Center for Food Safety calls on Senate
to exclude dangerous rider in House bill
September 11, 2013, Washington, DC—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 last evening. 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.
“It is extremely disappointing to see the damaging ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ policy rider extended in the House spending bill,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans called their elected officials to voice their frustration and disappointment over the inclusion of ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ this past spring. Its inclusion is a slap in the face to the American public and our justice system.”
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.
Today over 100 of the nation’s top organizations and businesses will send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Mikulski calling on them to strip the rider from the bill. Senator leadership issued strong statements last spring opposing the rider and Center for Food Safety hopes they will stay true to their word.
The letter cosigners include the 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.
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.