Veil Of Politics
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The deadly Monsanto Rider has passed as part of the 2013 Continuing Resolution, which funds the government through September.
This sneaky addition to the bill is a major victory for the biotech food industry. It strips federal courts of their power to restrict the planting and sale of genetically modified seeds even if they find they should not be planted. If a judge orders the USDA to complete an environmental impact assessment on a specific GMO crop, that doesn’t stop it from being planted.
The USDA would be required to give Monsanto or other GMO firms a temporary permit to keep selling, cultivating and planting those crops while the review is conducted.
It essentially eliminates the only legal tool environmental advocates have for slowing down or stopping the use of new genetically modified crops.
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee did not bring the rider in front of the Agriculture or Judiciary Committees, as would usually be the case. Many Democrats on the committees say they didn’t know the Rider was in the budget bill.
“In this hidden backroom deal, Senator Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental, and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto. This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Senator Mikulski or the Democratic Majority in the Senate,” says Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety.
I am writing to demand that President Obama veto HR 933. I am outraged that the “farmer assurance provision”, Section 735, currently included in HR 933, was not struck from the Continuing Resolution spending bill passed by Congress.
Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this provision is simply an industry ploy to continue to sell genetically engineered (GMO) seeds even when a court of law has found they were approved by USDA illegally. It is unnecessary and an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review. Congress should not be meddling with the judicial review process based solely on the special interest of a handful of companies.
The judicial review process is an essential element of U.S law and serves as a vital check on any federal agency decision that may negatively impact human health, the environment or the livelihood of farmers, yet this provision seeks an end-run around such judicial review by preemptively deciding that industry can set its own conditions to continue to sell biotech seeds, even if a court may find them to have been wrongfully approved.
The provision further forces USDA to immediately approve any permits for continued planting at the industry’s request, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a “back door approval” mechanism. USDA’s duty is to protect the interests of all farmers and the environment, a duty that would be eliminated by this provision.
The provision is also completely unnecessary. Every court to decide these issues has carefully weighed the interests of farmers, as is already required by law. I demand that this dangerous and unconstitutional rider be struck from HR 933, the Continuing Resolution by the President before signing this bill.
Good luck getting Barry to do it. He already snuck border deregulation between Canada & USA for expedited Monsanto GMO transference based upon an illegal non-existent ‘North American Union’ basis. Killer Cults: Obama USA & Harper Canada ~ Deregulates International Borders For Streamlining Monsanto GMO Foods That Are Linked To Organ Failure.
The Center for Food Safety says it will “launch a major campaign” to make sure this deception is not included in the next round of appropriation bills.” Sec. 735 is opposed by many organizations, including the Environmental Working Group, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, and the National Farmers Union.
PACs that support GMO crops have made the following campaign contributions since January 1, 2009, according to MapLight‘s analysis:
Who are the pro-GMO groups that made these contributions?
Besides Monsanto, which has contributed $540,000, there’s Syngenta Corp, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Minn-Dak Farmers Coop, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Coop, National Cotton Council, American Farm Bureau, and the biggest contributer, American Crystal Sugar at $3.3 million.