Barbara Mikulski, the Senate Appropriations Chairperson had issued an apology for her Monsanto Protection act rider, that was added to the government funding bill President Barack Obama signed in the first quarter of the year.
The rider prevents US courts from halting the planting or harvesting of unapproved genetically modified seeds, even if they are found to be detrimental to environmental health or public safety.
In a statement issued by the Senator’s office she says she “understands the anger over this provision”, but was concerned about preventing a government shut down. Senators Tester, Boxer, Gillibrand, Leahy, Begich and Blumenthal have all spoken out against the Bill.
Senator Mikulski allegedly compromised on many of her priorities to get a bill through the Senate that the House would pass and mentioned that she would continue to battle for a regular and timely appropriations process and other valuable priorities, including food safety.”
The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ compromises the federal courts’ ability to protect farmers and the environment from unlawful and potentially hazardous GMO crops.
In a stunning slap in the face to the American public congress passed another three month extension of the bill incorporated in the house spending bill. The current three-month extension is part of the short-term FY14 Continuing Resolution spending bill.
The Center for Food Safety, has released a vociferous 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.”
Center for Food Safety.