Sign the Petition to

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY 5th district)

I strongly oppose the inclusion of the “Monsanto protection act” in the upcoming short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution (CR) spending bill and urge you to voice your opposition as the Chairs of the Appropriations Committees.  

Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this corporate welfare earmark –section 735 in H.R. 933– is simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to sell GE 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, yet it was quietly slipped into HR 933 without congressional debate, hearings or input from any of the relevant committees.   

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 livelihoods. 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 the industry requests, 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. No farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed. Every court to decide these issues has carefully weighed the interests of farmers, as is already required by law.

I strongly oppose the “Monsanto protection act” and urge you to demand that it not be included in the upcoming short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution (CR) spending bill. 

Signed,

Center for Food Safety

This petition closed almost 2 years ago

How this will help

Center for Food Safety has just learned that the controversial corporate  earmark known as the "Monsanto Protection Act" has been extended in the  short-term 3-month appropriations bill released...

Center for Food Safety has just learned that the controversial corporate  earmark known as the "Monsanto Protection Act" has been extended in the  short-term 3-month appropriations bill released by the House on September 10th. The rider, included in last spring's 6-month continuing resolution (H.R. 
933), undermines federal courts' ability to safeguard farmers and the   environment from potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GE) 
crops. 

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.

This rider did not come out of thin air: it is a direct attack on the successful cases Center for Food Safety has fought and won on behalf of our members and farmers that have forced our government agencies to take the hard look at the risks of GE crop approvals that the law requires.

As if all of that weren't enough, this provision is totally unnecessary. This rider would be better titled the "Monsanto protection act" since no farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed. Every court to decide these issues has carefully weighed the interests of farmers, as is already required by law.

Tell the Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to exclude this dangerous rider from the upcoming spending bill.

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