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An declaration by NFFC opposing GMOs


To sign onto this declaration, please email to nffc@nffc.net or fax to (202) 543-0978 with your: Name, Organization, Phone and Fax 
number or email address.

NFFC FARMERS' DECLARATION ON GENETIC ENGINEERING IN AGRICULTURE

In the face of the growing controversy over genetic engineered crops
and food the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), which currently consists
of 33 farm, resource conservation and rural advocacy groups from 33 states
bringing together farmers and others to organize national projects on preserving
and strengthening family farms, is sponsoring a nine-point petition drive
titled "Farmers' Declaration on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture." It
declares:

"Genetic engineering in agriculture has significantly increased the
economic uncertainty of family farmers throughout the U.S. and the world.
American farmers have lost critical markets which are closed to genetically
engineered products. Corporate control of the seed supply threatens farmers'
independence. The risk of genetic drift has made it difficult and expensive
for farmers to market a pure product.

"Genetic engineering has created social and economic disruption that
threatens traditional agricultural practices for farmers around the world.
Farmers, who have maintained the consumer's trust by producing safe, reasonably
priced and nutritious food, now fear losing that trust as a result of consumer
rejection of genetically engineered foods.

"Many scientists believe genetically engineered organisms have been
released into the environment and the food supply without adequate testing.
Farmers who have used this new technology may be facing massive liability
from damage caused by genetic drift, increased weed and pest resistance,
and the destruction of wildlife and beneficial insects.

"Because of all the unknowns, we, as farmers, therefore:

"1. Demand a suspension of sales, environmental releases and further
government approvals of all genetically engineered seeds and agriculture
products until an independent and comprehensive assessment of the social,
environmental, health and economic impacts of those products is concluded.

"2. Demand a ban on the ownership of all forms of life including a ban
on the patenting of seeds, plants, animals, genes and cell lines.

"3. Demand that agrarian people who have cultivated and nurtured crops
for thousands of years retain control of natural resources and maintain
the right to use or reuse any genetic resource.

"4. Demand that corporate agribusiness be held liable for any and all
damages that result from the use of genetically engineered crops and livestock
that were approved for use without an adequate assessment of the risks
posed to farmers, human health and the environment.

"5. Demand that the corporations and institutions that have intervened
in the genetic integrity of life bear the burden of proof that their actions
will not harm human health, the environment or damage the social and economic
health of rural communities. Those corporations must bear the cost of an
independent review guided by the precautionary principle and conducted
prior to the introduction of any new intervention.

"6. Demand that consumers in the U.S. and around the globe have the
right to know whether their food is genetically engineered and have a right
to access naturally produced food.

"7. Demand that farmers who reject genetic engineering should not bear
the cost of establishing that their product is free of genetic engineering.

"8. Demand the protection of family farmers, farmworkers, consumers,
and the environment by ending monopoly practices of corporate agribusiness
through enforcement of all state and federal anti-trust, market concentration
and corporate farming laws; by a renewed commitment to public interest
agricultural research led by the land grant colleges; by an immediate shift
of funding from genetic engineering to sustainable agriculture; and by
expanding the availability of traditional varieties of crops and livestock.

"9. Demand an end to mandatory check off programs that use farmers'
money to support and promote genetic engineering research and corporate
control of agriculture."

To sign onto this declaration, please email to nffc@nffc.net or fax
to (202) 543-0978 with your: Name, Organization, Phone and Fax number or
email address.

RECOMMENDED READING:

"The Kingdom of Apples: Picking the Fruit of Immortality in Washington's
Laden Orchards," by David Guterson,  Harper's Magazine, October,
1999: pgs 41-56.


Happy Gardening!

John Edward Verin
Senior Apprentice
Ecosystem Farm
Accokeek, MD

"...it's going to take a wrenching change of heart in those citizens of the world who have the world's goods in abundance.
Each of us must begin to experience the empowerment to change the world that comes from simplicity and wanting less."

- John Jeavons


Food is power... are you in control of yours?

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