By Natasha Lennard, Salon
The biotech rider, initially sneaked into temporary budget bill, will be allowed to expire
Following outrage and activism from food safety advocates, the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” will now be removed from the new spending bill designed to avert a government shutdown.
The biotech rider – which protects biotech giants like Monsanto and their genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of possible health risks – was sneaked into the temporary budget bill that six months ago was rushed through to again avoid a shutdown. Most Congress members who voted through the spending bill had not even read the controversial earmark.
According to a statement Tuesday from the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the “Monsanto Protection Act,” contrary to concerns earlier this month, will be removed from the new spending bill and will thus expire. The senator praised the efforts that ensured the biotech rider’s death:
This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals. This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.