July 17, 2012
The “Monsanto Rider” is being slipped into the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 that will require the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting and cultivation of genetically engineered crops regardless of the decision of the federal courts that stated that GM crop planting be halted until the Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
At the request of a farmer or bio-tech representative, GM crops would be preferred by Big Agra, despite their contamination of the nation’s food supply.
According to the Center For Food Safety , the bio-tech industry’s attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safety standards are “ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.”
By tying the hands of judicial review, rewriting the Constitutional provision for separation of powers, allow the rampant potential of fraud and abuse by the GM industry at the expense of public health, this provision essentially gives the GM industry automatic approval of any and all genetically engineered agriculture to be sold for human consumption.
House Representative Peter DeFazio, champion of “the farmer’s assurance” provision has the backing of advocacy groups like Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, FoodDemocracyNow!, the Alliance for Natural Health USA .
Jack Kingston, agricultural sub-committee chairperson, who is backed by Monsanto and DuPont, has been hailed as the “champion of America’s biotechnology industry”. Kingston has done more to “protect funding for programs essential to the survival of biotechnology companies across the United States” at the expense of American farmers.
Former Congressman John C. Greenwood, who is the current president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization has pressured Congress in defense of the “farmer’s assurance provision”. Greenwood seeks to alleviate the legal problems corporations purveying GM crops have encountered that have “created uncertainties” for the industry.
In 2007, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) disputed that legal approval of the USDA with regard to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa. The federal court ruled that this approval violated existing environmental laws by refusing to analyze contamination risks of GM alfalfa for conventional and organic crops.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) demanded that the USDA conduct a 4 year study wherein farmers were banned from planting and selling GM crops. This decision obviously hurt the profit margins of the GM industry.
Now those corporations seek to self-regulate while simultaneously stripping the USDA of their authority to ensure safety regulations on the American food supply.
In 2011, the USDA allowed GM crops like Monsanto’s alfalfa to be used in the livestock industry despite its dangers to humans.
As the global markets are now requiring GMO-free products and demanding that genetically engineered foods be labeled, the “farmer’s assurance provision” would allow these crops to be introduced onto the international food trade and in competition with the non-GMO foods.
While Monsanto and its fellow bio-tech corporations are seeking to recoup financial losses due to governmental regulatory bodies that have nearly outlawed the use of GM crops worldwide, the NEPA and the Plant Protection Act of 2000 provided protection from production and income loss for agricultural producers. Now the bio-tech industry is undermining the existing safety nets and manipulates the American judicial system while endangering the general public’s health.
And all for profit’s sake.