Cultivating Hemp Could be a Gold Mine!

Cultivating Hemp Could be a Gold Mine!
Posted by FoM on July 16, 1999 at 13:55:04 PT
Hemp News Service Digest
Source: Hemptech
In March, delegates at the California Democratic Party convention endorsed the legalization of industrial hemp with an 80 percent majority. California farmers will be able to introduce industrial hemp into next spring's planting, Clauder predicts.
Cultivating Hemp Could be a Gold Mine for California.Unfortunately, it's Still Illegal.AUTHOR: David Cogan,Grass Roots, Los Angeles MagazineDATE: Thursday, 15 July 1999, at 11:10 a.m. Pubdate: July, 1999 Cosmetics giants flog it as a wonder product. Entire stores are devoted to selling clothes from it. Woody Harrelson lives and, literally, breathes it. Hemp, it seems, is suddenly everywhere. Cultivated for centuries, hemp was used to make the rope for Christopher Columbus's ships and was grown by the founding fathers. Banned in the U.S. since 1937, the hardy plant stigmatized for its close ties to marijuana is staging a comeback as a legitimate commodity. And if a group in Orange County -- Orange County? -- has its way, California will soon lead the nation in hemp production, an irony that will not be lost on the pot growing denizens of Humboldt County after decades of skirmishing with the Drug Enforcement Agency. Sam H. Clauder seems an unlikely torchbearer for Cannabis sativa. Based in Garden Grove, perhaps Orange County's most conservative enclave, the 47-year-old political consultant is championing a homegrown effort to legalize the cultivation of hemp in California. "I wouldn't be part of this movement if I did not understand that marijuana and industrial hemp are not the same," Clauder says. "They are no more similar than raisins and wine." With hopes of escaping the "reefer madness" image, Clauder and like-minded activists use the term industrial hemp to differentiate the plant from its intoxicating in-law. This form of hemp contains less than 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active intoxicant in marijuana, and cannot produce a narcotic euphoria. Clauder is leading his unlikely campaign because hemp has rebounded as a commercially viable commodity. Organizations as diverse as the Ford Motor Company, Boeing and Daimler Chrysler routinely use hemp in their products, and there are more than 80 stores in California devoted exclusively to selling hemp wares. The hitch is that, because growing hemp is illegal in the U.S., the raw material must be imported from countries like England. Now, legislation has been introduced in more than a dozen states to allow research and experimental production of hemp -- last April, North Dakota became the first state to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp. That vote came just months after the American Farm Bureau, a conservative organization representing 5 million farmers nationally, dropped its opposition to the crop. Even federal drug czar General Barry McCaffrey has softened his position on hemp. Clauder believes that if California seizes the opportunity, it could create a $100 million eco-friendly industry overnight. He is reaching out to family farmers and even young Republicans to build a coalition of consensus for hemp. Clauder claims two-thirds of the members of both state houses have expressed support. In March, delegates at the California Democratic Party convention endorsed the legalization of industrial hemp with an 80 percent majority. California farmers will be able to introduce industrial hemp into next spring's planting, Clauder predicts. "It really is the most versatile plant in the world," Clauder says, adding that hemp can be used in oil and paint products, plastics, clothing and food (hemp seed is higher in protein than soy). "The possibilities are endless." At a time when Californians overwhelmingly support medical marijuana and the pot leaf is used to advertise hemp products on public buses across Los Angeles, Clauder may just be right. ARTICLE: Alterna Hair Care Funds First Hemp Plot;Grown in the U.S. Since WWII; In Support of American FarmersAUTHOR: Kimberlee Mitchell,Alterna, Los AngelesDATE: Thursday, 15 July 1999, at 11:23 a.m. Alterna will present the $200,000.00 check, made from Canadian hemp paper, at the Capitol Building at 11:00 a.m. The grant money will be used to plant THC (drug) free industrial hemp seeds in cooperation with the University of Hawaii to conduct the research needed to initiate the recovery of this crop in the United States. Pubdate: July 7, 1999 - Alterna Applied Research Laboratories, maker of hemp hair care products, is proud to announce its sponsorship of the nation's first hemp test plot in over 50 years in conjunction with the University of Hawaii. In the wake of the hemp legislation passing Hawaii?s House and the Senate in May, Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano will sign the hemp bill into law at the State Capitol in Honolulu on Wednesday, July 7. Alterna will present the $200,000.00 check, made from Canadian hemp paper, at the Capitol Building at 11:00 a.m. The grant money will be used to plant THC (drug) free industrial hemp seeds in cooperation with the University of Hawaii to conduct the research needed to initiate the recovery of this crop in the United States. Esteemed plant geneticist Dr. David West, Ph.D., the only plant breeder in the U.S. actively involved in reestablishing industrial hemp, directs the hemp seed variety trial research in Hawaii. Hemp farming is of integral importance to Hawaii as the state's economy is still suffering from the loss of its main export sugar cane. Hawaii Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano has said, "My administration