California lawmakers are considering the first state law protecting farmers from the hazards of genetically engineered crops. AB 541 has passed through the Assembly Agriculture Committee and will be heard by the full Assembly the week of January 28th.
Take Action Now! Tell your state legislators that you support AB541, an important step in protecting farmers facing frivolous lawsuits from biotechnology companies like Monsanto. Send your email by January 25 to support California farmers.
AB541 was introduced by Assembly Member Jared Huffman early in 2007. The original bill included several additional provisions, including establishment of the country’s first system of notification for the locations of GE crops; confinement of experimental pharmaceutical-producing crops to greenhouses to protect the food system from contamination; and language making it clear that GE crop manufacturers, not farmers, are liable in the event of contamination.
The current version of AB 541 has been scaled back, and now focuses on two key provisions related to farmer protections. AB 541 will protect California farmers against frivolous lawsuits that intimidate and harass those who have not been able to prevent the inevitable drift of GE pollen or seed. This will help level the playing field for farmers accused by Monsanto and others of contract violations. The bill will also prevent the companies from entering farmers’ fields to take crop samples to test for presence of GMOs without explicit permission from farmers, and it will disallow lawsuits against farmers based on unverifiable test results.
Please send your email by Friday, Jan. 25. The letter below will go automatically to your Assemblymember. Thank you!