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The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
is responsible for granting or denying petitions from companies to deregulate
genetically engineered organisms. Now APHIS has announced a two-year program
called the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pilot Project.
Currently, APHIS prepares an Environmental Assessment (EA)
or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to show what impact a GE food or
organism might have on the environment, to help determine whether it should be
regulated or not. Under this new program, the petitioner will submit the
environmental documents and analysis themselves. The Monsantos of the world can
give the USDA all the environmental “analysis” necessary to support their own
case—removing objectivity entirely from the process.
Instead of APHIS taking the analysis and developing an EA or
EIS, an outside contractor will prepare the EIS—but the petitioner will provide
the funds for it. This is another outrageous conflict of interest: petitioners
will be providing the funds to support their own studies to determine the
outcome of their own case.
Tell USDA that this new program is unconscionable, and ask
them to shelve it immediately.
(Please personalize your message if you have the time!)
APHIS National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pilot Project
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]