Ethan A. Huff
March 21, 2013
The U.S. Congress is right now moving forward with the passage of the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill (AAB), also known as H.R. 933, which currently contains an added “rider” that would allow agricultural biotechnology corporations like Monsanto to bypass the legal system in approving, growing and selling illegal genetically-modified (GM) seeds and crops.
Dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act by an unofficial cohort of family-scale farmers and health freedom advocates, the so-called Farmer Assurance Provision of the Agricultural Appropriations Bill threatens to undo constitutional guidelines that allow the justice system to rightly intervene in cases where the safety of illegally-approved GMOs are called into question.
If passed, the Farmer Assurance Provision would basically allow GMO purveyors like Monsanto and BASF to continue marketing and planting GM seeds found to have been illegally approved by federal regulatory bodies. Currently, federal courts can enact a moratorium while a case is in progress, but the Farmer Assurance Provision would nix this power and allow the biotechnology industry to continue business as normal without restraint.
“The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,” explains a letter to the House signed by family farmers and others opposed to the biotech rider.
“Further, it would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if in the course of its assessment the Department finds that it poses previously unrecognized risks.”
Put another way, the Farmer Assurance Provision, which is located in Section 733 of H.R. 933, would block organic and non-GMO farmers from equal protection under the law, particularly in cases involving crop contamination and patent infringement. This means Monsanto and others would have ruthless new freedoms to exploit the agricultural system at the expense of small-scale farms and the public.
Your support needed to stop the Monsanto Protection Act from becoming law
Last summer, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), Food Democracy Now (FDN), the National Organic Coalition (NOC), and dozens of other businesses, retailers, family farm groups, and others signed an official letter of opposition to the Monsanto Protection Act that they collectively sent to the House of Representatives. But this letter appears to have been ignored, as the threat of the rider’s passage looms imminent.
So the Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA) has issued a new and urgent warning about the Monsanto Protection Act, urging health freedom advocates everywhere to bombard their state Senators and Representatives with opposition to its passage. According to the alert, a secret, “backroom” deal may have already been made, as debates over H.R. 933 have officially ended without the illicit rider having been removed, but there is still time to stop it.
“If this provision becomes law, it will be a huge blow to the justice system, completely overriding judicial safeguards that protect both farmers and the public, and rendering judges’ rulings irrelevant,” says ANH-USA.
“The general consensus on the Hill is that once the Senate acts, the House Appropriations Committee leadership is prepared to take the modified Senate CR (Continuing Resolution, which still contains the Monsanto rider), directly to the House floor, possibly as early as Thursday. This is why urgent grassroots action is required to ensure that does not happen.”
ANH-USA is urging the public to contact both chambers of Congress immediately, and demand that the Monsanto rider be removed from H.R. 933. You can access the ANH-USA Action Alert portal here:
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This article was posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:12 am