• Farm-Protection Group Forms after Corps Win Day

    My goal in the garden was to rebuild, by sundown, my chicken coop’s roof, but when I got the message about testimony being needed in support of Senate Bill 303, I immediately envisioned the job dribbling on for days. By the time I got there 15 or 20 minutes late, the issue had been tabled. All of the representatives from the corporate-person side of the issue received their desired opportunities to address New Mexico’s conservation committee, but less than 5% of the human persons were granted freedom of speech.

    Fortunately, a group called the Farmer Protection Coalition has formed to prevent future abortions of justice and see that a bill, now five years in the making, passes through the 2011 legislative session. The group's new law would do the following:

    a) limit the liability of farmers who accidentally possess genetically engineered seeds,
    b) establish a respectful process for biotech companies who wish to inspect farms,
    c) alleviate farmers of any duty to prevent the encroachment of genetically engineered seeds,
    d) ensure that legal disputes be initiated locally rather than near the headquarters of distant seed companies.

    Please chime in with your take on the hearing or the issue of GMOs generally. If you would like to sign a petition in favor of the above, please say so below.

    For folks keeping score, I hope to finish the henhouse remodel by Wednesday, but the bricks, rocks, and logs could theoretically hold her down until our dependable spring winds start rearing their gusty jowls.


  1. Unknown says:

    It's frustrating always being on the wrong side of the eight ball. Not being able to hold Monsanto accountable for polluting our crops with their irresponsibly drifting pollens. Collectively bailing out or "protecting" perpetrators rather than suing them as finally happened with the cigarette companies.

  1. Unknown says:

    As someone who has been concerned about this issue since I heard about the 'FlavrSavr (sp?) Tomato' in the mid 90s, and more recently, concern over the genetic engineering of corn to include spermicide and adhesives; this hearing was the culmination of years of organizing, education, and activism by many groups including Save NM Seeds, The NM Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance, and Conservation Voters of NM. I was looking forward to witnessing our lawmakers do the right and simple thing: protect the smaller farmers from juggernaut tactics of Biotechnology corporations to destroy their competition by running small farmers into financial disarray through legal fees in distant states. This is not conspiracy, it has been well documented by the Center for Food Safety, ACRES, and even Vanity Fair magazine, among others...

    But there is hope because I did get to witness our lawmakers do the right thing. Senator Richard Martinez and Senator Stephen Fischmann stood up to the rest of the committee, noting the simplicity of the Act and the fact that the room was packed with farmers. Fischmann offered a 'do pass' and Martinez a quick 'second.' Unfortunately the gavel came down to table under the influence of Senators Sharer, Ryan, Sanchez, Harden, Ulibarri, and Phil Griego; who obviously didn't understand the issue any further than the misguided information presented by three lobbyists with refutable arguments. If we had been allowed to speak, we could have addressed these falsehoods, but unfortunately we were put off, for now...

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