Luke Anderson recently reported how the last 12 months have been possibly the most inspiring yet as far as local activism on genetic engineering issues in the US is concerned. In Vermont 79 towns passed resolutions against GMOs while the State government passed a groundbreaking seed-labelling bill. In California in March, voters in Mendocino county passed the first law in the US to ban GMO releases into the environment. Other counties have followed suit.
A backlash against local communities taking action was inevitable and here’s an item that might set many good folks in Iowa and beyond up in arms as it is a direct assault on local democracy, and specifically local ordinances controlling GM seeds.
“HF 202” is being pushed (or should it be: ‘sneaked in’?) by Rep Sandy Greiner who, we’re told, has previously been an advocate for special interests. For instance, she apparently sponsored language to bypass years of work by the Dpt of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Commission to set up air quality standards for big, hog factory “farms” in the state…
The proposed bill is for “An Act relating to the regulation of agricultural seed, by providing for preemption of local legislation”.
The ACT would stop, “a local governmental entity, including a county, special district, township, or city, from adopting or enforcing legislation which relates to the production, use, advertising, sale, distribution, storage, transportation, formulation, packaging, labeling, certification, or registration of agricultural seed. The local legislation is void and unenforceable.”
The article below shows that Iowa is not the only front for “pre-emption”, although we’ve not heard of it being as advanced elsewhere:
“The fight bearing down on Sonoma County [California] over genetically engineered crops and animals could shift to the Legislature as efforts escalate to pre-empt an emerging patchwork of local ordinances.”
The article confirms, “a broader effort is under way to nullify the county-by-county voter initiatives that began in Mendocino County last year and spread to Marin, San Luis Obispo, Butte, Humboldt and, most recently, Sonoma counties.”
As someone points out in the article, “People in local communities don’t feel represented or protected at the state level.”
Details of the proposed Iowa legislation can be found at House File 202 here: