By Leah Dearborn
Last Wednesday, a contentious food and agriculture provision was passed in the Senate after being quietly added to a budget resolution under the direction of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The rider, officially titled Section 735 (pg. 78) of the Continuing Resolution Bill, has come to be known by agriculture groups as the “Monsanto Protection Act.” NPR writes:
If signed into law by President Obama, here’s what the rider would do: It will allow farmers to plant, harvest and sell genetically engineered plants even if the crops have been ruled upon unfavorably in court. A Center for Food Safety statement called the rider “an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review of agency actions” and “ a major violation of the separation of powers.”
The CFS (Center for Food Safety) goes on to call the rider “‘corporate welfare’ for Monsanto.” In a recent press release, Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the CFS announced:
“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.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.”
Food Democracy Now! is currently running a signature campaign urging President Obama to veto the provision.