Letter from Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance Executive Director to Pima County Board of Supervisors

Bill McDorman, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and former Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, is a key subject in the film documentary, SEED: The Untold Story, which will be showing at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway in Tucson, this Sunday, February 5th, at 2 pm — be sure to come early starting at 12:30 pm on the patio to get more information about the grassroots movement against Monsanto — and McDorman will lead a discussion following the film. Don’t miss this special event!

McDorman wrote the following letter to urge the Pima County Board of Supervisors not to support Monsanto’s application for Foreign Trade Zone status for its property in Avra Valley. Please share the letter far and wide, and encourage other leaders in organizations and businesses to write letters to the Board of Supervisors or, better yet, to attend and speak at the all-important Feb. 21 board meeting!

 

February 1, 2017

Dear Board of Supervisors;

As the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and former Director of Native Seeds/ SEARCH, I urge the Pima County Board of Supervisors not to support Monsanto’s application for Foreign Trade Zone status for its 155-acre property near Twin Peaks and Sanders Road in Avra Valley.

I understand the difficulty in making a decision to jeopardize the move into Pima County of a large, job- creating and tax-generating corporation. In the end, those of you who actually vote on this issue probably will not be held personally responsible, either for lost tax revenue for Pima County, potential genetic contamination to local agriculture, dangerous chemical residues or resulting bad publicity. You do live in the county, however. This is your home. Your children may live here for a long time. What kind of a world do you want them to live in?

Facing an uncertain future, people all over the world are looking for authenticity and safety. People everywhere are shortening supply lines. A paradigm shift is upon us. Smaller farms growing fresher foods from locally adapted seeds are proving to be more ecological, more resilient, more sustainable and in the end more stimulating to local economies. The best and brightest and healthiest people want to move to places like this. Surely you understand the value of the World City of Gastronomy designation from UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations, bestowed upon Tucson last year. Tucson has become a recognized food cuisine destination fostering much needed tourism revenue for our state.

We know now the promise that Big Ag will feed the world and enrich local communities is a myth. The model it represents externalizes costs and leaves local economies poorer. Ken Meter, economist at The Crossroads Institute, estimated a $5 per week shift alone toward the purchase of locally grown food in Southern Arizona by Southern Arizona families would bring an additional $280 million a year to our economies. Has Pima County explored what this would mean for local tax revenues? Pima County should be known as the leader in this effort. Tax breaks for the world’s most hated corporation would represent the opposite. Please think about the long-term consequences of your decision.

Thank you.

Bill McDorman

Executive Director – Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance

 

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