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GMO Controversy in the Southwest...
Texas Town Upset with Biotech Foods

(24 May - Cropchoice News) -- Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, Austin is the freewheeling Texas state capitol known as a home of Longhorns, Texas country music, barbeque, and a certain Republican presidential candidate.

And, now, a City Council that's very unhappy about agbiotech.

On May 18, the council adopted a very strongly worded resolution calling for a moratorium on GMO foods and supporting federal legislation mandating labeling. The Austin City Council isn't in a position to enforce its calls; but the resolution may jolt the food industry. Austin is home of Whole Foods Markets, a national health and organic food supermarket chain that has pledged to not include biotech foods in its house products.

Here's the copy Cropchoice recieved of the Austin resolution:

RESOLUTION NO. 000518-60 WHEREAS, genetically engineered foods have never been proven safe, nor are genetically engineered foods tested by any federal agency as the Food and Drug Administration requires only that the companies engineering these foods state, on the "honor system" that the foods are safe with no further testing required; and

WHEREAS, Cornell University researcher, John Losey, and other researchers indicated in repeated tests that the larvae from Monarch Butterflies were dying at an alarming rate from toxic pollen generated from the genetically engineered corn near their feeding sites; and

WHEREAS, a class action lawsuit has been brought against the Food and Drug Administration by some of the nation's most prominent anti-trust lawyers for rushing these novel, unpredictable and untested food technology products to the market; and

WHEREAS, numerous bioengineers and related distinguished scientists have gone on record stating this technology clearly is different from traditional breeding methods and is highly probable to exhibit a host of undesirable health and environmental risk factors as well as great potential for negative cascade effects in the genetic cross-pollination of beneficial plants, insects and other fragile ecosystems directly linked to the breeding of this novel experimental food production technology;


The City Council urges the Federal Government to require labeling of genetically manipulated foods and further urges a moratorium on the production of any more of these foods until acceptable testing systems are in place;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council endorses passage of United States House Bill 3883, named the "Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act", and House Bill 3377 and its companion Senate Bill 2080, named the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act."

ADOPTED: May 18 2000
ATTEST   Signed by Shirley A. Brown, City Clerk SOURCE: Food Industry Environmental Network