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December 2006
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Action Alert: Mycoherbicides and the ONDCP

[Note: The messageboard is temporarily out of order this morning, so I’m putting the alert here.]
Mark Souder is trying to do some damage before he loses his subcommittee chairmanship.

CONGRESS TO VOTE ON POISONING PEOPLE THIS WEEK
Earlier this year we warned you about a bill in Congress that would revive controversial research on the use of toxic, mold-like fungi called mycoherbicides to kill illicit drug crops in other countries. This provision could unleash an environmental disaster of monumental proportions. But Congressman Mark Souder and Senators Hatch and Biden are rushing it to the House and Senate floors this week. Here are three things you can do:
1) Call your two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative today or tomorrow.
If you don’t know who they are, simply call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and give them your address. They’ll connect you directly with their offices. You can also look them up online at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=10054&l=134461 and http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=10054&l=134462 .
When you get a staffer on the phone, politely say something like:
“My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I’m calling to urge [the Senator or Representative] to oppose the ONDCP Reauthorization bill if it comes to the floor this week, especially its mycoherbicide provision. Please let me know how [the Senator/Representative] votes.”
If they ask, the mycoherbicide section is Section 1111. The bill being brought to the floor is a combination of a House and Senate bill, so it doesn’t have a bill number yet. It will be brought to the Senate floor under a unanimous consent agreement and to the House floor under suspension of the rules–both of which limit debate.
2) Phone calls are the most effective way of stopping this bill. But if you don’t feel comfortable making calls or you don’t have the time, we urge you to fax or e-mail your elected officials instead. You can contact your two Senators at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=10054&l=134461 and your one Representative at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=10054&l=134462.
3) Please forward this alert to everyone you know. Unless thousands of Americans contact Congress, this bill could pass by the end of this week.
Sincerely,
Bill Piper
Drug Policy Alliance Network
MORE INFORMATION
Mycoherbicides have already been extensively studied over the last thirty years – and the results make it clear that they are not an option for controlling crops of coca or opium poppies. They attack indiscriminately, destroying fruit and vegetable crops, and sickening animals and humans as well. The toxins mycoherbicides produce contaminate soil for years, so that nothing can grow where they have been. Mycoherbicides are so destructive that governments have even stockpiled them as weapons!
Incredibly, the proposal now before Congress advocates using mycoherbicides in “field studies” in countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan – something the world would certainly see as an act of biological warfare.
For more information on mycoherbicides, read the recent report commissioned by DPA, “Repeating Mistakes of the Past: Another Mycoherbicide Research Bill” (PDF: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/ctt.asp?u=10054&l=134463 ).

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