Monday, May 25, 2009

Legislation to watch

No, don't just watch it - try to do something to stop it.

This last week I received a couple of alerts about SB 384, the Lugar-Casey Act.

It's passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee without much fanfare or public response.

The good news is that this bill increases funds for ag development and food security abroad.

The very bad news is that it requires such aid to include investment in GMOs.

Once again we can pretend to be helping the poor while instead helping the rich - in this case the big agrochemical firms.

The research that supported the pro-GMO position was funded by the Gates Foundation. So it's Gates and G-8 on the GMO side - and the UN, any number of NGOs and most of those with either an agroecological vision, or a realistic sense of the lives of the poor, or both, on the other.

If you read only one article about this, check out this one, by Ben Burkett, a Mississippi farmer, an African-American, and the president of the National Family Farm Coalition.

Then call your Senators and let them know how you and Ben feel about it.

The Oakland Institute as usual is right on top of things. They are aggregating information on a new site, Voices from Africa.

For even more background, The Oakland Institute's reports are good. And there's this one from Friends of the Earth and the Center for Food Safety:
The executive summary is pages 5-8, if 48 pages seems too much. It did to me tonight, but I hope to read it and offer more highlights here soon.

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