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CCOF Opposition To GMOs Outweighs Commitment To National Standards

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, July 25, 2007

As the 2007 Farm Bill winds its way to the floor, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is trying to wrangle some lobbying support from its members:

There is a good chance that an Amendment will be offered to preempt (prohibit) state or local regulation of GMOs, meat, and poultry once approved by USDA. Please contact your Representative immediately to express your opposition to any amendment that would preempt state and/or local regulation of GMOs, meat, and poultry.

We recognize that CCOF has substantive positions on GMO’s and meat and poultry, but, of all organizations, CCOF should recognize the danger to the food industry, especially organic growers, by establishing the precedent that states and localities should be able to preempt Federal regulations.

The food industry depends on a uniform national market to provide a wide assortment of high quality foods at reasonable prices to the American people. If every state and locality can make its own rules, that efficiency will break down.

Didn’t the organic industry go through a massive effort to secure uniform Federal organic standards? Are organic growers and producers really prepared to return to a world in which each state or city can make up its own rules?

We’ll defend to the death the right of CCOF to lobby in Congress for laws it values, but there is something shameful in demanding state and local autonomy when it suits one’s fashion but demanding national uniformity when it suits one’s interests.

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