Posted by Dave on March 13, 2013
Like a zombie rising from the dead, the "Monsanto Protection Act" is back and alive in the U.S. Senate and we need your help to stop it!
Late Monday night, biotech lobbyists succeeded in slipping the dangerous biotech rider (Sec. 735) into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill in an effort to strip federal courts of their authority to halt the sale and planting of any illegaly, potentially hazardous GMO crop.
If approved, the Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.
Clearly Monsanto and the biotech industry are getting desperate and want to try an end run around a growing movement of farmers and citizens who are rejecting their products and calling for GMO labeling in an effort to make sure their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review.
For the past year, Food Democracy Now! and our allies have been able to hold them off, but we need your help today!
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!
This riders, which we dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act" last 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 last 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. 735). 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!
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.
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 included in the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill will allow biotech seed and chemical companies to openly skirt even minimal protections of human health and environmental concerns.
We need your help to make sure your Senator demands that Appropriations Chairman Mikulski pulls this dangerous and unconstitutional rider, and support any amendment that would strike the biotech rider from the new Continuing Resolution.
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