Daily News Archive
Challenges Europe's GE Food Moratorium
Action Alert: Contact Members of Congress
(Beyond Pesticides, June 2, 2003) The Bush administration is challenging Europe's temporary moratorium on genetically engineered (GE) food as a "barrier to trade" at the World Trade Organization (WTO), putting the interests of big agribusiness corporations, like Monsanto, over the interests of consumers and the environment.
If this challenge
prevails, then the U.S. may never be able to have laws that require adequate
safety testing or labeling of genetically engineered food, because those
democratically created laws would be challenged by the
This case will become Exhibit No. 1 in the growing worldwide attack on the WTO's legitimacy. The fundamental issue here is democracy. In this campaign, environmentalists have said that the people have the right through elected officials to design domestic policy, not a secretive WTO tribunal of trade bureaucrats operating behind closed doors.
Polling shows that a majority of Europeans and Americans want GE foods to be segregated from non-GE foods and labeled so that consumers have a choice.
The people of Europe have repeatedly said that they do not wish to eat GE foods because of the health and environmental risks they pose. Europe is in the process of developing important legislation that will allow consumers to have that choice, something the U.S. government has not made available.
The WTO is a major threat to environmental and food safety legislation. The WTO overruled U.S. dolphin-safe tuna law, turtle protection law, and Europe's law against artificial hormones in beef. Now it is set to go after progressive GE food legislation. "Through this challenge, the Bush administration is sending a strong message to European citizens that the U.S. does not respect either their democracy or right-to-know," said Friends of the Earth.
MAKE A LOCAL CALL TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SAY NO! TO THE U.S. WTO GE FOOD SUIT. NO! TO U.S. BULLYING TACTICS ON GE FOODS. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE, NOT THE WTO!
1. Call their local district offices and ask for your Senators or Representative or their Chief of Staff.
2. Tell them you are a constituent who is very upset about the WTO case, because you want to see GE foods regulated or banned, and you are outraged that the WTO can be used to attack peoples' right to decide what they want to eat.
3. Ask for a response in writing stating their position on the case.
To find your members
of Congress office numbers, let your fingers do the walking through the
blue GOVERNMENT section of your local phone book (look for CONGRESS in
the dark blue section if you have one) or find the local office number
on your Representative's website which can be accessed
at http://ga1.org/ct/YdzlBK61fpqH/ for the House or http://ga1.org/ct/Y7zlBK61fpqG/ for the Senate.
If you cannot find the local number, you can reach any Member of Congress or Senator by calling the Capitol Switchboard in Washington, D.C. at 202-224-3121. Do not leave a message with the receptionist; chances are that it will never reach the right person. Make sure that you speak with the person who handles trade. Ask for a written response to your call to ensure that your call is recorded.
Ask your friends,
family and colleagues to take action by visiting:
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on this topic, you can sign up with Friends of the Earth at: