
PO Box 1002
Blue Hill, Maine 04614

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed,
it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Co-op Voices Unite! is a volunteer committee of Blue Hill Food Co-op, Blue
Hill, Maine, with the purpose of building an alliance between Maine co-ops
and buying clubs in order to create a unified voice as a co-op affiliated
lobby to initiate and monitor state policies and laws which involve food.

Why we need a moratorium on
Genetically Engineered Crops in Maine

1) Releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment is
2) GMOs are a very real and present threat to our food supply and
3) Genetically engineered food has NOT been proven safe for human
4) Genetically engineered crops have NOT been proven safe for the
5) The only advantage of GMOs is corporate control of farmers and the world
food supply.

Because of corporate lobbying, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
does not require safety testing of genetically engineered foods. Corporate
greed has come before sound science. 70% of packaged foods contain
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with no consumer knowledge or

A moratorium is necessary to stop this novel technology that, once in place,
is irrevocable. It would allow Maine the time to weigh the benefits vs. the
risks before blindly rushing down this path of corporate control. It would
be a very wise precautionary move that could make an enormous difference to
the future of our state and its people.

The 'Precautionary Principle' is at the heart of ecological security.
Precaution, a basic tenant of real science, requires that "unless there is
proof of safety, we should err on the side of caution." That is why consumer
groups, environmental organizations and farmers' associations are calling
for a freeze on the commercialization of genetic engineering. The
Precautionary Principle also calls for the search and promotion of
alternatives. Yet the genetic engineering industry is rushing untested
products to the marketplace, even where safer and better alternatives exist.
(V. Shiva)

Potential risks include:

Irreversible alteration of nature
Corporate control of the farmer
Antibiotic resistance in humans
Drift / cross-contamination of neighboring crops
Increased vulnerability from monoculture
Crop loss from reduced yields
Allergic reactions
Decreased nutritional value
Increased resistance to herbicides and pesticides (creating superweeds and
Farmer liability

A Maine moratorium makes economic sense. Internationally, premium prices are
being paid for non-GMO crops. A GMO-free Maine can be a sound promotional
tool for Maine's agricultural products.

Let's live up to Maine's motto -- "Dirigo" (I lead)
Support the campaign to "Keep Maine Free From Genetically Engineered Crops"

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