Friday, February 17, 2012

Connecticut's Legislative Session Has Definitely Begun

There are so many things going on this week! I'm writing from the Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care in New Haven.  It's been a great class so far, we have about 40 students and have learned about soil biology, fertilizers, rain gardens, planting, mulches, meadows and organic turf management!

GMO-Labeling Bill:
A very exciting bill was just introduced in the Connecticut House of Representatives. HR Bill 5117 is an "Act Concerning Genetically Engineered Foods."  We're working on creating an online petition, but you can look up your legislator here and let them know that you have the right to know exactly what is in your food, exactly what you are eating and if it is harmful or potentially harmful.  Read our Executive Director, Bill Duesing's initial message about the legislation on Connecticut Environmental Headlines. Stay tuned for more information on how to take action and support this legislation.

Reversal of the School Pesticide Ban:
A very discouraging bill was also introduced to the House of Representatives.  Maybe in the same letter to your representative you might want to address the "Act Modifying the Ban on Pesticide Applications on School Grounds" or House Bill 5155.  This bill is designed to undo the pesticide ban on school grounds and playing fields at K-8 schools.  

That's right.  There is a bill in our state to reverse a law passed to protect Connecticut's children.  

Transitioning to organic is not easy, and Connecticut's groundskeepers have required more support to successfully make their school grounds pesticide free and beautiful. It would be easier, of course to just go back to how it used to be, and expose every child ages 5- 14 to chemicals used to kill other living things like insects, grubs and soil organisms.  

Both of these bills come down to our right to our health.  I don't care if genetically modified foods, foods treated with pesticides, and direct exposure to pesticides might be okay for me.  That's not enough.  These are our bodies, our children, and our future.  It is unconscionable to expose children to chemicals that might cause respiratory disorders, cancer, and reproductive issues later in their lives.

The potential health threats of GMOs are extensive but I'll leave it to the experts like Jeffrey Smith (who will be speaking on March 3 at CT NOFA's Winter Conference) to explain these risks. The point is that if there is any question about it's safety (and when it comes to GMOs and pesticides, there is beyond a question) then the public needs to be fully aware of the risks, and there needs to be a way for them to avoid these risks.

That is why we need your help. Please contact your representative, talk to your friends, and let's establish our right to healthy bodies and futures.


1 comment:

  1. Reverse the pesticide ban???? WHAAAAAAT??? Geez, I am heartbroken. I was so proud to be living in a state that protected its young children from being exposed to these pesticides. I really thought they would extend it to cover high schools as well as New York State has done. I will definitely write some letters and spread the word.