The Senate has begun debate this week on amendments to the Farm Bill. Tell Congress to Repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act” and Support Pro-Farmer, Pro-Environment, and Pro-Consumer Amendments!
As you know, the Farm Bill has historically given large bailouts to agribusiness companies and the country’s largest industrial farms at the expense of consumers, family farms, and the environment. However, a number of amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill have been offered that would support labeling of genetically engineered food, support organic farmers, repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act,” protect honey bees and other pollinators, and so much more.
There are five amendments in the Senate Farm Bill supporting labeling and oversight of genetically engineered food and crops:
1. Senator Boxer (D-California) introduced an amendment in support of mandatory GMO labeling (#1025) as well as her amendment requesting that FDA and USDA study the 64 countries around the world that already require GMO labeling (#1026).
2. Senator Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced an amendment supporting the existing rights of states to enact their own laws requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Already this year 26 states have introduced labeling laws with the possibility of passage in a number of states.
3. Senator Begich (D-Alaska) introduced an amendment (# 934) to ban the sale of genetically engineered salmon until Federal wildlife agencies are properly consulted and find that GE salmon pose no environmental risk.
4. Senator Tester (D-Montana) introduced an amendment to reinvigorate public plant and animal breeding, which has hit an all-time low because of private sector assaults from companies like Monsanto.
5. Senator Merkley (D-Oregon) introduced an amendment (#978) to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act” provision in the 2013 government spending bill that attacked judicial oversight of genetically engineered crops.
Senator Boxer (D-California) has also introduced an amendment to protect honey bees and native pollinators (#1027), which declined by over 45% last winter as a result of pesticides and industrial agriculture, and Senators Leahy (D-Vermont) and Cowan’s (D-Massachusetts) EQIP Organic Initiative amendment would eliminate the separate payment limit in EQIP for farmers participating in the Organic Initiative so that all farmers are subject to the same payment limitations in EQIP.
The Farm Bill is a 5-year bill that affects all of us. It is crucial that we pass a Farm bill that is protective of the environment, consumers, and organic and family farmers—not just protective of big agribusiness. The Senate is voting on amendments this week, so please take action today!
Tell your Senators to Support GE Food Labeling, Pollinator Protection and Organic Farming in the Farm Bill!