From The Organic Consumers Association
Please sponsor the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection
Act. This bill establishes a set of farmers‘ rights in regards to
genetically engineered organisms and the business practices of biotech
The intent of the act is:
To provide additional protections for farmers and ranchers that may be
harmed economically by genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals,
to ensure fairness for farmers and ranchers in their dealings with biotech
companies that sell genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals, to
assign liability for injury caused by genetically engineered organisms,
and for other purposes.
The act prohibits several practices that have become common in contracts
with biotech companies. For instance:
Purchasers of genetically engineered seed will not be prohibited from
saving seeds for next year’s crop and will not have to pay a fee to save
Liability for any damage done by the genetically engineered organism
will not be shifted to the farmer.
Farmers will not have to allow biotech companies access to their
If a genetically engineered product does not perform as advertised,
the purchaser will able to recover damages.
Biotech companies will be required to provide written instructions on how
to grow the genetically engineered crop in such a manner as to avoid
cross-pollination. Conventional farmers who want to sell their crops to
places that prohibit genetically engineered food and organic growers will
benefit from this provision.
Bt pesticides are a useful tool in an organic farmer’s pesticide arsenal.
Bt is a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills many crop pests.
Engineering crops to produce Bt toxins is common among biotech companies.
Pest insect resistance to Bt could damage a large segment of the
non-biotech farming community.
The act requires biotech companies to formulate a plan to prevent
resistance to Bt.
H.R.3555 also includes a prohibition on loan discrimination against
farmers who don’t want to adopt biotech in their fields, a prohibition on
non-fertile plant seeds (the terminator gene), and mislabeling.
Please take action to protect farmers!
Organic Consumers Association