The so-called ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ will now expire, and won’t be part of continuing resolution. The resolution was part of a plan to avert a government shutdown. The protection for biotech giant Monsanto and similar GMO producers, however, will no longer be tied to the bill, according to a statement from the press office of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon).
Earlier this month, House Republicans released a bill that would have extended the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, in the continuing resolution. While the bill was never officially named this, the nickname of the provision stuck because it shielded manufacturers of GMOs from lawsuits, even if it was proven that the crops caused serious harm.
Senator Merkley opposed the measure from its inception in March, when it was first covertly attacked to a different spending resolution. The senator helped to lead an online petition that opposed the extension. Merkley’s official statement thanked those who helped kill the extension:
“This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals. This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.”
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Maryland), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Dean of the Senate women’s office released the following statement on disclusion of the Monstanto Protection included in the Senate Amendment to the House Continuing Resolution:
“My promises made are promises kept. I have never supported the Monsanto provision, and I continue to oppose it. When I became Appropriations Chairwoman and inherited this problem, I promised I would work to solve it. The Monsanto provision is not included in either of the Senate or House FY14 Agriculture Appropriations bills, and that is a good thing. There’s no reason for it to be included in a short-term CR, either. I have long fought for strong food safety measures. I have supported a bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered fish, an amendment to the Farm Bill that allows states to require labeling of edible foods and beverages for sale that contain genetically engineered ingredients, and called for labeling of cloned animals or their progeny. I will continue to fight for food safety and consumer information to support the health and well-being of families across America.”
Thank you to all who helped kill this bill, whether politicians, grassroots activists, or anyone who helped get the word out online!
(Article by Ari Simeon)