The "Monsanto Rider": Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law?
"While many Americans were firing up barbecues and breaking out the sparklers to celebrate Independence Day, biotech industry executives were more likely chilling champagne to celebrate another kind of independence: immunity from federal law.
A so-called "Monsanto rider," quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require - the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation's food supply. . . . .
.....· It's a back-door amendment of a statute. This rider, quietly tacked onto an appropriations bill, is in effect a substantial amendment to USDA's governing statute for GE crops, the Plant Protection Act. If Congress feels the law needs to be changed, it should be done in a transparent manner by holding hearings, soliciting expert testimony and including full opportunity for public debate.
If we allow this "Monsanto Rider" to be slipped into the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, consumers and farmers will lose what little control we have now over what we plant and what we eat.
If you would like to join the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens who have already written to Congress in support of the DeFazio amendment, please sign our petition here. "
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