In what many anti-GMO activists are claiming as a victory, several U.S. Senators have proposed a measure that would allow the infamous “Monsanto Protection Act” to expire at the end of September.
Just days ago the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to extend the rider, officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision. However key leaders in the Senate have announced that their version of the bill will eliminate the Monsanto Protection Act extension.
The so-called Monsanto Protection Act has been the source of public outcry from anti-GMO advocates. As Raw Story reports, it effectively “shields companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical from legal action resulting from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops” even if GMO products are found to be hazardous to human or environmental health down the road.
“This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals,” said Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in a statement. “This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.”
Of course, the Senate’s decision does nothing to prevent a similar measure from creeping into other legislation in the future. Given the ferocity with which Monsanto and other biotech companies are fighting GMO labeling initiatives across the country, it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen the last of the Monsanto Protection Act.
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Image: Rosalee Yagihara