A must-pass funding bill may include dangerous genetic engineering provisions. Action Alert!
The Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into affect at midnight on December 31. That is the bill already passed that raises taxes and cuts the budget. Congress does not like this scenario, so it is working on an omnibus 2013 Appropriations Bill that will address tax and spending cuts before January 1.
Even though no bill has yet been introduced, if Congress and President Obama reach agreement, the bill will be rushed through. Unfortunately, we have received word from sources on Capitol Hill that the GMO bills that previously were attached to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill could be part of this package. And because it’s a must-pass funding package, any GMO rider that is included will likely become law.
These are the same GMO riders we told you about last July. Section 733 of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill (the so-called “Farmer Assurance Provision,” though one might just as well call it the “Monsanto Protection Act”) would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale or planting of illegal, potentially hazardous GMO crops—even if a court has told them to stop—while USDA is still assessing potential hazards. The Secretary of Agriculture must, under this provision, grant any farm operator or producer upon request a temporary permit allowing GMO crops to be planted or cultivated, even if a court has called a halt to it until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.