Despite the efforts of House members like Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to kill the Monsanto Protection Rider, it passed in the House version of the short-term appropriations bill, the Continuing Resolution (CR).
Today the Senate was successful in stripping this provision out of the CR.
According to Sen Brian Schatz (D-HI)
"The Monsanto Protection Act is bad policy for the country and the State of Hawai‘i. The Senate version of the Continuing Resolution does not include this provision, effectively repealing the Monsanto Protection Act. This provision took the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to fully exercise his regulatory power over GMOs, and compromised the role of our courts as a check on the legislative and executive systems, making it significantly more difficult for concerned citizens to present their case.Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), a farmer himself said:
I strongly urge the House not to sneak the Monsanto Protection Act back into the final version of the appropriations bill. However, if it is slipped back in, rather than letting the issue be deliberated with full transparency and public input, I will immediately introduce legislation to repeal it."
Stripping the Monsanto Protection Act is a victory for American consumers and family farm agriculture. Corporate giveaways have no business in a bill to fund the government, and I’m pleased that the Senate stood up for accountability and transparency and against special interests. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Schatz to make sure that this damaging provision never again makes it into law."Hawai'i has been called "ground zero" for GMO/Agricultural Chemicals development. Its mild climate allows two growing seasons and its small legislature is easily bought out. In fact only 10 members of the Hawai'i legislature are not recipients of GMO/Chem money.
The GMO seed companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dupont are the biggest agricultural chemical manufacturers. Their controversial claims of GMO seeds cutting down on pesticides are exactly opposite of reality. According to Organic Consumers herbicides account for about one-third of the global pesticide market, and around 80% of GM seeds involve herbicide-resistance.
Kaua'i now has a bill pending that would require companies like Syngenta to disclose what pesticides they are spraying. Kaua'i residents are concerned not only with existing EPA registered pesticides but the experiments with the unregistered pesticides these GMO companies are developing.
So it is no surprise that popular and progressive Sen Brian Schatz responded to his many constituent calls and helped kill the Monsanto Protection Rider.
Sen Schatz is being primaried by a New Democrat Coalition corporatist, Colleen Hanabusa. She has been conspicuously quiet on the subject of the Monsanto Rider.
No wonder. Her group, the New Dems, sees biotech as the "future of the U.S." They successfully pushed to extend patents and give corporate welfare to biotech companies.
"New Democrats believe the federal government can promote advances in biotechnology by providing funding for basic research, ensuring the protection of intellectual property and investing in regulatory agencies such as the Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Drug Administration. "Hanabusa is quoted in the latest New Dem press release urging Congress to put partisanship aside. But according to the New Dems, that means embracing the odious Simpson-Bowles recommendations that balance the budget on the backs of the poor and elderly by cutting Social Security and other safety nets.
Not one word about the New Dems' support of corporate welfare and eternal war.
Sen. Schatz kept his constituents updated on the Monsanto Rider and his (successful) efforts to remove it as well as the nonsensical provision to defund the Affordable Care Act. We heard about defunding the ACA many times from Hanabusa (always in conjunction with increasingly desperate pleas for donations) but not one word on the Monsanto Rider.
So Rep Hanabusa: Where do you stand on special deals for biotech companies? With your New Dem pals or with the people of Hawai'i?
In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary’s evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner: Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary's authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.