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The Legislative Battlefield

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page, Genetic Engineering  page, and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Some quick updates on hot-button issues in Congress and in state legislatures. (Please send a thank-you to some stalwart US senators!)

Those Pro-GMO Riders

Last week we told you about some sneaky GMO amendments-two riders attached to the Farm Bill, and one attached to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

The House was scheduled to consider a Continuing Resolution on the current Farm Bill last Tuesday evening in an attempt to trigger a conference committee, which would have allowed the biotech industry to sneak in their riders unnoticed. Your messages poured in protesting this illegitimate procedural move, and at the last minute the House leadership decided to pull the CR from the floor agenda because there weren't enough votes to pass it. Instead the House approved some drought relief legislation which addresses one element of the 2008 Farm Bill. Congress will have to address the Farm Bill when everyone returns from August recess, before the current legislation expires end of September.

On the Ag Appropriations Bill, the situation remains unchanged. The bill has not yet been considered on the House floor, so it will most likely be considered when they return form August recess. They will likely drop it into an omnibus spending bill- and if they do, we will keep a close eye on whether the GMO riders are included or not. Label the GMOs?

Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer offered a GMO labeling amendment to the Farm Bill. This amendment would have reinforced states' existing authority to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. It also required FDA and USDA to compile a report to Congress detailing the percentage of food and beverages sold in the United States that contain GE ingredients. Unfortunately, the amendment failed, 26 to 73. Action Alert! If you are a resident of any of these states, please write to the 26 senators who supported the amendment, and thank them!


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