Send a letter supporting sustainable agriculture
This article was originally published in October 2004
(October 2004) — Starting the second week of October, PCC shoppers will have an easy opportunity to make their support for sustainable agriculture known to state lawmakers.
PCC is sponsoring a letter-writing campaign to advocate full funding for a new, innovative program called the Biologically Intensive Agriculture and Organic Farming (BIOAg) Program. This comprehensive program addresses the need for economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible solutions that work for Washington growers and farm workers, and that meet the public demand for a sustainable food system. (See Farming the future at WSU, Sound Consumer, September 2004.)
The campaign also will call attention to the issues and controversy about biopharming, the use of genetically modified plants and animals to grow pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals. Food crops are being altered — in some cases, with human genes — to produce growth hormones, AIDS and Hepatitis B vaccines, a digestive enzyme, an antibody to disable sperm, an abortion-inducing chemical, a blood-clotting agent, and an industrial adhesive.
Our state’s land grant university, Washington State University, is planning to ask the legislature for $320 million to build a world-class biotechnology center and to become a leader in developing and promoting biopharming. The plan is being developed on a fast track with no input from constituents.
PCC has great concerns about biopharming and the use of tax dollars for an unproven technology with health and environmental risks.