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Vermont GMO Bill Goes to Governor

Vermont GMO Bill Goes to Governor;
Global Farmers Rally Against GMOs April 17

GE Free VT Media Release: Friday April 16th, 2004 2:40 PM EST

First-in-the-Nation Bill for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Seeds Approved By Vermont Senate; Goes to Governor.

Vermont & Quebec Farmers to Rally at US/Canada Border Saturday as Part of Global Farmer’s Protest Against GE crops and corporate control.

Montpelier, VT—The Vermont Senate today gave final legislative approval for a bill to define genetically engineered (GE) seeds, mandate the labeling of all GE seeds sold in the state, and require reporting on GE seed sales by biotech corporations. The measure comes as farmers and their supporters are preparing for a major rally and march at noon tomorrow to mark the April 17th International Day of Farmers’ Struggle at the US/Canada border in Derby Line, Vermont.

“Farmers and citizens around the world who are concerned about the use of genetically engineered crops have been watching the extraordinary grassroots movement in the state of Vermont” said Bill Wenzel, national director of the Farmer-to-Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering, a network of 35 farm groups across America saying no to GMOs. “I am so inspired to be here at this historic moment in the fight against the corporate takeover of our seed supply. The state of Vermont is making a big statement for family farmers everywhere and showing the world that even here in the US, farmers stand united against GMO crops that cripple our markets, threaten our environment, and only enrich the multi-national seed manufacturers like Monsanto.”

At a farmer meeting at her Applecheek Farm last night in Hyde Park, Vermont, Judy Clark spoke with her neighbors about the crisis of contamination. “This seed labeling bill is a great first step, but it doesn’t solve my problems as an non-GE grower: pollen drifts. Coexistence of GE and non-GE crops means contamination of the seed supply, and of my crop. Vermont lawmakers have got to join the rest of the world and call a Time-Out on GMOs to stop GMO contamination.”

Clark will speak at tomorrow’s rally alongside organic and conventional farmers from across Vermont and the Province of Quebec, and in concert with farmer rallies around the world. Rural Vermont, National Family Farm Coalition, and the GE Free Vermont Campaign are organizing the Derby Line farmer rally as part of the annual global day of action called by the international farmers’ movement, Via Campesina (www.viacampesina.org). April 17th demonstrations are planned in 15 countries including, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Bangladesh, Colombia, Italy, Mozambique, and Switzerland.

The GE Free Vermont Campaign on Genetic Engineering is a statewide coalition of public interest groups, businesses, concerned citizens and farmers, who have been organizing to oppose genetic engineering at the local, state and national level. For more information: (802) 793-1114 or www.gefreevt.org.

Contact: Amy Shollenberger, Rural Vermont 802.793.1114
Doyle Canning, GE Free VT 802.999.7502

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