TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress Not to Hijack the Regulatory Process for Genetically-Engineered Crops

Written by Max Goldberg on July 11, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

Sorry to give you GMO-related stories two days in a row (I do my best to space them out), but there is important news that I needed to share with you as soon as possible.

As you probably know, Congress is now debating, drafting and cutting backroom deals regarding the Farm Bill. Since this massive policy initiative and spending bill is only passed once every four years, the stakes are enormous.

Through their massive lobbying efforts, chemical companies have inserted dangerous riders into the House version of the Farm Bill that would hijack the federal regulatory process for new genetically-engineered crops.

If the provisions pass, new GE-crops could be fast-tracked to the marketplace without evaluation by federal agencies. It is essential that federal agencies thoroughly assess the safety of GE-crops before they’re introduced to store shelves and our homes.

The proposed riders in the Farm Bill include:

• Outlawing any review of the impact of GE-crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental law, or by any other agency other than USDA. For example, harm to protected species could occur without any input from our expert wildlife agencies.

• Prohibiting other agencies from offering expert input in the review process and instead limit review to solely USDA under the Plant Protection Act (PPA).

• Forcing the backdoor approval of GE-crops, even if the USDA has not reviewed and approved them, through unreasonably short deadlines, which, if not met by the agency, would default to immediate approval and commercialization. The provisions would also bar any agency funds to be spent on impact analysis beyond the riders’ narrow and time-forced approval.

• Codifying a dangerous national policy of allowing transgenic contamination in crops and foods, risking loss of GE-sensitive domestic and export markets and loss of biodiversity.

• Limiting EPA’s oversight of biotech crops engineered to produce or contain a pesticide by forcing the agency to choose the least burdensome choice for industry, regardless of environmental consequences.

If these egregious provisions get approved, GE-crops will flood the market and contaminate everything in sight. The organic industry and non-GMO food would be devastated.

Please take action and tell lawmakers not to allow these very, very dangerous provisions into the Farm Bill.

Here is the electronic form to sign, which I received via email from the people at the Just Label It campaign.

Thank you so much for supporting organic food and protecting the health of our country.

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