Center for Food Safety urges Senate leadership to Remove Rider from House-passed CR
Center for Food Safety decries the vote today by House Republicans to extend the “Monsanto Protection Act” in the short-term 3-month appropriations bill (H.J. Res 59) put forth by House Republican leadership. The bill passed 230-189. The controversial rider, included in last spring’s 6-month continuing resolution (H.R. 933), undermines federal courts’ ability to safeguard farmers, consumers and the environment from potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GE) crops. Today’s continuing resolution spending bill retains that corporate-friendly language.
“It is truly disappointing that the House Republicans continue to push forward this overreaching and damaging corporate earmark,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety. “The American people deserve better than dirty politics, yet the Republican leadership continues to side with the agrichemical companies that the rider seeks to protect.”
Last week over 120 of the nation’s top organizations and businesses sent a letter to Senate leadership calling on them to exclude the rider from consideration in the short-term spending bill. Senate leadership issued strong statements last spring opposing the rider and Center for Food Safety is hopeful they will work to strip the rider from the dirty House bill.
The letter cosigners include Center for Food Safety, National Farmers Union, American Civil Liberties Union, Sierra Club, Environmental Working Group, Stonyfield Farm, Nature’s Path, Consumers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Public Citizen and dozens more.
Center for Food Safety also opposes another corporate earmark extended in the CR, which blocks USDA from addressing anti-competitive and fraudulent practices in the livestock and poultry sector.
About the “Monsanto Protection Act”
Wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, the rider represents a serious assault on the fundamental safeguards of our judicial system and would negatively impact farmers, the environment and public health across America. The rider would strip federal courts of their authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop and compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request.
In addition to being completely unnecessary, the rider represents an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review, which is an essential element of U.S. law and provides a critical check on government decisions that may negatively impact human health, the environment or livelihoods. This also raises potential jurisdictional concerns with the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary Committees that merited hearings by the Committees before its consideration.
About Center for Food Safety
Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.