Announcements

Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

Prevention of Genetically Engineered Organisms

PREVENTION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ORGANISMS FROM CONTAMINATING RHODE ISLAND'S BIODIVERSITY

Pub Date: 
Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Whereas genetically engineered organisms on the market have not and are not presently undergoing independent safety testing by the federal government (see FDA website); and

Whereas there are presently only eight peer reviewed, published studies regarding the human health effects of genetically engineered organisms; and

Whereas the federal government is allowing agro-chemical corporations to conduct pre-market safety evaluations of genetically engineered organisms (see EPA, FDA and USDA websites); and

Whereas these same corporations have a long history of knowingly releasing dangerous products such as DDT, Agent Orange and PCBs that have been subsequently recalled only after damage has taken place; and

Whereas genetically engineered organisms, once released cannot be recalled or recaptured (see the work of Jon King, Professor of Biology at MIT, and other scientists); and

Whereas the contamination of non-genetically engineered crops by genetically engineered crops has cost United States conventional and organic farmers millions of dollars in economic losses (see cropchoice.com); and

Whereas the process of genetic engineering can introduce new allergens and plant toxins into the food supply and the environment (see the work of the Council for Responsible Genetics); and

Whereas the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment has already resulted in the creation of superweeds and may harm non-target species (see the work of the Council for Responsible Genetics); and

Whereas many developing nations have rejected the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into their countries citing "we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will undermine our capacity to feed ourselves" (24 United Nations delegates from 19 African nations in 1998);

Now therefore be it resolved that the Environment Council of Rhode Island supports:

  • Placing a moratorium on the environmental release of all genetically engineered organisms in the State of Rhode Island until their safety and efficacy are proven by accepted standards of scientific evaluation and testing conducted by independent, non-vested parties;
     
  • Banning the open-air release of organisms engineered to produce drugs or industrial agents in the State of Rhode Island; and

Be it further resolved that the Environment Council of Rhode Island firmly holds that corporations that manufacture genetically engineered organisms should be held liable for any harm to human health or the environment as well as any economic losses incurred by the release of genetically engineered organisms.