by Britt Lundgren Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture for Stonyfield
It’s that time of the year where we all look forward to surprises wrapped up in packages. Congress is working on a few surprises wrapped in packages of their own, but unfortunately I’m not talking about holiday gifts anymore (unless we’re talking about gifts for the biotech industry). This particular surprise is something called the biotech “rider”. A rider is a provision that gets attached to a bill that it has little or nothing to do with. The package, in this case, is the annual Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The biotech rider is a provision that would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GE) crop while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards.
In other words, even if the courts find that a GE crop shouldn’t be planted until more research is done about its safety, no one could stop that crop from being planted, even temporarily. This provision clearly tells us that Congress thinks public health and safety should take a backseat to the expansion of GE crops.
The good news is, it’s not too late to tell Congress that this is one holiday surprise we don’t need, no matter what they wrap it up in.
It’s easy to write your representatives today, and ask them to oppose the biotech rider. Just click on over to our friends at Center for Food Safety, enter your zip code, send a message, and viola – you’ve brought us one step closer to telling Congress that this package should be marked “return to sender”.
Click here to join us in speaking up.