Submitted by Food Democracy Now on March 22, 2013 - 2:50pm
Over 100,000 Americans Take Action in 24 Hours
WASHINGTON, DC - Food Democracy Now!, a national grassroots movement to build a safe, sustainable food system is urging President Obama to veto HR. 933 the short-term funding measure that Congress passed Tuesday morning by a vote of 318 to 109. Tucked deep inside the Congressional spending bill is a poison bill, Section 735, known as the Monsanto Protection Act, that gives biotech companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical a blank check on the approval of new genetically engineered crops.
Since the bill’s passage in Congress, more than 100,000 Food Democracy Now! members have taken action to stop the Monsanto Protection Act from being signed into law.
The so-called "biotech rider" was included in legislation that won final approval from the House, avoiding a shutdown of the federal government on March 27, when the current funding was set to expire. The provision was slipped into the legislation anonymously. It explicitly grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture the authority to override a judicial ruling stopping the planting of a genetically modified crop.
“Americans are outraged that Congress has once again brokered a backroom deal that undermines our basic democratic rights to favor irresponsible chemical and biotech seed companies like Monsanto,” said Dave Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots movement of more than 400,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to protecting family farm agriculture and the environment. “For the past 20 years, Americans have been kept in the dark about the food they eat and the science behind it because our elected officials and regulatory agencies would rather cozy up to biotech giants like Monsanto and DuPont than work faithfully represent the will of their constituents.”
“Passing the Monsanto Protection Act is the last straw for millions of Americans who are tired of being betrayed by their elected officials,” continued Murphy. “We’re calling on President Obama to stand up for family farmers and the Constitution and veto the Monsanto Protection Act.”
For the past year, family farm advocates and legal experts have fought to stop the biotech rider, another special interest corporate giveaway the fundamentally undermines federal courts’ ability to protect family farmers and the environment from potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GMO) crops that have not been proven safe.