Ann Arbor, MI Genetic Engineering in Food and Agriculture

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Ann Arbor, MI, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 11/9/00

Source File: (page 26)



Whereas, The Ann Arbor community has a right to know whether the food it consumes contains or is produced with genetically engineered material, due to environmental, health, ethical, religious, or economic concerns associated with genetically engineered food;

Whereas, Genetic engineering in agriculture threatens sustainable, regional, noncorporate agriculture upon which the economy and character of the Ann Arbor community depends;

Whereas, Insufficient knowledge currently exists as to the long-term environmental and human health risks of genetic engineering in agriculture;

Whereas, Significant risks of genetic engineering in agriculture have been published in peer-reviewed, scientific journals and include risks to beneficial insects, creation of herbicide-resistant weeds, unexpected allergic reactions, harm to laboratory rat intestinal function, and decreased nutritional content of foods;

Whereas, Numerous bioengineers and scientists have gone on record stating that genetic engineering technology is clearly different from traditional breeding methods and carries the risk of unpredictable health or environmental risks;

Whereas, Genetic engineering in agriculture may threaten organic crops through pollen drift and cross pollination, and reinforces an agricultural system that includes unsustainable, high-input methods;

Whereas, In 1999, over 60 million acres of genetically engineered crops were cultivated in the United States; and

Whereas, The federal government currently does not require genetically engineered food and products to be labeled and does not require that they be independently tested for safety;

RESOLVED, That the Ann Arbor City Council support the establishment of federal legislation to ban growing, disseminating, and marketing products that contain genetically engineered organisms until they have been proven safe for human consumption and the environment. This legislation will create and implement a transparent system to assess the socioeconomic, environmental, and human health impacts of genetic engineering in agriculture that conforms to rigorous scientific standards, requires a demonstration of a reasonable certainty of no harm, shift the burden of proof and cost to the manufacturer, and permanently codify the precautionary principle;

RESOLVED, That for products that meet the burden of proof of safety, the Ann Arbor City Council supports the establishment of federal legislation requiring mandatory, clear, accurate, and complete labeling of all food and products, whether foreign or domestic, derived from, processed with, produced by, containing, or consisting of genetically engineered organisms;

RESOLVED, That the Ann Arbor City Council encourage discussion among the greater community to facilitate public input on this and further action regarding genetic engineering in food and agriculture; and

RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to our State and Federal Council - November 9, 2000 45 representatives requesting their support on the enactment of the proposed federal legislation (HR 3377.IH and S 2080.IS regarding food labeling and HR 3883.IH regarding tests for safety).