Will Congress Grant Biotech Corporations Immunity from Federal Regulation?

By Dr. Mercola

That Monsanto has an exceptional degree of affect over American legislators and regulators is well-known, however the newest reward to the biotech business is actually excessive. A shocking rider, sarcastically named “the Farmers Assurance provision” (Part 733), has been added to the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations invoice, aka the Farm Invoice. This provision, if handed into legislation, will basically grant biotech corporations like Monsanto free reign to behave with impunity.

This rider would permit biotech crops to be planted even when a federal court docket has ordered planting to be halted till an Environmental Influence Assertion has been accomplished. It additionally places restrictions on rules, and permits fast-track approval of genetically engineered (GE) crops, even if the US is already the one developed nation that doesn’t require security testing of GE crops.

Danielle Stuart, a Monsanto spokeswoman, has acknowledged the invoice “gives an assurance for farmers rising crops which have accomplished the U.S. regulatory assessment course of that their harvest will not be jeopardized by subsequent authorized disputes.”1

Are Biotech Corporations About to Achieve Immunity from Federal Regulation?

The rider was added by the agricultural sub-committee chair Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). Not surprisingly, Kingston was voted “legislator of the 12 months for 2011-2012” by the Biotechnology Business Group. The featured article by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins2 spells out the various issues with this “Monsanto safety act,” snuck in by biotech’s inside man:

  • The Monsanto Rider is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Judicial assessment is a vital ingredient of U.S. legislation, offering a vital and neutral test on authorities choices which will negatively affect human well being, the surroundings or livelihoods…
  • Judicial assessment is a gateway, not a roadblock… The flexibility of courts to assessment, consider and decide a difficulty that impacts public and environmental well being is energy, not a weak spot, of our system…
  • It removes the “authorized brakes” that stop fraud and abuse. Lately, federal courts have dominated that a number of USDA GE crop approvals violated the legislation and required additional examine of their well being and environmental affect. These judgments indicated that continued planting would trigger hurt to the surroundings and/or farmers and ordered interim planting restrictions pending additional USDA evaluation and consideration. The Monsanto rider would stop a federal court docket from putting in court-ordered restrictions, even when the approval have been fraudulent or concerned bribery.
  • It’s pointless and duplicative. Each court docket coping with these points is meant to fastidiously weigh the pursuits of all affected farmers and customers, as is already required by legislation. No farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed because of this. USDA already has working mechanisms in place to permit partial approvals, and the Division has used them, making this provision fully pointless.
  • It shuts out the USDA. The rider wouldn’t merely permit, it could compel the Secretary of Agriculture to right away grant any requests for permits to permit continued planting and commercialization of an unlawfully permitted GE crop. With this provision in place, USDA might not be capable to stop pricey contamination episodes like Starlink or Liberty Hyperlink rice, which have already price farmers a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in losses. The rider would additionally make a mockery of USDA’s legally mandated assessment, remodeling it right into a ‘rubber stamp’ approval course of.
  • It’s a back-door modification of a statute. This rider, quietly tacked onto an appropriations invoice, is in impact a considerable modification to USDA’s governing statute for GE crops, the Plant Safety Act. If Congress feels the legislation must be modified, it must be completed in a clear method by holding hearings, soliciting skilled testimony and together with full alternative for public debate.

Anti-GMO Activist Vandana Shiva: ‘Discover the Proper Factor to Do. That’s Your Responsibility’

If ever there have been a rock star within the battle over genetically engineered seeds and meals, Vandana Shiva is the diva, in response to Invoice Moyers. Shiva, who has fought lengthy and arduous towards Monsanto and different company giants like Coca-Cola, based Navdanya, a bunch whose objective is to revive native seeds to India,  and to help small farmers of their efforts at self-sufficiency with out dependence on genetically engineered merchandise.

Though she acknowledges that the battle she’s combating is an uphill one, she doesn’t let it get her down. Responsibility comes earlier than ideas of consequence, within the Hindu religious teachings. What’s necessary, she instructed Moyers in a current interview, is to seek out out what the best factor to do is, after which simply do this.

Our legislators would do properly to hearken to such knowledge.

Name to Strike the “Monsanto Safety Act”

The Farmers Assurance provision, dubbed the Monsanto Safety Act by Meals Democracy Now, is an ideal instance of simply how insidious the collusion between the biotech business and Washington actually is, and the way simply and nonchalantly they undermine our most simple rights.

In response, 38 meals enterprise, retailers, consumer-, household farm-, environmental- and public curiosity teams have expressed their opposition to the availability in a letter despatched to Harold Rogers (Chair, Committee on Appropriations) and Norm Dicks (Rating Member), asking for the availability to be stricken from the farm invoice3 .

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has sponsored an modification to the invoice that will nullify Kingston’s Monsanto-friendly provision. You’ll be able to signal your identify to a letter created by Meals Democracy Now, asking your Consultant to help DeFazio’s modification to strike Kingston’s biotech-friendly “farmer assurance provision.” The marketing campaign letter might be discovered right here.

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