Maui News

‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Removed from Senate Plan

September 25, 2013, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated September 25, 7:48 AM
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The anti-GMO protest on Piʻilani Hwy near the Monsanto headquarters, October 2011. File photo by Madeline Ziecker.

The anti-GMO protest on Piʻilani Hwy near the Monsanto headquarters, October 2011. File photo by Madeline Ziecker.

By Wendy Osher

The US Senate today eliminated a provision within an appropriations bill that would have provided protections to Monsanto.

US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the Monsanto Protection Act “bad policy,” saying it would have taken away the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to fully exercise regulatory power over GMOs.

In a press release statement issued this morning, Sen. Schatz said the provision, “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.”

Fellow Hawaiʻi delegate, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also released a statement saying, “As a long-time proponent of labeling genetically engineered foods, I am thrilled that the controversial Monsanto Protection Act could end as early as next week.”

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According to Gabbard, the Monsanto Protection Act will end on September 30, 2013, under the new Senate plan to fund the government through November 15.

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“The legislation, also known as Section 735, suppresses the right of Americans to seek legal recourse to address potential environmental, economic, and health damages caused by GE foods. This is a big win for the people of Hawai‘i and for democracy. Now, the House must make the right choice and vote to pass the Senate’s proposal,” said Rep. Gabbard.

US Senator Jon Tester from Montana who led the charge in getting the Senate to remove the Monsanto Protection Act from the Continuing Resolution called it a “victory for American consumers and family farm agriculture.”

Senator Schatz urged the House to keep the Act out of legislation, and vowed to repeal it if it is slipped back into the bill.

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