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The Monsanto Rider
Quoting from Organic Consumers Association web pages:
With the elections over, Congress has returned for a lame duck session to clear its plate of post-Thanksgiving legislative leftovers. Not surprisingly, Monsanto is back, too, pushing a rider to the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill that if passed, would grant the biotech engineering giant immunity from Federal law.
Monsanto wants Congress to pass a law that would allow new genetically engineered crops to be planted even when courts rule that the US Department of Agriculture has approved them illegally. Federal courts have recognized the importance of "a farmer's choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food". Monsanto's law would make that ruling meaningless.
They're at it again. The same powerful interests that spent $44 million to mislead voters in California about Proposition 37. The same companies pushing the Food and Drug Administration to ignore the voices of 1.2 million Americans – including you.
Now with Congress back in session, these agri-chemical companies are trying sneak a proposal into a must-pass piece of legislation to boost their profits at the expense of your right to know. They want to allow GMO seeds to be planted even if a court finds they were approved illegally.
But there's a way to stop them: Rep. Peter DeFazio from Oregon is building a coalition of lawmakers to come out in opposition to this proposal – and he needs your Representative to join him. The House could vote on this soon, so we need more members on our side.
In addition, Senator Daniel Inouye, Chair of the Appropriation Committee, is the key to blocking passage in the Senate.
Big agri-chemical companies that defeated Prop 37 have had their lobbyists insert a dangerous biotech policy rider into the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Bottom line? The proposal will reduce the oversight of genetically engineered foods.
A threat to the environment? Economic risk to farmers? This provision ignores those concerns. It's specifically intended to force the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve genetically engineered crops – even if we don't know the impact.
Though wrapped in misleading “farmer-friendly” language, this provision is simply an industry ploy. If a GMO crop approval violated the law, this proposal would allow the continued planting and commercialization of genetically engineered crops while further review of its harmful impacts takes place.
You care about food and what we feed our families and children. You've stood up for labeling. So please, help fight this latest attack on our right to know. Don't let the chemical industry create loopholes that will expand the use of GMOs without proper safety review.
This alert was originally published by The Center for Food Safety. Click here to take action.
With the elections behind us, Congress has returned to Washington, D.C. to get back to work on a number of pressing issues, including an omnibus 2013 Appropriations Bill. Unfortunately, still on the table is a dangerous biotech policy rider. In response, Representative Peter DeFazio (D- Oregon, 4th) has authored a “Dear Colleague” letter opposing the biotech rider and is urging his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to join him. Please tell your Representative to support the DeFazio Dear Colleague letter opposing the biotech rider and ask your Senators to urge Senate Appropriations Chairman Inouye to oppose the rider! Tell Congress to Dump the Monsanto Rider
Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this biotech rider (section 733) is simply an industry ploy to continue to plant GE crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally.
The provision is intended to force USDA to grant temporary permits and deregulations of GE crops 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; GE alfalfa and GE sugar beets, for example) this provision would override any court-mandated caution and allow continued planting and commercialization while further review takes place. Further, it forces USDA to approve permits for such continued planting immediately, putting industry completely in charge by creating loophole approvals tailored to counter any “inconvenient” court decisions for the industry. Tell Congress to Dump the Monsanto Rider
There is only a short period of time for Congress to resolve the Appropriations Bill before the end of the lame duck session. Please tell your Representative to support the DeFazio Dear Colleague letter opposing the biotech rider and urge Senate Appropriations Chairman Inouye to oppose the rider!
The GE News Service is aggregated and distributed by EFA Board Member Thomas Wittman. Thomas created this service in 1991 to provide the latest news about genetically engineered foods and the movement advocating for labeling and public awareness. To contact Thomas, email email@example.com.
The “Big 6” pesticide corporations are hoping USDA will quietly green-light their suite of “next generation” GE seeds, including Dow's 2,4-D-resistant corn and Monsanto's dicamba-resistant soy.
If approved, these herbicide-resistant crops in the pipeline — there are 10 in total — will drive up the use of hazardous pesticides, destroy neighboring crops and create unnecessary health risks to farmers and rural communities. Will you help ensure USDA knows what's at stake?
Dow’s application for 2,4-D-resistant corn is first in the queue, and 2,4-D soy and Monsanto’s dicamba soy are not far behind. With a decision on the first application due any day, we need to speak up now. And loudly.
Scientists warn that 2,4-D corn alone would increase the herbicide's use by 30-fold. The introduction of dicamba soy could cause a similarly dramatic surge in use. And both herbicides are known to drift, easily destroying other farmers’ crops of tomatoes, grapes, beans, cotton, soy — just about any broadleaf plant.
Just as Monsanto's RoundUp Ready seed line led to the emergence of herbicide-resistant "superweeds" across the country, so too will the next generation of GE seeds. And instead of abandoning the losing strategy of stacking seeds with herbicide-resistant traits, Dow, Monsanto and the rest of the Big 6 are introducing more of the same — but with seeds engineered to withstand repeated applications of antiquated, more dangerous chemicals.
