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Take Action: Food Sovereignty Threatened by Proposed US Legislation
By Lindsay Shade
April 16th, 2010
As early as next week, the US Senate could vote on legislation with tremendous consequences for farmers and small producers across the globe. The Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act, also known as S. 384, aims to increase US foreign assistance for agricultural research and production and represents the biggest US agricultural aid initiative in more than half a century.
However, this ostensibly laudable effort is deeply flawed by a clause which specifically mandates research on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Please take action now to tell your Senator to oppose this legislation until the 'GE Clause' is removed.
Although Senator Lugar has responded to critics of the GE Clause that the language was meant to simply highlight GE research as eligible for funding, not mandate it, the actual text of the bill says otherwise and must be revised before its passage in Congress.
Public records indicate that agricultural biotechnology giants like Monsanto have spent millions of dollars lobbying members of Congress to shape S. 384. As a result, the legislation directs $7.7 billion toward agricultural research and development, including a federal requirement that U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab for GE crop research.
Contact your Senators now and tell them 'No GE crops in foreign aid.'
The push for this critical Senate vote coincides with International Day of Peasants' Struggles, April 17th. Fourteen years ago, this day was declared by Grassroots International's partner the Via Campesina to commemorate the slaughter of 19 members of Brazil's Landless Workers Movement by military police. To honor peasants' struggles this year, the Via Campesina has called on member organizations and supporters to say "No to corporate control of agriculture and food."
If passed, the Global Food Security Act will not only massively expand US funding for GE technology, it will also serve to further consolidate corporate control of food systems and undermine food sovereignty. Moreover, scientists who have examined the evidence around the globe agree: GE crops are not the answer to world hunger. Recent UN reports point to agroecological methods, like those promoted by Via Campesina, as a much more viable solution to sustainably meeting the world's food production needs.
Take a stand for food sovereignty today by telling your Senators to oppose the Global Food Security Act's mandate for GE research.