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    Program ID - bo060105

    Contaminated Crops: GMO’s and Farmers

    The US plants more than 100 million acres of genetically modified crops every year, according to the Pew Initiative, making it the world leader in “Franken” corn, soybeans and cotton. While supporters of the biotech food industry point to claims of curing world hunger, critics talk about the lack of long-term health and environmental studies.

    This week hundreds of representatives from around the world will be gathering in Montreal for the second round of Cartagena Protocol talks on international bio-safety regulation.

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network (, as we hear what US farmers have said about the dangers of crop contamination, loss of biological diversity and other GMO threats.

    This Week's Guests:

    Percy Schmeiser — Canola Farmer, Bruno, Saskatchewan, CA"

    A long time farmer and farm equipment dealer from the small rural community of Bruno Sask. He served as Mayor of the Town of Bruno from 1966-1983 and as a MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for the Watrous constituency in the Provincial Legislature from 1967-71.

    Excerpt from Aug 14, 1999 Vancouver Sun article by Dave Margoshes:

    "Percy Schmeiser was mad as hell, and decided he wasn't going to take it.

    "Schmeiser has been growing canola — the yellow-blossomed oilseed that used to be known as rapeseed -- for 40 years, and he knows his stuff. He's been experimenting, developing his own varieties, using his own seed and generally prospering with canola. reaping the benefits derived from growing an increasingly popular crop."

    "So when Monsanto, the giant multinational agro-chemical company that is at the forefront of developing genetically modified foods, accused him of patent infringement and demanded restitution for its seeds, his pride was hurt. He chose to fight rather than roll over and take it."

    Jerry Rosman — Farmer, Harlan, IA

    Jerry was born and raised in Harlan, Iowa, where he lives with his wife and four daughters. Harlan is a town of 5000 people located about 90 miles west of Des Moines in Shelby County. Jerry's family has farmed in the Harlan area for three generations.

    When Jerry was dreaming of being a farmer, he never thought he'd end up being a public spokesman on behalf of farmers. But since unexplained reproductive failure rose to a crisis level in hogs on the farm he ran, he has appeared in numerous newspapers and even on Iowa television calling for immediate action by government officials to investigate the problem he faced so that it does not impact his neighbors.

    Craig Winters — Executive Director, The Campaign to Label Genetically, Engineered Foods, Seattle, WA

    Concerned with the growing acreage of unlabeled and inadequately tested genetically engineered crops, The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods was launched in March 1999.

    In July 1999, The Campaign's Executive Director, Craig Winters, flew to Washington, DC to meet with Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. It was at this one-on-one meeting that Congressman Kucinich agreed to become the primary sponsor of legislation to label genetically engineered foods.

    The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, HR 3377, was introduced into the House of Representatives in November 1999.

    Companion legislation was introduced into the Senate, S 2080, by California Senator Barbara Boxer in February 2000.

    More information:

  • The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods
  • Jerry Rosman – Homepage
  • Percy Schmeiser – Homepage
  • GMO US Fact Sheet from the Pew Initiative

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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