The recently dubbed “Monsanto Protection Act” also known as the Agricultural Appropriations Bill received some revisions last Tuesday which extended the budget provision for three months in an approved US House of Representatives spending bill on Tuesday evening.
The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ made a lot of noise approximately 6 months ago when we became aware of Barack Obama signing the bill into law, you can read more about that here. The bill was written by the billion-dollar corporation itself, and allows Monsanto to override United States federal courts on the issue of planting experimental genetically modified crops all across the U.S, regardless of any health concerns. They are indeed ‘above the law.’
After Obama signed the H.R 933, the provision was final, therefore there could be no litigations against these corporations no matter what. There are numerous studies available to the public that clearly indicate that GMOs can potentially be hazardous to human health. You can start off by examining these ones sourced at the bottom of that page, where scientists recently discovered that Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops damage red blood cells. It is no mystery why the majority of countries around the world have banned Monsanto and GMO crops from even entering their country. For more studies like this one, please browse through our website as we have covered GMOs and Monsanto multiple times.
Full Story As Published On RT News:
Called “The Monsanto Protection Act” by opponents, the budget rider shields biotech behemoths like Monsanto, Cargill and others from the threat of lawsuits and bars federal courts from intervening to force an end to the sale of a GMO (genetically-modified organism) even if the genetically-engineered product causes damaging health effects.
The biotech rider first made news in March when it was a last-minute addition to the successfully-passed House Agriculture Appropriations Bill for 2013, a short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.
The current three-month extension is part of the short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution spending bill.
The Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of the rider, released a statement expressing dismay that the measure once again avoided proper legislative process while usurping the power to challenge GMO products in court.
“The rider represents an unprecedented attack on US judicial review, which is an essential element of US law and provides a critical check on government decisions that may negatively impact human health, the environment or livelihoods,” they wrote. “This also raises potential jurisdictional concerns with the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary Committees that merited hearings by the Committees before its consideration.”
Following the original vote in March, President Barack Obama signed the provision into law as part of larger legislation to avoid a government shutdown. Rallies took place worldwide in May protesting the clandestine effort to protect the powerful companies from judicial scrutiny.
“It is extremely disappointing to see the damaging ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ policy rider extended in the House spending bill,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety.“Hundreds of thousands of Americans called their elected officials to voice their frustration and disappointment over the inclusion of ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ this past spring. Its inclusion is a slap in the face to the American public and our justice system.”
Largely as a result of prior lawsuits, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required to complete environmental impact statements (EIS) to assess risk prior to both the planting and sale of GMO crops. The extent and effectiveness to which the USDA exercises this rule is in itself a source of serious dispute.
The reviews have been the focus of heated debate between food safety advocacy groups and the biotech industry in the past. In December of 2009, for example, Food Democracy Now collected signatures during the EIS commenting period in a bid to prevent the approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa, which many feared would contaminate organic feed used by dairy farmers; it was approved regardless.
The biotech rider “could override any court-mandated caution and could instead allow continued planting. Further, it forces USDA to approve permits for such continued planting immediately, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a ‘back door approval’ mechanism,” the Center for Food Safety said.
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