Senate Kills Monsanto Protection ActSeptember 27th, 2013
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has announced the end of the controversial Monsanto Protection Act. Snuck into a federal government funding resolution in 2012, as a rider (at the behest of Republican Senator Roy Blount of Missouri), the act shielded Monsanto from legal review and challenges brought to federal courts that would halt the sale or planting of GMO seeds as long as they had been approved by the USDA.
Public interest groups such as Food Democracy Now!, the Center for Food Safety and Food and Water Watch were among the many organizations fighting to block renewal of the Monsanto Protection Act. “The Monsanto Protection Act was bad policy and had no place in a short term spending bill,” observes Colin O’Neil of the Center for Food Safety. “Removing it from the bill preserves the strength of our judicial review system and is a major win for the food movement.”
Mikulski, in a statement, said: “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.”
Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) as well as Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also helped lead the fight to strip the controversial rider from federal legislation.