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)
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.