In March, the "Monsanto Protection Act" was inserted at the last minute into a "must-pass" funding bill to keep the government running.
It strips federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of potentially hazardous genetically engineered crops while USDA is performing an environmental impact statement. It's a huge blow to the justice system, completely overriding judicial safeguards that protect both farmers and the public.
The emergency funding period ends September 30, and Congress will try to extend it before total government shutdown. Just days ago, the House nearly voted on a bill signing the Monsanto Protection Act back into law for at least the rest of the year - we need to act now to remove this controversial language for good.
Tell Congress to oppose the Monsanto Protection Act, no matter what bill it's in! Warn them that if they don't, they'll have a media and grassroots firestorm on their hands once again.
I was shocked last March to learn that Congress took the Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded and inserted language into it that actually strips federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of potentially hazardous genetically engineered crops, even while USDA is performing an environmental impact statement. The Farmer Assurance Provision (colloquially but appropriately known as the "Monsanto Protection Act") is a huge blow to the justice system, completely overriding judicial safeguards that protect both farmers and the public.
It was an even bigger shock to read that a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee said that the House committee doesn’t expect the Senate to balk at the inclusion of the Monsanto Protection Act in a new CR once the current CR expires at the end of this month. Sen. Mikulski does not, of course, have any power over what the House puts in the CR, but she has stated on record that she does not support the Monsanto Protection Act. So how can House Appropriations say they haven't heard opposition from the Senate about the language?
More to the point, how can Congress even think of carrying this language forward after the media firestorm about it just a few months ago - after it received millions of emails from American citizens of all stripes, from conservative Tea Party groups to liberal organizations and everything in between? The opposition from the public was so overwhelming that the Senate Appropriations Committee even apologized for its inclusion!
The greatest problem with the legislation is that it protects industrial farming corporations who use GMO seeds, completely ruining the livelihood of small organic farmers - the potential for cross-contamination of organic crops by GE crops is enormous. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a field in Washington is being tested for GE contamination after a farmer who grew alfalfa found that it may have been contaminated with mislabeled seeds. And earlier this year, non-approved GM wheat was discovered in an Oregon field. Japan and South Korea refused to import our wheat because it was GMO-contaminated. GM foods will soon cause international trade relations to suffer dramatically.
As your constituent, I call upon you to oppose the Farmer Assurance Provision rider, whether it appears in the upcoming CR, or whether it shows up attached to some future legislation. I ask you and your colleagues to stand against the Monsanto Protection Act in all of its forms, or else you'll have a media and grassroots firestorm on your hands once again.