It normally takes several years for the USDA to approve GE crops because of the length of time required to do a full environmental safety assessment. But, provisions in the farm bill mandates that the 12 crops currently under review by the USDA, like the genetically engineered apple and the agent orange resistant soybeans, etc., will be automatically approved 90 days after passage of the bill.
Don’t let Monsanto decide the future of your food! Stop the rubber stamp approval of GE crops. Contact your Representatives NOW!
Representative Jack Kingston, R-GA, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and the Food and Drug Administration, apparently in the pockets of the biotech industry, has been quietly attaching riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve genetically modified foods at the request of the biotechnology companies and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the approval process.
The 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider known as the “farmer assurance provision” (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request to “immediately” grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop’s safety is in question or under review. This means that if the Department of Agriculture is strong armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court, the Secretary of Ag, under the provisions of the Kingston rider will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.
According to Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins at AfterNet, “all the farmer of the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops would be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”
The 2013 Ag bill was approved by the Committee on June 19. Next it will move to the House floor for debate and further amendment proposals so there is still time for voice your opposition. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, has introduced an amendment that would eliminate Kingston’s rider.
The 2012 Farm Bill is another seriously flawed piece of legislation. Deliberately buried in the discussion draft are specific changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA), one of the few laws that regulates GE crops. The provisions — Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s “Agent Orange” corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops. For those of you not familiar with Agent Orange, just ask a Vietnam vet what it can do!
Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power over our own food supply and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown and how its grown.
Please contact your Congressman NOW and tell them they MUST protect what few safeguards we have over GE crops.