Friday, March 29, 2013


A QUICKIE: Reports on the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" (a supposedly "secret" rider to the recently congress-passed Ag Appropriations Bill which continues a suspension of judicial review of use of new GMO products while an a EIS is prepared and will expire in 6 months) continue with CNN reporting that actually Senator John Tester (D-Montana), a former organic farmer, spoke against the rider before the full senate before passage of the bill.

However, he says, he was told by Democratic leadership that the rider could not be taken out at that point although the reason- other than that they had to go on vacation- remains unclear. It is alleged that Senate Ag Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski slipped the rider into the bill unbeknownst to other senators but this seems to put at least the "unbeknownst" part to rest.

Meanwhile this is Tulsi Gabbard's press release on the subject in response to widespread accusations that she was in some way responsible for or involved with the passage of the rider (She did vote for the whole bill). You can judge her straightforwardness and "transparency."

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Statement on Section 735 of Continuing Appropriations Bill
Mar 28, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on section 735 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. Section 735 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue a temporary permit allowing the cultivation of certain genetically engineered (GE) plants. This authority expires on September 30, 2013.

"As an advocate for transparency in our legislative process, and a proponent of labeling food containing GE products, I am disappointed that a special-interest GE protection provision was inserted by the Senate during consideration of this must-pass funding bill.

"The bill was designed to provide funding for the Department of Defense, as well as address domestic priorities like public safety, rural development, education, and food programs. I voted for this bill to protect our economy from another manufactured crisis, to prevent a Federal government shutdown this week, and to help ease the pain of across-the-board budget cuts.

"People deserve to know if their food is safe to eat, if they contain GE products, and the effect of GE crops on the environment. Consumers have the right to truthful, transparent information about their food.

"In Congress, I will continue to support efforts to strengthen consumer and environmental protections from GE crops, ensure adequate cultivation safeguards, and require labeling of GE foods. Labeling GE food products is essential in order for consumers to make informed and educated choices."

1 comment:

Lanny said...

Of course, the process put into law is upside down and backwards from the normal environmental review process. Under the National Environmental Policy Act and a similar statute in Hawai'i, if an environmental analysis is required, that analysis must be completed and accepted before any action can take place.

Under the Monsanto rider, Monsanto can proceed to plant crops before the EIS is prepared, let alone accepted.

Superferry got in trouble for trying that trick in Hawai'i. Too bad Congress let Monsanto evade the normal requirements of law.