Using “sound science” to address agricultural issues is vital. But due to the money and power of large companies with vested interests, the studies that are conducted on agricultural technologies, from GMOs to pesticides, are often deeply flawed. Scientists who want to conduct impartial studies are often blocked by a lack of funding, or outright attacked if their study results contradict the industry’s position.
The Texas House of Representatives is considering a resolution, HR 1508, that opposes any regulation of GMOs, pesticides, or other “modern agricultural technologies” except when based on sound science. The premise of the resolution is that these technologies are the key to an abundant, safe food supply — a premise that is contradicted by multiple studies and reports. The full text of the resolution is below.
We need support for independent, objective studies on these issues — not a blind vote of confidence in the industry.
HR 1508 will be heard in Committee on Thursday, April 30. If you can come to Austin, please register your opposition to HR 1508 in person — having people registered in opposition can have a major impact! You have to be at the Capitol the day of the hearing to register, but you do not need to stay for the hearing.
NOTE: the date of the hearing has changed! The April 23rd hearing was cancelled, and the resolution will now be heard on April 30th.
Because of the nature of the issue, we are looking for just a few people to testify, and specifically people who can speak to the issue of the state of the science. Please contact Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org if you wish to testify.
DATE: Thursday, April 30, 2015
TIME: 10:30 AM or upon final adjournment; the hearing might not start until late in the afternoon
PLACE: Capitol Extension, Level E2, Room E2.036
WHAT TO DO: Come to Capitol Extension and sign in at one of the kiosks opposed to HR 1508, anytime from about 9:30 am on. You’ll be listed on the witness list even if you leave right after that. The witness list is important because the legislators look at it to see how many people were for the bill.
REGISTERING: The House uses an electronic witness registration system on kiosks located throughout the Capitol Extension. Take the elevator down to Floor E1 or E2, and walk down the main hallway about halfway. Turn down one of the side hallways, then turn again so that you are going parallel to the main hallway. The kiosks are in the alcoves, where there used to be pay phones.
You can also register using an iPad from anywhere within the Capitol. More information is available on the legislative website.
You will need this information with you:
- Bill number: HR 1508 by King
- Committee: House State & Federal Power & Responsibility, Select
- The time and location of the hearing: 10:30 am, Room E2.036
- Position: AGAINST
- Not Testifying
PARKING: Parking is usually available at the Capitol Visitors Center, located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th. You can find a map and other options also listed at http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/Parking.htm
Text of HR 1508
R E S O L U T I O N
WHEREAS, A sustainable agricultural system is crucial to the continued production of food, feed, and fiber to meet both domestic and global demand; and
WHEREAS, In the United States, the agriculture and food production industries employ precision farming equipment, crop protection chemistries, genetic engineering or enhancement, agricultural nutrients, and other modern technologies; such advanced practices protect the safety of the public and reduce environmental impact while expanding yields, improving profitability, and ensuring an abundant and affordable food supply; and
WHEREAS, Agricultural pests present significant dangers to the industry and to global supplies of the products they attack; accordingly, the environmental risks of forgoing advances in agricultural technologies that protect crops are severe; excessive regulation may scuttle or discourage the use of agricultural chemicals that could improve human welfare; and
WHEREAS, Crop protection is among the most studied and highly regulated of all industries, at both the state and federal levels; the use of sound science should be the bedrock of our nation’s regulatory scheme for the agriculture and food production industries, as these industries are critical to the economic vitality of Texas and the United States;
now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 84th Texas Legislature hereby express support for the use of sound science to study and regulate such modern agricultural technologies as crop protection chemistries, genetically engineered or enhanced traits, and nutrients; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas House of Representatives express opposition to legislative or regulatory action at any level that may result in unnecessary restrictions on the use of modern agricultural technologies; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the chief clerk forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that this resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.