Genetically Modified Organism

April 16, 2012

ACTION ALERT

Call your Representative and urge her/him to cosponsor the pending [GMO] bills on genetically modified organism (bills H.R. 3553, H.R. 3554, and H.R. 3555). These bills will require agricultural and commercial practices to ensure safety of producers and consumers.

BACKGROUND

Genetically modified foods are seldom discussed, but every day we are exposed to and consume these products. Most people are unaware of the sources of many of the foods that they consume every single day. Because of this, Representative Dennis Kucinich proposed three GMO bills, hoping to unveil the harms of the current genetically modified organism industry. The Genetically Modified Food Right to Know Act (H.R. 3553), the Genetically Engineered Safety Act (H.R. 3554), and the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection Act (H.R. 3555) do not prevent the production and use of harmful genetically modified organisms, but they do promote clarity in agricultural/commercial practices, which is a step in the right direction. These GMO bills seek to require transparency between producers and consumers by enforcing clear labeling of genetically engineered food and food products (poultry, meats, produce, cosmetics, medicine, clothing, etc). Also, they require environmentally safe manufacturing practices when producing genetically engineered pharmaceutical and industrial crops. Lastly, these bills will provide protection to the welfare of farmers who continue to produce organically.

In his World Day of Peace Address (2011), Pope Benedict XVI said, “There is a need, in effect, to move beyond a purely consumerist mentality in order to promote forms of agricultural and industrial production capable of respecting creation and satisfying the primary needs of all.” These bills will move our agricultural policies towards protecting human health, food availability, and God’s creation.

ACTION REQUESTED

Let your voice be heard…
Call your congressional representatives!

Learn more about genetically modified organisms by reading a publication by the CCAO, found here.

Afterwards, call your member of Congress to let them know that you want to ensure products containing genetically modified organisms are not harmful.

Making a call is easy and it only takes a few minutes! When the office receptionist answers the phone, follow the basic call script below. The receptionists’ job is to make sure messages from constituents are relayed to their boss, so make sure you give him/her your name and address so your call can be officially logged into their database.

To find congressional contact information, you can:

o Call the Capitol switchboard at (202-224-3121) and ask for your representative/senator
o If you aren’t sure who your members of Congress are, go to the following:
 For House
• http://house.gov/htbin/findrep?ZIP

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making the call:
• Feel free to share why this issue is important to you.
• Say thank you! Receptionists often have many duties, but saying thanks is a great way to let them know that the delivery of your message is important to you!

SAMPLE SCRIPT

I am calling to urge Representative ____________ to support H.R. 3553, H.R. 3554, and H.R. 3555, The Genetically Modified Food Right to Know Act, the Genetically Engineered Safety Act, and the Genetically Engineered Technology Famer Protection Act. These bills will ensure genetically modified organisms and products are not harmful and that production practices remain fair.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Columban Center for Advocacy & Outreach
Michelle Melcher Knight
Telephone: 301.565.4547
mmknight@columban.org