Victory for Local Food Democracy

Because we should celebrate our victories over Big Food, below is an excerpt from a September 1 press release from Californians for GE-Free Agriculture. Note the ironic twist: While soda companies argue for “local control” in school vending,” Big Agriculture is trying to stop local communities from banning genetically-engineered crops. Industry will use any argument that is expedient. This time it didn’t work. Visit Californians for GE-Free Agriculture.

Proponents of precautions for genetically engineered crops today declared victory in their battle to defend the rights of counties and cities to enact local restrictions on genetically engineered (GE) organisms. SB1056, a bill that would have pre-empted such local laws, failed to make it out of committee in the California Senate and died with the close of the legislative year.

The Monsanto-backed bill was introduced last year after the passage of four county and two city bans on GE crops. It was opposed by associations of cities and counties, environmentalists, organic and family farmers, and thousands of citizens concerned that it would have pre-empted democratically established local rules. California currently has no state regulations to protect farmers, consumers or the environment from the risks of GE crops. “By not even bringing SB1056 to a vote, the Senate sent a clear message that enacting pre-emption before state legislation is bad policy,” said Renata Brillinger, Director of Californians for GE-Free Agriculture.

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