supports stimulating Hawaii's economy and keeping our agricultural lands productive. Industrial hemp could meet both of these objectives. Once the DEA removes its restrictions on growing industrial hemp freely outside of the test plot trials, the vast economic and ecological benefits will make themselves known in Hawaii. Like Hawaii, thousands of American farmers are suffering from the declining profitability of crops they produce. Farmers have a dearth of options. The plight of the American farmer is aggravating for Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative president Andrew Graves who spearheaded the lawsuit filed against the DEA last year, in an effort to allow Kentucky tobacco farmers the right to grow industrial hemp in lieu of their diminishing tobacco crops. "It makes no sense that the same government that encouraged and paid my father good money to grow hemp 40 years ago during WWII, is restricting me from saving my ailing tobacco business by forbidding me to grow the exact same plant. Despite the domestic demand for hemp-based products, American farmers are still forced to import hemp from any one of the 30 industrialized nations that grow the crop. All members of the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations permit hemp cultivation except one--the United States. Education is the key to enlightenment and the recent passing of pro-hemp legislation in Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota and soon to be Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Maryland, Iowa, Vermont, Tennessee and Montana has fueled a deluge of media coverage blatant evidence that hemp education is working. The California Democratic National Party has adopted a resolution supporting hemp at its state convention last March, which is the first time in history that a major political party has embraced drug-free hemp. Dollars speak the loudest, however, and the exceptional global resurgence of hemp bears witness to the powerful commercial potential of this crop. Worldwide hemp sales figures were only a few million dollars in 1993 but in 1997 sales surpassed $75 million and sales for 2,000 are projected to be in the billions. Sixty years ago Popular Mechanics magazine called industrial hemp the "new million dollar crop. If legislation continues to pass across the nation, it's safe to say that hemp will be the multi-billion-dollar-crop of the new millennium. Since incorporating hemp seed oil into its products as of January of 1998, Alterna has undertaken an aggressive national hemp education campaign, called LEARN MORE, which is designed to dispel myths and misinformation about the marked differences between hemp and marijuana. Proactive in its approach to educate the nation of hemp's many environmental, economic and cosmetic benefits, Alterna holds fast to two proven facts: hemp is not marijuana and hemp is not a drug. A consummate education advocate, Alterna conducts hemp essay contests in high schools across the nation awarding college scholarship funds. The sponsorship of the historical hemp test plot in Hawaii is a demonstration of the company's continued commitment to the hemp movement. "Alterna feels a responsibility to help support America's farmers and affording them the opportunity to grow industrial hemp for American made products is our ultimate goal. Funding the test plots in Hawaii is an honor for us, explains Mike Brady President of Alterna Applied Research Laboratories. Unconventional in its approach, Alterna consistently sets new standards in the beauty industry in the fields of advanced formulation and product performance. The first professional hair care company to harness the power of nutrient-rich hemp seed oil, Alterna continually redefines itself as an industry innovator.ARTICLE:Agriculture Chief Talks of Labeling Some Foods,U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman AUTHOR: Bill Lambrecht,St. Louis Post Dispatch DATE: Thursday, 15 July 1999, at 11:56 a.m. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman advised biotechnology companies Tuesday to consider labeling gene-altered products to help prevent consumer food fears from spreading to the United States. Pubdate: Wednesday, July 14, 1999 - Glickman also announced that he would seek outside review of whether the Agriculture Department is too close to companies such as Monsanto, whose genetically altered crops the department must approve. Negotiations have begun with the National Research Council to conduct that review, which Glickman hopes will bolster Americans' confidence in the new technology. In another initiative, Glickman announced that his department and the Environmental Protection Agency will set up regional biotechnology centers around the country for research and monitoring crops. As many as a dozen could be established beginning later this year, depending on how much money Congress agrees to spend."Monumental impact" Glickman outlined the new efforts in what his department called a "major policy speech" to the National Press Club. He devoted portions of it to warning of an impending trade conflict with Europe over genetically modified food that he said could have profound consequences. "It will have a monumental impact and create a lot of confusion about what farmers should and should not grow," Glickman said, previewing trade showdowns expected later this year. Glickman's speech continued his recent, conciliatory tack in the face of opposition in Europe to genetic modifications in food. Consumer fears in Europe, often based on issues other than science, have begun taking a toll on American farm exports and forcing the U.S. government to rethink its tactics. Instead of settling in to