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E-M:/ Act now to oppose SB 777 seed law



From Carol Osborne, volunteer, Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance:
 
You may have heard about a new bill to preempt local regulation of seeds, SB 777.  If you have concerns about genetic contamination in our food, fields and forests, or if you want to preserve the rights of local governments to pass laws that protect the environment, please take time to contact the committee to express opposition to SB 777.
  • SB 777 is intended to prevent cities, townships or counties from taking any action to regulate genetically engineered seeds.  To stop the unchecked spread of GE contamination throughout the environment, counties and towns in other states have taken steps to prohibit or otherwise restrict use of GE seeds.  We need to preserve this option for Michigan. 
  • This bill does not protect the economic and business interests of organic farmers whose crops and livelihoods are threatened by GE contamination.
  • The bill also preempts and invalidates local laws on noxious weed seeds or use/planting of invasive plant seeds.  These kinds of ordinances are often part of a local program to enhance native plant species and encourage healthy habitats for wildlife and people.  Local communities should not have this power taken from them.
The Senate Agriculture Committee has held several hearings on this bill, but no action has been taken as yet.  They are listening to concerns of citizens opposed to the bill, and continued pressure is needed to convince the Committee that this bill is bad policy.  It is especially important for people from the Senators' districts to get in touch--they like to hear from their constituents.
 
The bill may be considered at the next Committee meeting on Thursday morning, December 1.  Please contact Committee members by phone or email to express opposition to this bill.  Encourage the committee to consider official action to study the issue of genetically engineered seeds and their impact on public health and the environment in Michigan.  Stand up for community rights to regulate and protect local environments.
 
The Senate Agriculture members are listed below, along with their Senate Districts.
 
Members, Senate Agriculture, Forestry, & Tourism committee

Chair, Sen. Gerald VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores)
Republican of District 34--Newaygo, Oceana, Muskegon, Mason Counties
Office Phone: (517) 373-1635
FAX: (517) 373-3300
Office Location: 420 Farnum Building
E-mail Address:
SenGVanWoerkom@senate.michigan.gov

Vice Chair, Sen. Judson Gilbert II (R-Algonac)
Republican of District 25--Lapeer, St Clair Counties
Office Phone: (517) 373-7708
Office Location: 705 Farnum Building
E-mail Address:
SenJGilbert@senate.michigan.gov

Sen. Ron Jelinek,(R-Three Oaks)
Republican of District 21--Cass, Berrien, Van Buren (most of) Counties
Office Phone: (517) 373-6960
Office Location: 405 Farnum Building
E-mail Address:
SenRJelinek@senate.michigan.gov

Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) Minority Vice Chair
Democrat of District 18--Washtenaw County (most of)
Office Phone: (517) 373-2406
Office Location: 510 Farnum Building
E-mail Address:
SenLBrater@senate.michigan.gov

Sen. Samuel "Buzz" Thomas (D-Detroit)
Democrat of District 4--mid/north Detroit
Office Phone: (517) 373-7918
Office Location: 610 Farnum Building
E-mail Address:
SenBThomas@senate.michigan.gov
 
Carol Osborne, volunteer
Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance
PO Box 36880
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236