By Tara Dodrill,
Monsanto Protection Act backlash prompted some food activists to place the blame for the GMO legislation at Senator Barbara Mikulski’s feet. Some of those opposed to allowing GMO ingredients in food products without labeling blame the Democrat for allowing the biotech rider to find its way into the new law.
The GMO seeds portion of the act was reportedly added to the bill last month. Senator Barbara Mikulski is the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. President Barack Obama signed the GMO biotech rider section of HR 933 into law. During a 2007 speech in Iowa, Obama stated that Americans have the right to know what goes into their food, a comment which some are now citing as a broken campaign promise.
Some members of Congress are now claiming that they did not see the controversial Monsanto Protection Act portion of the bill. The genetically modified seeds portion of the recently approved bill can be found in Section 735. The biotech rider about GMO ingredients was reportedly added as the full bill progressed through the review process. According to Salon, the Monsanto Protection Act was not subjected to either Judiciary or Agricultural Committee review.
Food Democracy Now and a multitude of American farmers protested the use of GMO seeds in front of the White House. Public fervor has remained relatively high since the Monsanto rider was signed into law.
A statement of disapproval of the Monsanto Protection Act issued by Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office on Tuesday read:
“The biotech rider was originally part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill that the House Appropriations committee reported in June 2012, and it became a part of the joint House-Senate agreement completed in the fall of 2012 before Senator Mikulski became Appropriations Chairwoman.”
The release goes on to claim that the chairwoman’s first duty was to prevent a shutdown of the government. Achieving such a goal allegedly meant that she had to “compromise on many of her own priorities” to put forth a bill that could make it through the Senate and ultimately pass the house.
Senator Mikulski did not write the Monsanto Protection Act language into the HR 933 and does not support the GMO seeds biotech rider, according to the release. The Democratic Senator also noted that she understands the anger that Monsanto has caused.
Section 735 of HR 933 reportedly states that the federal court cannot stop or intervene when GMO crops are planted or sold by biotech companies. Critics of the Monsanto Protection Act have voiced concerns about potential public health hazards the shielding of big agriculture companies.
What do you think about the Monsanto Protection Act and GMO seeds?