Filed Under: Uncategorized

Agricultural Stardust in the White House?

Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich (D-Greenpeace) has sent a “dear colleague” letter to his fellow Congressmen, asking them to support a series of bills intended to cripple the progress of lifesaving crop biotechnology. Most of Kucinich’s proposed legislation is exactly what you would expect from opponents of genetically enhanced crops — cumbersome labeling requirements, export bans, and demands that the most heavily regulated and tested agricultural products in history be regulated and tested even more. But some of Kucinich’s proposals go where few Luddites have gone before:

Biotech companies would not be able to “charge more to American farmers than they charge farmers in other nations.” That would prevent companies from giving away seeds in developing nations if they wanted to sell any of their products at home.

Kucinich would override contracts between farmers and biotech companies that state farmers can’t save their genetically enhanced seed year after year. If this common arrangement were prohibited, seed providers would be forced to collect all their money up-front, driving the price of seeds sky high.

A piece of legislation modestly entitled “Real Solutions to World Hunger Act of 2003” would create an “international research fund for sustainable agriculture research” paid for with a new “tax on biotechnology company profits.” So research into organic food is Kucinich’s “real solution” to world hunger. No wonder the guy bankrupted the city of Cleveland when he was mayor.

We can only guess that Kucinich decided to sponsor this legislation after concluding (in his words): “[W]hen you see spiritual principles form the basis of active citizenship, you are reminded once again of the merging of stardust and spirit. There is creativity. There is magic. There is alchemy.”

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Mr. Kucinich had not yet declared himself a candidate for the Presidency on the date of its publication. That declaration was made on October 13, 2003.

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