Thursday, July 24, 2008

Help protect farmers from Monsanto harassment

AB 541 is close to becoming California's first state law protecting farmers from the hazards of genetically engineered crops. Having already passed the Assembly, it has since cleared the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary committees and will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4th and then the full Senate. It has the support of Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the California Farmers Union, California Certified Organic Farmers, the California Farm Bureau, and many food safety and environmental organizations.

AB 541:

- Establishes the right of farmers and landowners to compensation for economic losses due to genetic contamination of their crops
- Protects farmers from being sued by a GE manufacturer if their crop is contaminated by that company's GE product.
- Establishes a county-level GE crop notification process so that farmers can trace contamination to the GE manufacturer.
- Protects the food supply by prohibiting the open-field cultivation of genetically engineered food crops used to produce drugs and biologics such as hormones and antibiotics.

AB 541 will enact protections for California farmers against frivolous lawsuits that intimidate and harass those who have not been able to prevent the inevitable - the drift of GE pollen or seed. It will level the playing field for farmers accused by agricultural biotechnology companies and other patent holders of contract violations, and discourage the practice of biotech companies sampling crops without explicit permission from farmers and prosecuting based on unverifiable testing results.

If you want to let legislators know you support this, go to this link:

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