February 14, 2006
Press Release: Another attempt to take away local control
In yet another attempt to take away local control, Missouri State Senator David Klindt (R-12) has introduced a bill in the Missouri Legislature that would remove from county commissioners the ability to pass any ordinances pertaining to the use or storage of agriculture seeds.
The bill SB 1009 has been introduced in state legislatures around the country in a concerted attempt by the agribusiness industry. The bill is apparently aimed at Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds, such as the infamous terminator and other GMO seeds that farmers store from year to year. With all the attempts to take away local control from counties to regulate confined animal feeding operations, CAFOs, this seems a dangerous precedent.
A community's food policies should be determined by public support and local policymakers, not by agribusiness lobbyists in backrooms of the state legislatures, stated Carla Klein, Director of the Ozark (MO) Chapter of the Sierra Club. Local actions around GMOs are designed to address important gaps in the federal and state policy. They mitigate the potentially serious threat to public health, the environment and the survival of local farm economies. Many communities have chosen to become GMO free areas which have benefited their economy and local food supply.
This bill does nothing to relieve struggling family farmer, but does much to assist the companies that are manipulating the seeds that farmers sow. While Monsanto stands much to gain, farmers stand much to lose, concluded Klein.