Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Center For Food Safety Petition: Tell Congress to Dump the Monsanto Rider!

Tell Congress to Dump the Monsanto Rider!

The biotech industry has quietly inserted a dangerous policy rider into the Agriculture Appropriations bill now being debated in the House Appropriations Committee and headed to the House floor soon. Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this “farmer assurance provision” is simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to plant GE crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally.

Tell Congress to dump this dangerous provision

The provision is intended to force USDA to deregulate GE crops 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; GE alfalfa and GE sugar beets, for example) this provision would override any court-mandated caution and allow continued planting while further review takes place. 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.

As if all of that weren’t enough, this provision is totally unnecessary. This rider would be better titled the “Monsanto assurance provision” 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 your Congressperson to support any amendment striking this unnecessary and unconstitutional rider!

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