April 23, 2014

URGENT: Congress to consider dangerous rider in support of genetically engineered crops

GMO URGENT: Congress to consider dangerous rider in support of genetically engineered crops

Alliance for Natural Health

Congress is considering a sneaky, pro-GMO rider to a funding bill, and it may become law without anyone realizing it—unless you take action NOW!

The biotech industry has managed to insert a dangerous rider in support of genetically engineered crops into the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. It is scheduled to be heard by the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19, so we need you all to contact the committee immediately and voice your opposition! This is why we are taking the extraordinary step of sending out this newsletter a day early, to give you time to send in your message right away.

The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of illegal, potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GE) crops while USDA is assessing those potential hazards. In other words, even if a court said to halt the sale and planting of the genetically engineered crop until a USDA environmental impact statement was completed, the crop planting could still go forward!

Further, the provision would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if USDA finds that the crop poses previously unrecognized risks. That’s right—the provision specifically mandates that the Secretary of Agriculture shall, upon request by a farm operator or producer, immediately grant a temporary permit authorizing the crops to continue being planted or cultivated, even if a court has called a halt until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. They’re calling it the Farmer Assurance Provision (Section 733), but far from safeguarding farmers, the only parties whose interests are “assured” by this rider are those of GE crop developers.

This rider is almost certainly a response to the recent federal court interventions we’ve been telling you about, preventing the sale, distribution, or cultivation of non-regulated GE sugarbeets and GE alfalfa while full environmental evaluations are being done.

Environmental Impact Statements take years to complete and are an important method to slow—and perhaps even prevent—the planting of these dangerous crops. The provision is terrible for many reasons:

  • This is an appropriations bill, and this rider has nothing to do with appropriations. This is an attempt to sneak an unrelated provision into a must-pass bill in the hope that it won’t be noticed. While we believe the entire provision is a dangerous one, at minimum it should have been presented in a bill of its own, to give it the full public exposure such a controversial subject deserves. We suspect the reason it wasn’t done this way is because it could never pass on its own—and they know that!
  • The provision circumvents the judicial process. In several recent lawsuits, federal courts have ruled for farmers, businesses, and public interest plaintiffs, finding that USDA had violated federal law by failing to adequately consider the potential harms of GE crops it had approved. This rider is specifically intended to prohibit courts from imposing such reasonable restrictions in the event of similar cases in the future, undermining judicial authority in the interests of maximizing biotech industry seed sales. This outlandish provision would prevent a court from putting in place court-ordered restrictions, even if the approval were fraudulent or involved bribery. Congress should be supportive of an independent judiciary that is able to evaluate issues that affect the public and put the legal brakes on fraud and abuse.
  • It could cause substantial harm to farmers—not to mention the agricultural economy. The provision would allow non-GE crops to be contaminated by neighboring GE crops, without proper environmental studies being performed. Seeds, crops, and foods that are contaminated with GE material cannot be sold in many international markets. Agricultural commodities contaminated by GE crops that have not been approved for commercial use in the US are particularly shunned.

The USDA already rubber stamps the approval and deregulation of GE crops. This rider, by law, provides USDA with even greater authority to continue to do so, no matter what the courts say.

The Ag Appropriations bill will be heard in the full committee tomorrow morning (Tuesday), and we hope that your messages will be enough to make them strike this dangerous provision from the bill. After the committee hearing tomorrow, the next step is for the bill to go to the floor, where we will have another opportunity to stop them, if necessary.

Please contact the members of the House Appropriations Committee and oppose the rider TODAY—there’s not a moment to lose!

Take Action URGENT: Congress to consider dangerous rider in support of genetically engineered crops

Read the Full Article and Comment Here: http://www.anh-usa.org/dont-let-the-biotech-industry-sneak-this-in/

See Also: Senator Bernie Sanders Proposes Amendment to Farm Bill Requiring Labeling of GMOs

 

0 commentsback to post

Other articlesgo to homepage

Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia will not import GMO products because Russia has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

This was not a political statement of posturing, given the current cool relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine. As it turns out, Russia’s food security is light years ahead of the U.S.

As you will read below, a significant portion of the Russian population own “dachas,” or seasonal garden homes, where they can grow their own food. At the height of the communist era, it is reported that these dachas produced 90% of the nation’s food. Today, with the land now privatized, they still comprise about 40% of the nation’s food.

Compare that with the United States, where less than 1% of the population controls the food, and small-scale family farms have for the most part been bought out by huge Biotech corporations.

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.

“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,” he said.

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

A highly concerning new study published in the journal Biomedical Research International reveals that despite the still relatively benign reputation of agrochemicals such as Roundup herbicide, many chemical formulations upon which the modern agricultural system depend are far more toxic than present regulatory tests performed on them reveal. Roundup herbicide, for instance, was found to be 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation.

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

This year, food security is set to suffer another big setback, and the culprit could not be cuter: honeybees. Last winter, America’s beekeeping industry lost nearly half of all its bee colonies. And the numbers keep falling. Last summer, in the largest bee kill on record, more than 50,000 bumblebees were killed in Oregon as a direct result of exposure to an insecticide applied to trees for cosmetic purposes.

The killing has gotten so bad that people are calling it a beepocalypse. This is a serious situation. One-third of the food produced in North America depends on pollination by our honeybees. Nearly 100 varieties of fruits depend on honeybee pollination, from almonds (which are California’s third-largest export) to avocados to apples to cranberries.

America, then, must act fast if we want to save our bees, our food and our economic productivity.

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

Health concerns aside, U.S. GMO policy is damaging the U.S. economy and costing jobs. China just announced they were rejecting U.S. GMO corn in favor of Brazilian corn, draining hundreds of millions of dollars out of the U.S. economy.

read more


Get the news right in your inbox!