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Senate GOP Quashes Attempt to Overturn 'Monsanto Protection Act'

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

 Score another Congressional victory for Monsanto.

Senate Republicans denied an attempt on Thursday to overturn the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act," a measure recently signed into law that circumvents judicial authority concerning the planting and development of genetically modified seeds deemed to be unhealthy for human consumption.

An amendment to overturn the provision was put forth by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), but thanks to GOP opposition, it did not receive the unanimous consent required to be considered.

"This legislation, the Monsanto Protection Act, this legislation does something that I think most would find astounding," Sen. Merkley said on Senate floor Thursday. "It allows the unrestricted sale and planting of variants of genetically modified seeds that a court has ruled have not been properly examined for their effect on other farmers, the environment, and human health."


Lead by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who has since come forward to claim responsibility for anonymously slipping in the controversial "farmer assurance provision" into a March spending resolution, Republicans prevented Merkley's amendment from moving forward.

Blunt argues that the provision is to help protect farmers who purchase seeds and plant crops that are later determined to be unsafe.

"What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it," Blunt told Politico.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, Blunt has received $95,750 in political donations from Monsanto employees since 1996.


The inclusion of the provision has sparked a national backlash. Online petitions calling for a repeal of the measure have garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures even though Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak has stated that he doubts whether the farmer assurance provision is enforceable precisely because it does preempt judicial review.