Please Copy This Letter and Circulate Among Businesses, Professionals, and Community Organizations
To: The President, FDA and EPA, Members of Congress, State and Local Officials, Farm Groups, Food Manufacturers, Supermarkets, Restaurants, Churches, Schools, Medical Centers, and Other Community Organizations
The first wave of genetically engineered (GE) foods-corn, soy, and cotton -targeted the major livestock crops. The next wave-rice and wheat-will affect the two principal crop on the planet grown for direct human consumption. GE rice and wheat raise many concerns. Farmers, bakers, brewers, and others in the food industry are concerned about preserving the integrity of the food chain from field to table, decline of foreign markets, and product liability.
Consumers, cooks, and chefs are concerned about freedom of choice, food safety, and regulatory adequacy. Parents, teachers, and health care practitioners are concerned about nutritional balance and longterm health effects. Ministers, priests, and rabbis are concerned about altering the Staff of Life and our daily bread.
Organic farmers are concerned about the purity of their crops and possible GE contamination, and environmentalists are concerned about the impact on wildlife. Rice farming constitutes the most bio-diverse agricultural ecosystem in the world. Nearly 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, many of which are endangered, live in America's rice fields. Grain fields are a sanctuary for Monarch butterflies, dragonflies, and other beneficial insects.
While not all the signers of this letter share every one of these concerns, we question the introduction of GE rice and wheat into the American seed and food supply until these concerns are addressed. Over-whelming numbers of American families, farmers, food producers, and foreign trade partners have indicated they do not want untested, unlabeled GE rice or wheat.
We trust the U.S. will act democratically, heed the wishes of its citizens, and act in the best interests of the planet as a whole. We represent diverse constituencies and interests, but we are united in asking that you act quickly to prevent the introduction of GE rice and wheat into America's food and fields, pending comprehensive long-time tests of their impact on human health and the environment.
Please help preserve natural rice, wheat, and other amber waves of grain, and keep America beautiful and for future generations.