Organic Consumers Association

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U.S. House Votes to Extend Monsanto Rider on GM Crops

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

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved an extension of a law allowing farmers to keep growing a genetically modified crop while it is being challenged in court, a move critics said overrode actions to prevent contamination of non-GMO crops.

The extension, dubbed by critics the "Monsanto Protection Act" in reference to the agricultural biotechnology giant , would prolong the law scheduled to expire at the end of this month. The measure is contained in a 22-line rider to a stopgap bill to fund the government through Dec. 15.

Should the rider pass the Senate, it would keep the law alive for 11 weeks more. A coalition of small-farm, organic food, environmental and consumer groups asked the Senate to strip out the language from the bill.

The rider allows the cultivation and sale of a genetically modified (GM) plant variety to go ahead even if a federal judge overturns Agriculture Department approval of the variety and directs USDA to conduct more studies on whether the plant is safe to release.

Critics say the provision short-circuits court review of federal agencies. They cited the discovery early this year of unauthorized genetically modified wheat in Oregon showed the damage that could occur if there was a runaway GM crop.  
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