States Restrict Local Gmo Seed Control

Lawmakers in three states (California, Michigan, North Carolina) are considering measures to block communities from regulating the use of genetically modified seeds. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:

Transcript

Lawmakers in three states (California, Michigan, North Carolina) are
considering measures to block communities from regulating the use of
genetically modified seeds. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah
Hulett reports:


More than a dozen states have already passed laws to prevent local
governments from banning the use of seeds that have been modified to
produce high-yield crops.


Peter Jenkins is with the Center for Food Safety. He says organic
farmers worry that pollen from genetically altered plants could drift into
their fields, and contaminate their crops.


“So, local control’s important to allow towns and counties to stake out
particular areas that should be set aside for organic or for GMO crops. In
some cases, you know, you could have zoning, or bans altogether.”


Supporters of the legislation say there are other ways to protect organic
crops from gene drift – including buffer zones and timed plantings. They
say it should be up to the federal government to regulate the use of
genetically modified seeds.


For the GLRC, I’m Sarah Hulett.

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“Glo-Fish” to Splash Down in Nearby Pet Stores

The public release of a little aquarium fish that glows in the dark is stirring the waters of the genetic engineering debate. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:

Transcript

The public release of a little aquarium fish that glows in the dark is stirring the waters of the genetic
engineering debate. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:


Texas-based Yorktown Technologies calls its creation a Glo-fish. It’s a genetically-modified
zebrafish that glows in ultraviolet light. It’s marketed as an attractive and graceful addition to a fish
tank. The company says because the Glo-fish is tropical, it wouldn’t survive in cold waters like the
Great Lakes if it escaped.


But environmental and consumer groups worry that genetically-modified pets of the future could
threaten the ecological balance. Peter Jenkins is a policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety.
He says the Glo-Fish also raises ethical concerns. He’s calling on the federal government to
regulate them.


“We’re not flat-out opposed to all genetic engineering. If it is to be used, it should be for the
betterment of mankind and for the environment and not for frivolous pets.”


California is the only state that can bar genetically-engineered species. It recently ruled to prohibit
Glo-Fish sales. In all other states, the Glo-Fish will be available in pet stores starting January 5th.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Sommerstein.

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