With the elections over, Congress has returned for a lame duck session to clear its plate of post-Thanksgiving legislative leftovers. Not surprisingly, Monsanto is back, too, pushing a rider to the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill that if passed, would grant the biotech engineering giant immunity from Federal law.
The so-called “Monsanto Rider” would require the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for planting or cultivating a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
Why does Monsanto want to cut off our access to the courts? Because the courts have ruled that farmers have a right to grow non-GMO crops and consumers have a right to eat non-GMO food. Judges recognize that GMO contamination takes away those rights. So Monsanto is trying to bypass the courts.
Right now, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are drafting an omnibus appropriations bill behind closed doors, in the hope of passing it before January. The public won’t know what’s in the bill until it’s ready for a vote. And when the bill does hit the floor, amendments won’t be allowed.
Power-hungry Monsanto is counting on a sleepy public, distracted by the holidays, to let them slip this latest outrageous power grab through Congress.
Don’t let them do it! Contact your member of Congress and urge them to stop Monsanto’s rider.