Every five years, Congress votes on the Farm Bill, which dictates food and agriculture policy for many years to come.
Unless we get involved and demand that our representatives pass pro-organic policies, they will continue to give large bailouts to agribusiness companies and the country’s largest industrial farms at the expense of consumers, family farms, and the environment.
Needless to say, there is A LOT at stake here.
Yet, all that is required from you is signing an electronic form and making a few simple phone calls to your Senators in Washington D.C.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A number of amendments to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill have been offered that would support the labeling of genetically-engineered food, support organic farmers, repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act,” protect honey bees, and numerous others.
Here are the most important amendments that you should ask your Senators to support.
1) Senator Boxer (D-California) introduced an amendment in support of mandatory GMO-labeling (#1025) as well as her amendment requesting that the FDA and USDA study the 64 countries around the world that already require GMO-labeling (#1026).
2) Senator Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced an amendment supporting the existing rights of states to enact their own laws requiring the labeling of genetically-engineered foods. Already this year, 26 states have introduced labeling laws with the possibility of passage in a number of states.
This is a crucial one because Monsanto wants to take away from states their right to label GE-foods, so that GE-labeling can only be done on the federal level.
3) Senator Begich (D-Alaska) introduced an amendment (#934) to ban the sale of genetically-engineered salmon until federal wildlife agencies are properly consulted and find that GE-salmon pose no environmental risk.
4) Senator Tester (D-Montana) introduced an amendment to reinvigorate public plant and animal breeding, which has hit an all-time low because of private sector assaults from companies like Monsanto.
5) Senator Merkley (D-Oregon) introduced an amendment (#978) to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act” provision in the 2013 government spending bill that attacked judicial oversight of genetically-engineered crops.
Again, another crucial one. Monsanto was able to pass legislation that basically gives it the green light to plant and sell all GMO crops without the USDA having to approve them first.
Senator Boxer (D-California) has also introduced an amendment to protect honey bees and native pollinators (#1027), which declined by over 45% last winter as a result of pesticides and industrial agriculture. Senators Leahy (D-Vermont) and Cowan’s (D-Massachusetts) EQIP Organic Initiative amendment would eliminate the separate payment limit in EQIP for farmers participating in the Organic Initiative, so that all farmers are subject to the same payment limitations in EQIP.
The Farm Bill is a 5-year bill that has very serious and wide-ranging implications for us all.
And it is crucial that we pass a Farm Bill that is protective of the environment, consumers, and organic and family farmers—not just protective of big agribusiness. The Senate is voting on amendments this week, so please take action today!
TWO ACTION STEPS
1) Click HERE to sign the Center for Food Safety’s electronic form, which will be automatically directed to your Senators in Washington D.C.
2) Call your Senators in Washington D.C. and tell them to support all of the amendments listed above. You can reference the amendment numbers listed.
If you know who your Senators are, the Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.
If you don’t know who your Senators are, click HERE.
I have already signed the form and made phone calls to both of my Senators in Washington D.C. Will you take a quick few minutes and please do the same?
Thank you so much for supporting organic food!!
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