fight the Europeans in front of the World Trade Organization, Glickman is promoting educational initiatives here and abroad and counseling companies to be more open about their dealings. The shift, which began this spring, also is aimed at countering perceptions that the Agriculture Department has been biotechnology's chief promoter in government rather than its chief regulator. The title of Glickman's National Press Club speech conveyed a new, middle-of-the-road approach: "How will scientists, farmers and consumers learn to love biotechnology and what happens if they don't?" In the speech, Glickman reiterated his belief that genetic engineering holds much promise for crops and food: better insect control; fewer poisonous insecticides; and more efficient use of farm land to feed people. The next wave of the technology could bring more nutritious food and even foods that ward off disease, he said. "The promise and potential are enormous, but so, too, are the questions, many of which are completely legitimate," he said. "Today, on the threshold of this revolution, we have to grapple with and satisfy those questions so we can, in fact, fulfill biotechnology's awesome potential." Glickman stopped short of endorsing labeling of food packaging for genetically modified products. But he went farther than he had previously in recommending that companies consider labeling. "The concept of labeling particular products for marketing purposes is not a radical one," Glickman said. While Glickman's department authorizes plantings of newly designed crops, the Food and Drug Administration sets labeling policies. Seven years ago, the FDA said that modified foods do not need to be labeled because they are not additives. St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. is among the American biotechnology and food companies that have been cool to labeling because of the message it sends that altered food is different from conventional fare. In Europe and other countries, labeling is well on the way to being law. Lori Fisher, a Monsanto spokeswoman, said that her company "looks forward to hearing more details and participating in ongoing discussions about the labeling issue. ... The whole idea of labels being fair and not misleading, but giving people some information that helps them make informed choices, is one that needs a lot more discussion within the industry." Backs farmers Glickman, a former congressman from Kansas, served notice that he will be looking out for the needs of farmers as well as those of biotechnology interests. He asserted that the trend of consolidation of agriculture industries "threatens to make them (farmers) servants to bigger masters, rather than masters of their own domain." Glickman said that some farmers are being told that they must buy genetically engineered seeds to get the desirable crop traits created over the years in conventional hybrids.5 guiding principles Bill Lambrecht At the National Press Club on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman identified five guiding principles in the U.S. government's approach to genetic engineering and food in the coming years: * Arms-length regulatory process. "Government regulators must continue to stay an arm's length, dispassionate distance from companies developing and promoting these products," Glickman said. * Consumer acceptance. "However strong our regulatory process is, it is of no use if consumer confidence is low and if consumers cannot identify a direct benefit to them." * Fairness to farmers. "Contracts with farmers need to be fair and not result in a system that reduces farmers to mere serfs on the land or creates an atmosphere of mistrust among farmers." * Corporate citizenship. "In addition to their desire for profit, biotechnology companies must also understand and respect the role of the arm's-length regulator, the farmer and the consumer." * Free and open trade. "We cannot let others hide behind unfounded, unwarranted scientific claims to block commerce in agriculture." 1999 St. Louis Post DispatchDear Health Freedom Fighters, United States Secretary of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman gave what his department called a "major policy speech" on Tuesday to the National Press Club titled "How will scientists, farmers and consumers learn to love biotechnology and what happens if they don't?" An article about Secretary Glickman's speech is below. If you want to read the complete text of his speech, here is a link to that document: It appears that perhaps the USDA is beginning to realize that it will be difficult to withstand public opinion against unlabeled genetically altered crops. However, it is the FDA who sets policy on labeling of foods. The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods now has form letters available that are addressed to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). You are encouraged to visit The Campaign's Form Letter Library at: Print out the letters, make copies, and give them to your friends. As the saying goes, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Let's become squeaky wheels with our elected officials and appointed regulatory agencies. If these public servants receive a few million letters from the public during the next year, we will get labeling for genetically engineered foods.Craig Winters,Executive Director of The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods, The Campaign, PO Box 55699,Seattle, WA 98155,Tel: 425-771-4049,Fax: 603 825-5841,E-mail: mailto:label,Web Site: The Campaign's Mission Statement: "To create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States." Hemp Archives:
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