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    Straus Communication

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    Program ID - bo071305


    GMO Legal Battles



    Last year, California's Mendocino County passed legislation banning the planting of Genetically Modified (GM) crops within its borders. Trinity and Marin Counties quickly followed suit.

    Critics of GM crops, convinced that the federal regulatory process has been hijacked by special interests, have decided to take action by rallying public support for GM bans, county by county. It's a battle that has seen some of the world's largest corporations taking on (and, in some cases, losing to) family farmers, activists, and hippies.

    Now, pro-biotech supporters have responded with "seed pre-emption law" which would outlaw these consumer-driven county-wide bans. In California, they've formed the "Healthy Foods Coalition" - a lobbying group with organizational and funding support from the traditionally conservative Farm Bureau, Cattlemen's Association and others.

    "Seed pre-emption" legislation has succeeded in 14 states. Will California be next?

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network as we learn about the latest battles over GMO legislation in the US and worldwide.

    Note: This week's show was originally designed as a round-table discussion, with participants representing various perspectives. Unfortunately, calls to the "Healthy Foods Coalition" - inviting their participation - were not returned.


    This Week's Guests:

    Andrew Kimbrell — Exec. Dir., Center for Food Safety

    Andrew is a public interest attorney, activist and author. He has been involved in public interest legal activity in numerous areas of technology, human health and the environment.

    After working for eight years as the Policy Director at the Foundation for Economic Trends, he established the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) in 1994 and the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in 1997. He has written several books and given numerous public lectures on a variety of issues.

    Andrew has been featured on radio and television programs across the country, including The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, Crossfire, Headlines on Trial, and Good Morning America. He has lectured at dozens of universities throughout the country and has testified before congressional and regulatory hearings. In 1994, the Utne Reader named him one of the world's leading 100 visionaries.


    Britt Bailey — Founder/Director, Environmental Commons

    Prior to forming Environmental Commons Britt was Co-Director of the Center for Ethics and Toxics. She has written and researched on a number of key issues including: the misuse of pesticides, agricultural biotechnology, sustainable farming, and endangered species. She is the co-author of Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food and is Senior Editor of Engineering the Farm, The Social and Ethical Aspects of Agricultural Biotechnology. She is also the producer of Against the Grain: The Video. Britt speaks at international conferences and universities on biotechnology and industrialized agriculture. Britt holds a masters degree in Environmental Policy. Her thesis focused on regulations and policies pertaining to developing farming technologies and the intersection between intensive agricultural settings and fragile ecosystems. She is the Environmental Policy instructor at the College of Marin, Kentfield, CA.


    Ryan Zinn — Campaigns Coordinator, Organic Consumers Association

    Ryan Zinn has been working on social justice and agriculture for 10 years. Prior to joining the OCA, Ryan worked with Global Exchange (99-03) in Chiapas, Mexico, Friends of the Earth Paraguay (1998) and the Center for International Environmental Law (1997).Ryan has been featured in print media and on radio and television programs in the US and Latin America.


    More information:

  • Environmental Commons
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • Center for Food Safety
  • California State Senate Bill SB 1056
  • Californians for GE-Free Agriculture
  • California Healthy Foods Coalition
  • Marin IJ - "Biotech crop bans face 'hijack' threat"




  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.


     


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