Anti-GMO Victory: ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Stripped From Senate Bill

Organizers cheer, saying the voices raised against genetically modified foods and giveaways to biotech giants were heard
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    People chant and carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in front of the capitol building in Montpelier, Vt. on Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Collier)

    People chant and carry signs during a protest against Monsanto in front of the capitol building in Montpelier, Vt. on Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Collier)

    An amendment dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act,” which currently allows large agriculture and biotech corporations to ignore court orders involving the safety of genetically modified seeds, has been stripped from Senate’s spending bill that could be voted on as early as Wednesday afternoon.

    Following an organized campaign against the provision in recent months, its removal was being cheered by food safety and environmental activists as a victory.

    “Millions of people around the world were outraged when the bill passed originally and removing the Monsanto Protection Act from the current bill is a sign that the food movement has arrived politically. The American people are tired of Monsanto’s lies and the manipulation of our political process and we’re not backing down.” – Dave Murphy, Food Democracy Now!

    The Monsanto Protection Act, otherwise known as the Farmer Assurance Provision rider, was wedged into a stop-gap budget bill that passed earlier this year and signed into law by President Obama in March.

    The rider was the source of outrage by many and quickly dubbed a form of “corporate welfare” that benefited large biotechnology corporations firms such as Monsanto and Syngenta as it barred US federal courts from being able to prevent the sale or planting of GMO crops even if they failed to meet federal safety standards or were discovered to be harmful to humans or the environment.

    In opposition to the law’s passage, several online campaigns as well as street protests followed.

    The rider was set to expire this year, but an extension of the bill was included in the House’s version of the budget bill passed last week.

    However, according to a statements released by the offices of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the provision will not be extended and has now been removed from the Senate’s version of the bill.

    “We have all known this rider’s days were numbered,” Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety, told Politico. “But given the recent GMO contamination episodes of wheat and alfalfa in Oregon and Washington it is clear that our nation’s safeguards, in particular those of the federal courts, should not be under attack from policy riders like this.”

    “This is a major victory for the food movement and all those who care about openness and transparency in their government,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! The decision to strip the provision, he said, “is a sign that our voices can make the difference when we are effectively organized.”

    According to Murphy’s group, its organizing has generated more than half a million signatures in a petition delivered to Congress and the White House demanding the removal of the rider. In addition, the law’s opponents logged more than 40,000 phone calls to members of congress in the last two weeks alone.

    “This is what happens when people become engaged in the democratic process,” Murphy said. “Millions of people around the world were outraged when the bill passed originally and removing the Monsanto Protection Act from the current bill is a sign that the food movement has arrived politically. The American people are tired of Monsanto’s lies and the manipulation of our political process and we’re not backing down.”

    “Short-term appropriations bills are not an excuse for Congress to grandfather in bad policy,”stated O’Neil. “Chairwoman Mikulski’s proposal to halt the Monsanto Protection Act, backed by Majority Leader Reid, is a welcome sea change in a political climate that all too often allows corporate earmarks to slide through must-pass legislation.”

    This article originally appeared on Common Dreams. 

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      • Pingback: Proof That Government Shutdown is a Diversion: Senate Removes GMO Provision from House Farmer Funding Bill | True World Intelligence News (TWIN)

      • Matthew Ward

        So, now Elizabeth Warren is the enemy, eh? I’m glad to see this rider gone, but I’m also sick of the anti-GMO movement hysterically smearing everyone that doesn’t completely agree with them.

      • Pingback: Bio Prepper | Anti-GMO Victory: ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Stripped From Senate Bill

      • gmo2ashes

        Wake me up when Americans have the mental acuity and guts to burn GMO crops in the field. It’s the only way to stop this contamination of the food supply.

        If a home invader comes into your house in the middle of the night and threatens to harm your family and you have the means and opportunity to defend against their threat, would you instead make a cardboard protest sign and march around the room?

        Like other countries whose citizens took it upon themselves to burn GMOs in the field to defend their families’ health and future welfare, Americans have the same ability and choice to neutralize the GMO threat. Without this proactive defense, the entire food chain will soon be irreparably damaged.

        There is another solution though.

        Without a burn & ban trend, and with GOV-CO and the biotechs rolling out more and more GMOs, survivalists could look to the myriad wild, edible plants that are indigenous to their geographic area. While Monsanto and the biotechs are busy destroying domestic species, as an alternative, people can learn what wild species are available in their region, what these plants look like, which are the most nutritious, when to harvest them, how to plant them, etc.

      • Pingback: Anti-GMO Victory: ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Stripped From Senate Bill | Food Inc info dump

      • Gregory Stricherz

        Let’s hope this will also stop Elizabeth Warren in her attempt to support GMOs.

        “The first-term senator is well-known as a champion of consumer
        protection, especially in relation to banking regulation, but she is on
        to new issues, calling for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize a
        12-year-old draft guidance in relation to the labeling of foods
        containing genetically modified organisms.

        “The guidance could be complied with by the food industry on a voluntary
        basis, which would not be nearly as tough as the mandatory GMO labeling
        requirements being sought by consumer advocates. In fact, some advocates
        fear the FDA guidance promoted by the Massachusetts Democrat and others
        might even be used to circumvent the tougher standards they seek.”

        Why is this not a surprise? Another politician doing exactly the
        opposite of what they pretend to be doing—protecting the consumer, in
        her case.