Appropriations bill leaves farmers defenseless
Last week the U.S. House "quietly passed a last minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013, and previously approved by the Senate, protecting Monsanto from lawsuits in federal courts.
The provision, approved without any hearings and review by either the agricultural or judiciary committees, stripped the federal courts of
their prior authority to hear lawsuits brought by farmers against the
likes of Monsanto, duPont, etc, asserting health concerns resulting
from their use, planting and sale of crops using genetically modified
seeds sold to them.
The "rider" also eliminated the USDA's previous jurisdictional role of performing environmental impact studies requiring its prior approval for any sale to farmers of "GMO" seed-crops.
Critics of this legislation are alarmed by the way the provision, decried as a biotech rider, and introduced anonymously to a far larger bill, made its way through the Senate Appropriations Committee headed by Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland.
The rider's beneficiaries are seen as a significant victory for companies like Monsanto and Cargill and affiliated PACs. The quid pro quo: at least $7.5 million donated to various members of both the Senate and House since 2009 and an additional $372,000. "gifted" to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee." The source of this information: the business news to be found on today's internet of March 25.
Coincidentally (?) Monsanto and duPont announced today a multi-
million/billion dollar "settlement" of all their lengthy outstanding
lawsuits against each other, including past judgments, resulting from
their respective claims of patent infringements relating to their
marketing of GMO crop seeds. Let them each get on with their own
products - now that the coast has been cleared by Congress disposing of farmers' complaints. The merits of their claims be damned! Money put in the right hands does the trick.
The source of the above is to be found on business internet-
for all to see.
Henry R. Horsey