Today, Senator Mikulski will introduce a proposal to strike the Monsanto Protection Act in the Senate! Tell your Senators to dump this dirty biotech rider.
Thanks to your calls and emails, and the leadership in the Senate, today Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, will propose an alternative short term government funding bill that would repeal the “farmer assurance provision,” otherwise known as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”
The Continuing Resolution, passed by the House last week, would fund the federal government beyond the current deadline of September 30, 2013, but the House also extended a controversial policy rider that would guarantee the ability of agrichemical companies to continue selling genetically engineered (GE) seeds even if a federal court declared them unlawful. Senator Mikulski’s alternative bill would strip the controversial provision before sending the bill back to the House for final approval.
Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, the Monsanto-driven rider remains simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to plant GE crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally.
The rider is intended to force USDA to allow GE crops to be planted even if a Federal court rules that USDA hadn’t adequately considered the environmental or economic risks to farmers. This would negate any meaningful judicial review of USDA’s decisions to allow commercialization of GE crops. If a GE crop approval was shown to violate the law and require further analysis of its harmful impacts (as several courts have concluded in recent years in our cases) this provision could override any court-mandated caution and could instead allow continued planting. Further, it forces USDA to approve permits for such continued planting immediately, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a “back door approval” mechanism.
1. “Senate CR to strip Monsanto rider,” Politico, 9/24/13; “Chairman Mikulski Seeks to End “Monsanto Protection Act,” Center for Food Safety press release, 9/24/13.
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