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Ask the US Dept. of Agriculture to increase safety over genetically engineered crops

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I am concerned about the health risks posed by genetically engineered crops. Some are a danger to human health, threaten or destroy the livelihoods of organic and conventional family farmers, and add stress to wildlife and the environment. Please consider withdrawing the proposed rules. If that's not possible, publish the environmental impact statement and stop approvals of all new GE crops until new regulations are in place.

There are five major concerns which make the proposed regulations even weaker than they currently are:

** The new rules would allow biotech companies to self-assess the safety of their own experimental GE crops to determine if the USDA should regulate them, allowing many crops that should be regulated to endanger life and livelihoods.

** GE crops that have been on the market for some time would be exempt from any USDA oversight. This threatens to overwhelm organics through contamination.

** A major flaw of these proposed regulations is the refusal to control pesticide-promoting GE crops in the face of documented increases in pesticide use that are associated with herbicide-tolerant crops (such as Round-up Ready) along with a rapid increase in pesticide resistant weeds.

** Drug and chemical-producing GE crops should be grown only indoors to prevent cross contamination of food crops.

** And the language preventing state and local agencies from having stronger rules must be dropped. These agencies know better than the federal government, the extent to which they need to regulate genetically engineered crops in their jurisdictions.

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