U.S. Senate Approves Spending Bill with Pro-GMO RiderMarch 21st, 2013
[The following article appeared in the influential daily industry publication, Sustainable Food News, this morning (reprinted by permission). Last night we learned of the subversion, by congressional leaders, of the democratic process. In essence, Congress has now usurped the power of the judiciary. It does not matter if the approvals of GMOs, by regulators, are done legally. The courts have been neutered.
If you look up the word "fascism" you won't find the word "Monsanto" but it will be clear that when politicians from both political parties, sell-out the interests of the citizenry, in deference to powerful corporations that dominate the electoral process (choose/finance our leaders) the word fits pretty well.
- Mark A. Kastel]
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a six-month continuing resolution budget bill that included a rider that would allow the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegal.
Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) added the rider (Amendment 26), basically a legislative tactic to pass a controversial provision that would not pass as its own bill, which detractors say essentially gives a blank check to biotech giant Monsanto Co. and other corporations to plant illegal GE crops.
The Senate was not allowed to consider two amendments offered by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) that would have removed policy riders that favored the largest seed companies and the largest meatpackers. Tester observed that these policy riders were worth millions of dollars to these companies. [Tester is a certified organic farmer]
Mikulski and the Senate Appropriations Committee also did not bring the rider in front of the agriculture or judiciary committees, disregarding their expertise and jurisdiction.
“In this hidden backroom deal, Senator Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental, and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Senator Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate.”
Should the bill be passed by the House, the rider will only be in effect for the life of the six-month CR. CFS intends to launch a major campaign to make sure the rider is not included in the next round of appropriations bills.
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