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E-M:/ URGENT ACTION: Seed Pre-emption Bill on Senate Floor TOMORROW

Please take action NOW to stop Senate Bill 777—a bill that would strip cities, counties, and townships of their ability to regulate seeds, including genetically engineered seeds.


Because of your opposition so far, this bill was stalled in committee since November. However, the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism Committee voted on the bill last week and it will be voted on TOMORROW (Thursday) on the Senate floor.


Please contact your Senator and urge them to oppose this bill. Ask them to instead create a workgroup to study this issue and recommend how the state should address genetically engineered crops.


Take Action!

Senators’ phone numbers are listed below, or visit this link to find your Senator: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator/michiganfys.asp   


Allen, Jason                  (517) 373-2413

Barcia, Jim                    (517) 373-1777

Basham, Raymond E.    (517) 373-7800

Birkholz, Patricia L.        (517) 373-3447

Bishop, Michael             (517) 373-2417

Brater, Liz                     (517) 373-2406

Brown, Cameron            (517) 373-5932

Cassis, Nancy               (517) 373-1758

Cherry, Deborah             (517) 373-1636

Clark-Coleman, Irma       (517) 373-0990

Clarke, Hansen              (517) 373-7346

Cropsey, Alan L.            (517) 373-3760

Emerson, Robert L.        (517) 373-0142

Garcia, Valde                (517) 373-2420

George, Thomas M.       (517) 373-0793

Gilbert II, Judson            (517) 373-7708

Goschka, Mike              (517) 373-1760

Hammerstrom, Beverly   (517) 373-3543

Hardiman, Bill                (517) 373-1801

Jacobs, Gilda Z.             (517) 373-7888

Jelinek, Ron                  (517) 373-6960

Johnson, Shirley            (517) 373-2523

Kuipers, Wayne             (517) 373-6920

Leland, Burton               (517) 373-0994

McManus, Michelle        (517) 373-1725

Olshove, Dennis             (517) 373-8360

Patterson, Bruce            (517) 373-7350

Prusi, Michael               (517) 373-7840

Sanborn, Alan                (517) 373-7670

Schauer, Mark               (517) 373-2426

Scott, Martha G.            (517) 373-7748

Sikkema, Kenneth R.     (517) 373-0797

Stamas, Tony                (517) 373-7946

Switalski, Michael          (517) 373-7315

Thomas III, Samuel Buzz(517) 373-7918

Toy, Laura M.                (517) 373-1707

VanWoerkom, Gerald     (517) 373-1635

Whitmer, Gretchen         (517) 373-1734




This fall, the Senate introduced SB 777, which would strip the authority of cities, counties, and townships to regulate seeds, including genetically engineered seeds. Now the bill will be voted on by the full Senate tomorrow.  


Genetically engineered crops pose risks to public health and the environment, including the risk of allergic reactions, the creation of superweeds, and the contamination of neighboring crops. Dozens of farmers, residents, and environmental groups turned out to testify against SB 777 before the Senate Committee this fall and winter.


Further concerns are posed by experimental crops, including “biopharmaceuticals”—food crops genetically engineered to produce prescription drugs and industrial chemicals. Examples include soybeans or corn genetically engineered to produce blood clotting agents or contraceptives. There already have been more than 750 open air field test sites of experimental crops in Michigan alone, and contamination of food crops in the U.S. has already occurred in more than one instance.


It is inappropriate to preempt the ability for local governments to regulate GE crops when State and Federal regulations are inadequate. Specifically:


o        The Food and Drug Administration does not require pre-market safety testing or labeling of genetically engineered foods, and does not approve the safety of GE food.

o        The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires no specific safety tests for the approval of GE crops, leaving the testing procedures to the industry it oversees.  The National Academy of Sciences criticized this process as often lacking scientific rigor.

o        The Environmental Protection Agency has few required safety tests specifically designed for GE crops, and has not required the use of internationally accepted testing procedures to ensure that new GE foods are not allergens.


Genetically engineered crops pose many legitimate concerns, and current regulations have not caught up to the new complexities and risks of the technology. Local citizens and governments deserve the right to determine how this technology is applied in their communities and what is grown in their fields. Senate Bill 777 would take away that right. Please contact your Senator ask her or him to oppose this bill.


Kate Madigan

Deputy Policy Director

Michigan Environmental Council

119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A

Lansing, MI 48912

517-487-3606 x21