The following statement was issued from Senator Barbara Mikulski's (D-MD) office today. In the statement, the Senate Appropriations Chair apologizes for her role in allowing Section 735, known as the Monsanto Protection Act, in a must pass continuing resolution spending bill.
Mikulski's apology is a sign of how powerful the food movement has grown in Washington DC, with Food Democracy Now! leading the charge to raise public awareness over the latest outrage in our nation's capital. Mikulski's apology is too little, too late for the more than 300,000 family farmers and citizens who have signed Food Democracy Now!'s letter requesting that President Obama veto H.R. 933 to stop the Monsanto Protection Act.
The passage of this bill, with the Monsanto Protection Act intact is another sign of how dangerously out of touch with the American people our elected officials have become. It's time to put people over profits and return to doing the people's business in Washington.
Official Apology From Senator Mikulski for Monsanto Protection Act:
Mikulski Spokeswoman Statement on Provision in Agriculture Appropriations Bill
March 29, 2013
WASHINGTON – The office of U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today issued the following statement from spokeswoman Rachel MacKnight:
"Senator Mikulski understands the anger over this provision. She didn't put the language in the bill and doesn't support it either.
"It was originally part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill that the House Appropriations Committee reported in June 2012, and it became part of the joint House-Senate agreement completed in the Fall of 2012 before Senator Mikulski became Appropriations Chairwoman.
"That agreement was not reopened when the Agriculture bill and several others were included in the Continuing Appropriations Act to prevent a government shutdown.
"Senator Mikulski has a strong food safety record. She has supported a bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered fish, an amendment to the Farm Bill that allows states to require labeling of edible foods and beverages for sale that contain genetically engineered ingredients, and called for labeling of cloned animals or their progeny.
"As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski's first responsibility was to prevent a government shutdown. That meant she had to compromise on many of her own priorities to get a bill through the Senate that the House would pass. She will continue to fight for a regular and timely Appropriations process and other valuable priorities, including food safety."
Originally published: Senator Barbara Mikulski official website.