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July 1999

Mothers for Natural Law Comes Home to the Natural Law Party—Launches National Legislative Initiative

The Natural Law Party is delighted to announce that Laura Ticciati, whose dynamic leadership has spearheaded the remarkable international success of Mothers for Natural Law and its U.S. petition drive to mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods, has officially joined forces with the Natural Law Party for the year 2000 campaign.

Ms. Ticciati, along with a small group of Iowa mothers, founded Mothers for Natural Law in June 1996 to support Natural Law Party efforts to strengthen family life. After hearing NLP presidential candidate Dr. John Hagelin speak on the hazards of genetically engineered foods, Mothers made this little known but critical issue its primary focus. Originally part of the Natural Law Party, Mothers for Natural Law grew quickly and became a separate non-profit organization, coordinating a national public awareness campaign on the health and environmental hazards of genetically engineered foods.

Now the Mothers for Natural Law petition drive has reached a significant milestone. On June 17, Ms. Ticciati traveled to Washington, D.C., carrying nearly 500,000 signatures of concerned Americans who are demanding labeling of GE products. These signatures are being submitted to President Clinton, the U.S. Congress, and several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The signatures are being offered in support of two bills proposed by the Natural Law Party for mandatory labeling and safety testing of genetically engineered foods.

The presentation of signatures took place as part of the first National Summit on the Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods, held on Thursday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in the Capitol Hilton Hotel. The Summit featured eminent scientists and physicians, public policy experts, business and industry leaders, farmers, religious and spiritual leaders, and consumers who discussed the urgent need to safeguard the world’s food supply from the hazards of genetic engineering (see schedule of speakers on next page).

The Washington, D.C., Summit follows the first, highly successful Bay Area Summit held in San Francisco on June 2 and attended by almost 200 people. Ms. Ticciati now plans to hold similar Summits in major U.S. cities in preparation for the year 2000 elections. She feels that now is the time to make the hazards of genetically engineered foods a major political and public policy issue as well as an issue of public safety and consumer rights.

“We are convening these Summits to make sure that the American people have the complete story about what is happening to their food supply, so they can decide for themselves whether they want to eat genetically engineered foods and serve them to their families—or not,” Ms. Ticciati said. “The Summits will bring together leaders in all areas of society to voice their serious misgivings over the genetic corruption of our food supply and the outrage that we feel about being conscripted in this global food experiment without our knowledge or consent.”

The recent groundswell of opposition to GE foods among informed Americans shows that this vital safety issue is finally hitting home in the U.S. With increasing press coverage about the downside of genetic engineering—from the death of Monarch butterflies that feed on GE pollen to the economic fallout for U.S. farmers as Europe refuses GE imports—more and more Americans are joining the global resistance to GE foods that has long been dominant in Europe and Japan.

“Our government believes that genetically engineered foods are the solution to world hunger and the greatest scientific advance of our time,” Ms. Ticciati said. “However, throughout the rest of the world, many countries are refusing our exports, demanding mandatory labeling, or attempting to ban this technology from their borders entirely. Despite this high-stakes international debate, few Americans know anything about genetically engineered foods—and when they do learn, they are appalled and are opposed to them.”

To keep Americans informed and up to date about the genetic engineering debate, Ms. Ticciati and her husband, Dr. Robin Ticciati, have written a book entitled Genetically Engineered Foods: Are They Safe? You Decide. The book provides an easy-to-read yet comprehensive overview of the arguments for and against genetic engineering, as well as a practical consumer shopping guide on how to avoid GE foods in your local supermarket, and more. The book is available from Natural Law Party national headquarters.

Ms. Ticciati’s recent decision to bring Mothers for Natural Law home to the Natural Law Party was motivated by her desire to make the hazards of genetic engineering a central issue of Campaign 2000. She wants to set up Natural Law Party candidate training conferences that focus on this issue and provide candidates with all the materials they need to speak articulately and compellingly about it.

“There is so much more we can do,” Ms. Ticciati said. “We need coordinators in every state and in every congressional district to set up GE Summits and to organize the legislative initiative. We need to get the word out to the American people in every way possible. The Natural Law Party, which has always spoken out strongly against genetically engineered foods, is obviously the most powerful vehicle to bring this knowledge into the arena of public policy debate. The merger of our two organizations will help catapult the issue of genetic engineering into the political spotlight in the 2000 elections.”

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