Oregon senator proposes appeal to Monsanto Protection Act

Following outcry, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced that he would put forward an amendment to Senate farm bill

By Natasha Lennard
Published May 20, 2013 8:26PM (EDT)

The so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" -- a bill that protects genetically modified seed manufacturers from litigation in the face of health risks -- sneaked into law with the passing of spending bill HR 933. Food safety and activist groups, including Food Democracy Now and the Center for Food Safety, were swift to condemn the biotech rider and the underhanded way it was anonymously slipped into the larger spending bill without appropriate review by the agricultural or judiciary committees.

On Monday, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced he would put forward an amendment to the Senate farm bill that would repeal the controversial provision.

“The Monsanto Protection Act is an outrageous example of a special interest loophole,” said Merkley. “This provision nullifies the actions of a court that is enforcing the law to protect farmers, the environment and public health. That is unacceptable.”

Writing for Nation of Change, Anthony Gucciardi praised the response from activists that he saw underpinning Merkley's efforts: "The notorious ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ rider stuffed into the non-related Senate spending bill may soon be repealed thanks to the massive amounts of activism and outrage that have now amounted to a legislative charge towards action," he noted.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Biotech Rider D-ore. Hr 933 Jeff Merkley Monsanto Monsanto Protection Act Senate Farm Bill