In June, we alerted you that the U.S. House of Representatives had included a dangerous pro-biotech rider in the Agricultural Appropriations Bill.
The rider was the biotech industry’s response to its losses in several lawsuits, in which federal courts ruled in favor of farmers and the public interest. The courts have repeatedly found that USDA failed to properly assess the risks before approving certain new genetically engineered crops or GMOs.
The rider would have essentially eliminated judicial review of USDA’s approvals of new GMO crops. Deceptively named the “farmer assurance provision,” the rider would have meant that the courts could not stop the release of new GMOs even if the approval of the crop involved outright fraud or bribery!
This week, however, no policy riders of any kind were included in the Continuing Resolution (CR) that Congress is considering in place of the normal Appropriations bills.
This is good news, although the issue is not over. The CR only funds the government for a period of time, and Congress will ultimately have to pass an Appropriations bill. And the pro-GMO riders in the House Committee’s version of the Farm Bill remain a significant threat. So stay tuned for more information and alerts, while you celebrate a bit of good news!