Biotechnology State Uniformity Resolution

Whereas, ALEC has stated its support for the responsible use of the beneficial qualities of agricultural biotechnology such as in improved crop production techniques, pharmaceuticals, anti-immune disease control, biodegradeable plastics, and other potential benefits to people intheir states, the nation, the world and the global environment through high-yield agriculturalproduction; and

Whereas, Agricultural biotechnology is thoroughly regulated by the coordinated framework of three federal agencies working in cooperation with the fifty state governments to ensure health and safety for people, wildlife and the environment; and

Whereas, These necessary and valuable tools are already well regulated and too important to American growers and society to be further hampered by the threat of thousands of local jurisdictions across the nation that might wish to further regulate this technology; and

Whereas, MendocinoCounty in California has already passed a law to ban all agriculture biotechnological crops in the county, and several local jurisdictions across the country have passed resolutions in support of local restrictions on the technology, thereby creating a potential patchwork of arbitrary, inconsistent and non-science based local rules across the country; and

Whereas, The vast majority of local governments lack the technical expertise to assess and regulate these technologies compared to the state governments;

Whereas, Further local regulations of the technology would create additional bureaucracy and unnecessary expenses for taxpayers; and

Whereas, A patchwork of thousands of local laws across the country would be a significant hindrance to intrastate as well as interstate commerce and hence would be detrimental to conducting business and likely would be held unconstitutional by the courts; and

Whereas, Numerous states have enacted legislation, known as Right To Farm laws, that reflect the above conclusions and are necessary to safeguard the right of American farmers to operate their farms and ranches as they have done for generations to provide food and fiber to society;

Now, therefore be it resolved that: ALEC supports activity by state governments to safeguard against local governments regulating agriculture biotechnology.

 Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on May 31, 2004.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Biotechnology