Barbara Mikulski, the Senate Appropriations Chairperson has issued an apology for her Monsanto Protection act rider, that was added to the government funding bill President Barack Obama signed this week.
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 rider went into effect on March 28th and will last for a period of 6 months, until Congress takes up a long term funding bill. The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ compromises the federal courts’ ability to protect farmers and the environment from unlawful and potentially hazardous GMO crops.