Take a stand for farmers» Call on Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to stop the pipeline of next generation GE seeds, and take a stand for farming communities across the country. The first step? Rejecting Dow's 2,4-D corn.
The Big 6 are intent on maintaining and expanding their control of our food and farming, introducing one GE crop after another in a pipeline of untested products that drive the pesticide market. Join us in saying, “No more!”
Yesterday, Food Democracy Now! received an urgent call from a concerned Congressional staffer about Monsanto's latest efforts to undermine our basic democratic rights.
As politicians in Washington DC discuss the "fiscal cliff", biotech lobbyists are desperate to slide provisions into any end of the year omnibus spending bill to make sure their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review.
According to sources in DC, Monsanto has once again succeeded in slipping provisions into the House Agricultural Appropriations Bill that have now been added to an omnibus spending bill that certain members of the House of Representatives are desperate to get passed before the end of the year.
The Monsanto Protection Act could pass as early as next week and we need your help today. Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
These riders, which we dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act" earlier this year, would strip federal courts of their authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal and potentially hazardous GMO crop.
As they did earlier this summer, these new provisions, called “riders”, would allow biotech companies to continue to sell their unapproved seeds to farmers, who could plant them while important legal appeals are taking place, instead of halting the planting of the unapproved crop until the court settled the appeal as has been done up until now.
In classic form, the biotech industry has cleverly hidden their toxic plan under the deceptive title of a “Farmer Assurance Provision” (Sec. 733). In truth, the “Monsanto Protection Act” would allow the biotech industry to continue to flout American legal precedence and violate the constitutional separation of powers set forth by our Founding Fathers.
In short, the “Farmer Assurance Provision” is the greatest threat to farmers’ and citizens’ rights that Monsanto and the biotech industry has ever devised and it must be stopped - today!
Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
According to legal experts, this provision “would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review” and is a “dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards”.
This current rider is a response to the successful lawsuits that farmers have filed to prevent the sale, distribution and cultivation of GMO sugarbeets and GMO alfalfa, both of which were forced to stop from being planted while the USDA finalized full environment reviews. But once again, Monsanto and the biotech industry are working behind the scenes to shred vital legal rights simply so they can make endless profits.
If allowed to pass, the Monsanto Protection Act would:
Violate the constitutional precedent of separation of powers by interfering with the process of judicial review.
Eliminate federal agency oversight to protect farmers, consumers and the environment from potential harms caused by unapproved biotech crops.
Allow Monsanto and biotech seed and chemical companies to profit by overriding the rule of law and plant their untested GMO crops despite no proof of their safety for the public and environment.
Click here to stop the Monsanto Protection Act and tell your member of Congress to stand up for your rights and the Constitution!
No matter what you believe about GMOs, the fact is that corporations should not have the right to fundamentally undermine our basic rights and constitutional freedoms in their relentless pursuit of profits. Even the consideration of this dangerous provision is a sign of just how much power Monsanto has over our federal government and how far the biotech industry will go to force its genetically engineered food on to the American public.
If allowed to pass, the Monsanto Protection Act will only open farmers and the agricultural economy to very real and significant harm from cross-contamination events. Currently, the Plant Protection Act requires the USDA to regulate GMO crops to protect “the agriculture, environment and economy of the United States”. As a result of previous lawsuits, the USDA is required to complete court-mandated environmental impact statements (EIS) prior to the sale and planting of GMO crops, but even the USDA has shown little regard for this law.
Now, the new provision set forth in the FY 2013 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill and added to a new omnibus spending bill will allow biotech seed and chemical companies to openly skirt even minimal protections of human health and environmental concerns.
Fortunately, Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-D) is working to circulate a Dear Colleague letter to fellow Representatives in an effort to strike the “farmer assurance provision” currently included in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and we need your help to make sure your member of Congress signs this important letter to stop the Monsanto Protection Act.
Join Food Democracy Now! and our allies to help stop the Monsanto Protection Act. It’s time that our elected officials start putting our rights over the profits of Monsanto and biotech companies.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
"‘Monsanto Protection Act’ would keep GMO crops in the ground during legal battles ", Grist, June 29, 2012
Monsanto has attached a protection act to bill waiting to be approved, ACTION is need
Once again, Monsanto and the biotech industry are working behind closed doors to undermine your basic rights. This time they’ve gone too far! As leaders in Washington DC discuss the "fiscal cliff", biotech lobbyists are desperate to slide provisions in any end of the year omnibus spending bill to make sure their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review.
In the past, legal advocates have successfully won in court the right to halt the sale and planting of unapproved GMO crops while the approval of those crops is under review by a federal judge. This dangerous new House provision, which we're calling the Monsanto Protection Act, section 733 in the Fiscal Year 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill has now been included in the end of the year omnibus spending bill in an effort to strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.
Right now members of Congress are writing a letter to tell members of the Appropriations committee to drop this dangerous provision from any new spending bill. In the next 24 hours your Congressperson needs to hear from you immediately so you can protect your basic democratic rights and the safety of the food that we're eating.